At this point, I remember thinking I needed to breath. My focus then shifted away from my worries and concerns, to just relaxing and letting my body work. I was amazed at the difference it made. I was much more able to cope and the sensation of pain was diminishing.
It makes sense to me that pain would diminish as our fears and tensions diminish. When we are afraid, we tense up. Just thinking through this, I bet that when we tense up, our body's contractions have to work harder to push through that tension. In a way, it creates more work and more pain for our body to work against the tension brought on by fear.