A year ago I enthused about the joys of meditation, in particular "Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction." I've continued my formal practice of MBSR (15 - 25 minutes nightly before bed. I meditate lying down, to minimize pain crosstalk.) But wait, there's more!
I'm now learning about "Self-Compassion Meditation," which has been even more helpful for me. (I'm sure spending a year directing a kindly, curious attention to anything floating through my brain and body has enabled me to apply SCM at any time.) I can now do "informal practice" whenever I need it. The key to SCM is it rides along with the acknowledgement of pain. The fact that I'm beginning to lash myself on my perceived defects, or enduring the throbbing of my augmented ankle, or weeping over the daily news— that pain itself triggers my SCM response.
Self-Compassion Meditation—Kristin Neffhttp://self-compassion.org
Dr Neff's site and book support a meditation practice for folks who live with mental, physical, and psychic pain. Her approach is firmly grounded in Buddhist spirituality, but is very accessible to those of us who bounce off religion.
In the brief month I've been using it, I've developed the skill of responding to negative events with compassion, not fear, anxiety, self-punishment, or despair.
The whole site is well worth reading: this resources page offers free downloads of guided meditations and writing exercises:http://self-compassion.org/catego/exercises
She also provides a self-compassion test which helps you to realize when you may be suffering needlessly, and how self-compassion could make your life less painful.( Resources mentioned last year )