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How I Learned to Enjoy Meditation.

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ann Miller, Oct 22, 2021.

  1. Ann Miller

    Ann Miller Peer Supporter

    I had tried meditation repeatedly over several years knowing instinctively that it would be beneficial to me, but I could never enjoy it. I would sit and stare at a candle flame while my legs slowly went numb and my back ached. Even on the best of days, I only felt more pain during meditation than before starting the session. Until, that is, I changed up my attitude, my goals for doing it, and the method. Here is what worked for me.


    My method: First of all, I lie down on my bed in the absolute most comfortable position I can find. My goal is complete body relaxation, a shutdown of my sympathetic nervous system and activation of the parasympathetic nervous system. This is only going to happen if I’m comfortable. If my goal was to learn to endure discomfort, then sitting cross legged might be useful, but my goal is relaxation of the body. I enjoy guided meditation with someone speaking visual images, so I use Insight Timer. It’s a free App that lets you enter all sorts of parameters that appeal to you. I know that I like a man’s voice, or a low woman’s voice, background music, and 15-20 minutes in length. I can enter a benefit that I want to address, like calming anxiety, or sitting with emotions etc. I like that I can bookmark favorite tracks and follow favorite guides. Sometimes I just want ambient music with no words. I can filter for that also. The key here is- you do you :)


    During meditation, I begin by getting all super comfy and then starting with my belly breathing. When I first started to meditate, I was really inept at this part. Truly practice has paid off here and I can belly breathe wonderfully now. Be patient with yourself. It only takes a few belly breaths to start to activate our rest and repair system; if you get a few in, you’re doing great. I try to concentrate on unwinding my tension. Jaw, neck, shoulders, eyes, roof of mouth and sacrum are all places that I store tension. I can literally feel my torso untying. I visualize a giant rope untying and releasing. Your tension points will vary from mine. Find yours and work at visualizing their release, their falling open and away. Sometimes I enter a trance-like state which is very cool when it happens. Sometimes I fall asleep briefly. THIS IS FINE. In fact it’s great...remember my goal is complete body relaxation and what’s more relaxing than a brief snooze? When I’m finished with the meditation, I stretch like a cat, wiggle my fingers and toes and praise myself. I’ve just cared for my body and soul on a very deep level.


    I hope this brief “how to” has been beneficial. I’ve meditated daily for 3+ years now and have been completely chronic pain free for over two years. I wish the same for you!


    If you like practical tips and discussion, follow me on a free Facebook private group (Paths Beyond Pain) or Instagram. @pathsbeyondpain www.pathsbeyondpain.com
     
    hawaii_five0 and Piano Mom like this.
  2. Piano Mom

    Piano Mom New Member

    Thank you for sharing this helpful information, Ann. Can you tell me a bit more about Insight Timer? I’ve been using Headspace for over six months and it’s been so helpful, but I would love to have more options. Does Insight Timer have the options for guided or semi-guided meditations?
     

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