If you have ever had pain (who hasn’t), you may have tried two techniques to “get rid of it” with some degree of failure. Either you deify the pain, that is, really get into it, inviting others to join in your pity party, or you defy it, ignoring or distracting yourself from it, soldiering on. This is true of all kinds of pain, but it’s more obvious to see with physical pain.

As someone who has endured pain from klutzy accidents not entirely “my fault,” I’ve found that no singular approach works. A combination of time release “pain meditations” helps. If you have fallen, say, and fractured your fifth metatarsal as I did six months ago, defying pain is not so good. Conscious, grounded awareness on how to move and what makes the pain better or worse, is what’s called for. On the plus side, such an accident allows us to tune in with greater sensitivity. Bossing people around or complaining as a pain deifer is not so good either as we risk magnetizing pain’s grip on us, and feeling more pain instead of less.

Here’s a pain meditation that can strike the right balance. Try a gentle dose:

Assume a relaxed and comfortable posture that allows for ease of breathing. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, breathing in “space” and breathing out “tension.” Notice and feel the area of pain, but without dwelling on it too much. Give it some space. Do this mentally and visually, nudging it to shift its shape just a bit.

Ask the pain what it needs, and be open to any answers or a well of silence. Perhaps the painful area needs a little massage, a certain vitamin or cream, or to be surrounded by golden light or the soothing sound of music. When ready, open your eyes and follow through on your promise to pain, without defying or deifying it. Be sensible in giving it what it wants. So, how do you deal with pain?