Mindfulness for Pain

A toolkit to explore and manage pain using mindfulness techniques.

Image of a woman in a grey shirt pulling her hand across her face. The image shows her hand pulling parts of her face in pain.

Chronic pain affects 1 in 5 people in Scotland, and difficulty with pain – whether chronic or acute – is one of the most common motivations for students and staff attending the mindfulness classes at the Chaplaincy.

Read Dr Kitty Wheater’s practical MindLetter, Mindfulness for Pain, on the nervous system’s reaction to pain, and the three ‘R’s of responding wisely.

Kitty runs regular Mindfulness for Pain workshops online during the academic year. This workshop explores common cognitive patterning around pain, as well as simple practices to down-regulate the nervous system’s response. Workshop dates are announced here.

The Mindfulness for Pain toolkit below is available to all, and designed to be used and revisited at any time.


1. Mindfulness for Pain: an Introduction

In this presentation, Kitty explores the common cognitive patterning around pain, whether chronic or acute.


2. Mindfulness Practices for Pain

Beginners’ practices

Part 1: Resourcing for Pain              Audio only  (9 mins)

Part 2: Pain: Resource, Recognise, Respond       Audio only  (9 mins)


Photograph of a drawing of the head and neck of a person. The person is grimacing in pain and the text underneath the image says

Further practices

Mindfulness of What’s Pleasant       Audio only  (25 mins)

Mindfulness of the Pleasant             Audio only  (20 mins)                       

A Spacious Awareness of Pain and Discomfort    Audio only  (28 mins)


For live sessions during the week to steady and ground the mind, join the twice-weekly lunchtime Mindfulness Drop-in Sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays.


3. Pain First Response Worksheet

Pain is one of the most challenging experiences we can have, but our reactions to it tend to follow predictable patterns. Use the worksheet below, in combination with the resources above, to investigate your own experience of pain and what you find helpful with it. Print and pin the worksheet somewhere prominent, using it as a prompt to help you navigate pain as it arises over time.  


Pain First Response Worksheet (19.19 KB / DOCX)