Having a rheumatic disease can be painful. Rheumatic disease affects the whole body and pain can be anywhere- the joints, back, skin, heart, lungs, and GI tract, among other sites. Pain can impact your day-to-day function, interactions with others, as well as your mood. Mindfulness research continues to expand across chronic diseases that are associated with pain, including inflammatory arthritis.

Mindfulness may help with pain because it promotes self-compassion, loving kindness, and non-judgement. It helps to detach the present moment from prior experiences. Prior experiences, especially when related to pain, can be a very powerful influence of how pain is experienced. Prior experiences can heighten the sense of pain. Similarly, the mind might wander and fixate on what may happen in the future, especially if the pain increases. Thinking about prior experiences and future possibilities is often associated with judgement.

Through these exercises, we encourage you to work on staying in the present moment. These exercises will help to focus on relaxing the body, noticing the breath and body sensations just as they are. This likely will be difficult, and you should feel free to take breaks. However, the more often you practice these exercises, free of judgement, even on good days or pain free days, the easier it will be when you are having a hard time with pain.

Pain Meditation #1

Pain Meditation #2

Pain Meditation #3

Pain Meditation #4

Share Your Feedback

Thank you for your interest in the Johns Hopkins Division of Rheumatology’s Mindfulness Program for People Living with Rheumatic Disease. We welcome feedback regarding our exercises. Your response to this questionnaire will remain anonymous and no personal identifiers will be recorded. Completion of this questionnaire is purely voluntary and by taking this survey, your consent to this research study is assumed. Please complete this survey if you are at least 18 years of age and have a rheumatic disease. You may complete this survey for each meditation you have practiced. The information gathered from your responses will help to improve this resource and gain information for research purposes.

Research Study Name: Mindfulness for People Living with Rheumatic Diseases
Study ID: IRB00289772
Principle Investigator: Clifton O. Bingham III, MD
For more information, contact Michelle Jones: 410-550-9674 or