Mindfulness for People With Cold Agglutinin Disease

Emily Malcolm, PhD avatar

by Emily Malcolm, PhD |

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Living with a chronic disease, such as cold agglutinin disease, means dealing with a number of symptoms that affect daily life.

Although there are no studies specifically on mindfulness in patients with cold agglutinin disease, a study involving participants with other chronic diseases indicated that mindfulness can improve patients’ mental health as well as outcomes.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a type of meditation based on being fully present in the moment, focusing on what you are feeling and experiencing without judgment or interpretation.

Spending too much of your time and mental energy on planning, problem-solving, or stressing about potential future situations can be draining. It can make you more likely to experience stress, anxiety, and depression. Mindfulness exercises direct your thoughts and attention away from this kind of thinking to engage in the world around you.

You can practice mindfulness anytime and anyplace. However, many people find that a more structured mindfulness exercise is useful when they’re getting started. It can be helpful to set aside 10 to 20 minutes once a day (or more frequently if you wish) to go through a structured mindfulness exercise.

Here are some examples of structured mindfulness to help get you started:

Body scan meditation

Sit or lie down in a relaxed position. Focus your attention slowly on each part of your body from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Start from your toes and move your awareness up your body, lingering for a few seconds on each part of your body, keeping your breathing steady and even.

Breathing meditation

Sitting or lying down comfortably, focus on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on the sensation of breathing. It’s easy to get distracted and go back to what you were thinking about so don’t worry if this happens. Just acknowledge the distracting thought and redirect your attention back to your breathing. Some people find it helpful to listen to a meditation podcast so that you have someone’s voice to focus on as you meditate.

Walking meditation

Find a quiet place, 10 to 20 feet in length, and begin walking slowly. When you reach the end of your path, turn and keep walking. Some people find it easier to do this type of meditation on a treadmill. Focus on your sensations: the feeling of the ground and the movement of your hands and feet. Keep a good posture in your back. Feel yourself making small movements to maintain your balance as you walk.


Last updated: April 2, 2020


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