There is a lot of research on meditation. You don’t need to show me brain scans to prove to me it has benefits.
I do however suck at it.
It is partly that I never feel I should pause long enough to do it. There is this concept that I should use my time doing something ‘productive’ and if I don’t I should be ‘guilty’ about that. I know it would be more productive to take the time to do something that might actually help me in some way. But there you go. You spend decades of your life trying to push through the pain every moment of the day to function and work that you feel guilty for any downtime. Perhaps all that time with untreated pain, ‘pushing through it’ creating all that stress just trained the brain to feel it more. Perhaps we should take the time to train our brains to calm down a bit. Perhaps people should give us a moment’s peace to do so. There are many things we could do that might improve our existence… but damn doing all those things instead of being productive members of society, well, then we are just lazy are we not? Not to mention some of those damn alternative treatments are costly so not like we can afford to do all the things that might benefit ourselves. But meditation is one that is free and does have benefits even in small doses a day.
There is an additional issue I find. The pain itself. Not like it just shuts up and lets you zen out. So you get to your quiet spot. Do whatever you do. Think of a perfect spot. Think of one word. Focus on your body. Whatever. And then… I personally become aware of the ringing in my ears. So silence not good. Okay, so play some mellow music. Good.
Then control your breathing. Take some deep breaths… become aware that when you do your head feels like it is swelling with pain. Ouch. Damn, that is unpleasant. Okay. Shallow breathing it is.
Become aware of how bad your migraine actually is. There is something to be said for not sitting there focusing inward. Distraction techniques are a good thing when it comes to chronic pain. Hard to get around this one when you have an acute migraine. Okay. No meditation with an acute migraine. Stop. Do it later.
Much later…. Begin Again.
Meditate for a bit. Get sort of bored. Wonder if it is doing anything. Start thinking about story ideas. Wonder if that is more daydreaming and not meditation. Draw my thoughts back to my boring ‘peaceful spot’. Sigh. Start daydreaming again. Realize I like daydreaming.
Get tired. Feel like having a nap. Start having a nap attack. Wonder if this means I am ‘relaxed’.
Start to actually fall asleep. Okay, meditation done.
I should have started with this highly recommended book