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The title of this post might seem extremely profound and to be perfectly honest if I had read that title after my first attempt at meditation I would have thought it was a load of nonsense.

How I got started

Roughly 12 months ago I was still struggling with chronic physical pain. I was stressed beyond belief and I spent most of the day thinking negatively about every single sensation of pain I was experiencing. My mind was working on overdrive and it was so negatively charged that I was not giving myself a chance to heal.

Fortunately my brother Matt intervened and gave me the help that I needed. Matt¬†is the founder and owner of¬†the incredible yoga studio¬†that is,¬†“YogaHub” and this is where my real transformation began. Matt convinced me to try meditation in order to calm me down. He was adamant that if I could calm my mind then I could calm the sensations of pain I was feeling In my body. At this stage I was doing very little exercise as it was causing me to have horrific flare ups of pain so I was still extremely fearful of any movement. With this in mind I used meditation as my daily exercise.

Losing my mind

I started a routine of meditating every morning before work for ten minutes and every night before bed for ten minutes. The meditation consisted of me sitting down in a chair or on the ground with my back straight. I would use 10 minute¬†guided relaxation meditation sessions on YouTube. I also¬†downloaded the “i-Qi Timer” which is a free app you can get on your phone to time sessions. This was used when I wanted to do a silent practice.

For roughly a week I would sit down and my mind would go absolutely nuts. Thoughts would go through my head like;

“Why the hell are you at this Mike? What on earth is the benefit of this crap? Why can’t I stop thinking? I’m never doing this again. This is such a waste of time.”

All these sorts of things went through my head and to be honest I hated doing meditation at the beginning because it made me realise how busy and frustrating my overactive mind was. After a week I was ready to pack it in for good but I decided to stick with it because I felt like my mind would have to let go eventually.

Focus on the Breath

After one week of morning and evening meditation I was wondering why I was finding it so hard to relax into the meditation. I researched guided meditations on YouTube and found that each guided meditation focused on the breath as the means to relaxation. After finding this I decided to really focus on breathing and when I started thinking about things I would just bring my focus back to the breath. This took a few sessions to get used to but it really helped me to distract myself away from all the noise in my head.

Escape from Pain

I stuck with the meditation routine and roughly a month into the process I found that during meditation I was able to switch off my mind completely from the physical pain I had been struggling with. My back, neck and hip pain would dissolve during my daily practice. I was able to feel my muscles shake out tension and let go as I focused on breathing out all the stress I was holding on to. This was a huge step for me. I had found something that would give me complete pain relief and all I was doing was switching off and relaxing my mind. This made me believe that if I could switch off and relax and be pain free during meditation then I could heal myself by meditating more and thinking less. This made me so optimistic and I became so positive about my healing potential.

A New Focus

After finding this symptom free pain killer I had a whole new focus on healing. Meditation had shown me that stress, negativity and worry had caused my muscle tension to become unbearable. My overactive mind was so negatively charged that there was no way I was going to heal my body.

After reaching the calm meditative state on a daily basis I was able to understand why my pain was sticking around. Meditation has taught me a lot about myself but most importantly it has enabled me to heal from pain that I never thought I would be free from.

Through meditation I am back exercising on a daily basis. I am able to participate in all the physical activities I felt were impossible just one year ago. I’m back golfing, cycling, doing daily yoga classes and attending the gym most nights during the week. This is an incredible transformation and I owe it to a lot of things including meditation.

Why Try Meditation

I know the above is my story and my experience with meditation but I honestly believe the same results can be achieved by anybody else suffering from chronic pain. I also believe meditation is necessary for those who are not suffering with physical pain but suffer with stress and anxiety. So that would mean meditation should be utilised by everyone in my eyes.

Most of us are extremely stressed in this day and age with work and the various other life events and issues we have to deal with. We are bombarded by information between television and the internet and it is very difficult to switch off and get away from it all.

I believe meditation is the “Off Switch” that anybody can learn to press to escape from all the noise and busyness in the world and in¬†their own head. I also believe that it is more valuable than sleep because most of us go to bed with stresses and then we wonder why we have a restless sleep. Ten minutes meditation before bed can help you sleep better and you will find you are more relaxed and less agitated in your daily life.

If anything it is worth a try but it is very important to remember that it is not easy at first. The mind will race, get frustrated and want to stop and give up but stick with it and you will be amazed how much it can do for you.

How to get started

Here are a few tips to get started on your meditation journey;

  1. Find a relaxation meditation on youtube.com (type “10 minute guided relaxation meditation” into your search) and use earphones to block out all other noise. If you would rather meditate in silence download the free “i-Qi Timer” app which you can use a timer for each session. You can start with¬† 5 minutes if 10 minutes is too long. Whatever you are comfortable with.
  2. Once a day is enough but is important to develop a routine to make sure you fit it in every day.
  3. Try to focus on your inhale and exhale. When you find your mind thinking don’t get frustrated, just come back to focusing on your breath. If you can’t stop thinking at first don’t give up, this is natural.
  4. Find a way that is comfortable for you to sit with your back straight. This can be on the floor or in a chair. If you are uncomfortable to sit don’t be worried and just lie down somewhere comfortable.
  5. After each meditation be proud that you have taken time for yourself and keep a journal of how you feel after each session

Give it a go

I hope the above has helped you to learn a bit about how meditation works. I honestly believe it is an extremely beneficial practice that can heal aches and pains of the body as well as the mind.

If you would like to try out meditation in a group environment you can join me at The Yoga Hub, 27 Camden Place, Dublin 2 at 8am Mondays and Wednesdays. (www.theyogahub.ie)

Best of luck with it.

Thanks for reading. If you like what you have read you can follow my blog for more regular articles at: https://theassmovement.wordpress.com

Happy, determined, positive and focused healing to you all.

Matt

Author Matt

I started YogaHub out of a room at the back of someone else's house back in 2012 with nothing more than an idea. I'd been teaching Yoga since 2008 and had no intention of opening a Yoga Studio. I think, like everything I've done, I just decided one day I was going to give it a try. And try I did and if you're reading this I guess I'm still trying.

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