Focus Away from the Pain

Focus Away from the Pain

The power of the mind and its focus can be both a blessing or a curse. Without our conscious effort, we can become fixed on the “thoughts” that re-affirm the pain or discomfort we are having.

On the other hand, focusing on things that bring you joy, peace, and comfort help to tune out the thoughts that do not serve our well-being.

Turning our focus away from the pain is not the same as suppression or denial. It is a way to help us cope when we start to feel overwhelmed. It empowers us to shift gears for that moment.

Let’s start…….

Grab your piece of paper, notebook, or journal and your favorite pen.

Sit comfortably.  Firmly place both feet on the floor.  Take 3 natural breaths.

Now, take a deep belly breath.

(where you fill your belly with air and feel the exhale travel up from the belly, past your lungs, and out of your mouth).


Write 7 things that would help support you when you are feeling overwhelmed.  Things that bring you comfort, peace, joy, or support.

For example:

  1. Going for a walk
  2. Watching a funny video
  3. Petting your fur baby
  4. Writing in your journal
  5. Watching/listening to a “mindful minute”
  6. Looking at a picture of a loved one (mine is my grandbaby)
  7. Sitting in the sun (if possible)

Now, write three things you can do to get grounded.

For example:

  1. Touch each of your fingers with your thumb
  2. Count the number of pictures on the wall
  3. Firmly plant your feet. Try to push them through the floor.


What are some other activities or practices you could learn or use to help you re-focus?  Are there any barriers? How might you start to breakdown some of those barriers?

De-Personalize the Pain

De-Personalize the Pain

As we move through life, external focus on our circumstances occurs.  Things like:

I got caught in traffic.  He/She made me so mad.  If they just would…….

Learning to embrace and understand our personal, physical self is a big part of well-being. The experience of pain is the area we will explore today. Try to remain curious and open as you go through this exercise.

Think about an everyday chore or tasks that you have to do.   Laundry, planning or preparing meals, feeding the animals, going to work….You get the idea.

Write a quick story from your perspective.  What you did; how you felt about it.

Use words like I, me, my, or mine to describe the story.

NOW, tell the same story without any personalization.  You cannot use the words I, me, my, or mine (or your name) in the re-write.

  • How difficult was it to write it without placing yourself in the story?
  • How did it feel to see it from the second point of view?
  • What was the major difference between the two stories?

Next, repeat the practice of personalized and non-personalized stories with a painful experience.  Remember, this can be physical or emotional pain.  For this exercise though, choose a pain level around 2, 3, or 4. (on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being lowest, 10 being extreme)

With the repeat of this exercise in regards to pain, ask yourself the same 3 questions above.

Close the exercise with this final question.

How might this experience support you in the future?

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