How Mindfulness Can Help

how mindfulness can help emotional pain and traumaPractising mindfulness can be of benefit to anyone, but particularly to victims of emotional pain and trauma.

Our lives are filled with myriad demands and distractions, making it hard for us to concentrate and get things done. These might be internal – such as our own self-talk, bodily sensations, and emotions – or external, for example the environment and people around us.

When these distractions become overwhelming, we get frustrated and it becomes much more difficult to control our feelings – including our emotional pain.

Are you Distracted by your Emotional Pain?

This can lead to us feeling powerless to manage our daily lives, and nobody likes to feel out of control.

As human beings, we tend to deal with unpleasant emotions or difficult memories – such as being powerless, or past trauma – by pushing aside our thoughts and feelings, and avoiding certain experiences that may trigger them. According to research however, avoiding, ignoring or running away from emotional pain and trauma, may only make things worse in the long run.

The Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a different and more effective way to manage emotional pain.

The benefits of the practice of mindfulness are many – from improving focus, memory, physical health and sleep quality, to reducing stress levels, pain and trauma.

Instead of attempting to suppress or avoid difficult feelings, mindfulness is about paying close attention to what you are doing in the present moment, noticing when your attention wanders, and bringing it back to what you’re doing.

In this way, mindfulness increases acceptance, openness and tolerance to emotional distress. By fully engaging in the present moment with a non-judgmental stand, we become more able to simply observe our thoughts and feelings, without intense behavioural reactivity.

Common Mindfulness Techniques

As part of trauma counselling, your therapist can teach you mindfulness exercises for you to practice in everyday life, such as:

  • Body scan;
  • Breathing exercises;
  • Mindful acceptance of thoughts and emotions;
  • Mindful awareness of movement;
  • Performing everyday tasks – such as cooking, washing, cleaning and gardening, in a mindful way.

Practising mindfulness builds your capacity for focusing on the present moment, and in the process assists you to identify and distance yourself from unpleasant feelings, and any maladaptive emotional schemas you may have developed.

Clinical psychologist Claire Pang provides trauma counselling

Author: Claire Pang, B Psych (Hons), Masters of Clinical Psychology.

Claire’s work in the hospital environment, the disability sector and private practice has expanded her knowledge and skills in helping people dealing with life’s challenges, such as better managing emotional pain. She gains great fulfillment and inspiration through witnessing human resilience again and again in her clinical work.

To make an appointment with Clinical Psychologist Claire Pang, you can book online or freecall 1800 877 924 today.


  • Leahy, Robert (2011). Emotion regulation in psychotherapy: a practitioner’s guide. New York: Guilford Press
  • Harris, Russ (2009). ACT made simple: An easy-to read primer on acceptance and commitment therapy. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.
  • Dunkely C., Stanto, M (2014). Teaching clients to use mindfulness skills: A practical guide. Hove, East Sussex: Routledge.