The other night I woke up in quite a lot of pain. The muscles all up and down my back were spasming. I prefer not to take medication until all my other options have run out. I also avoid getting out of bed if I can! 🙂
So I started by slowing down my breath. When I’m in pain, like most people, my breathing gets shallow and quick. Then I started a technique that my dad taught me when he was learning to manage chronic pain. With each inhale, think, “I am.” With each exhale think, “Calm.” Each breath affirms that your entire being is calm.
I have used this technique to successfully manage pain and anxiety in the past. This time, a flash of inspiration came to me. Change the word “calm” to “love!” I AM…LOVE. Now each breath affirms that my entire being is love!
I instantly felt my pain level decrease. After only a few breaths, I felt my heart expand, and a feeling of peace and joy washed over me. My mind kept taking me out of the experience to analyze what I was feeling so that I could write about it this week, and I would return to focusing on the breath. I AM…LOVE. I AM…LOVE. My heart expanded, and I felt a deeper connection with my family, and soon with the world outside. I was in unity. I was relaxed. The pain was not completely gone, but it was significantly decreased to the point that I was able to go back to sleep. And I felt great!
For a deeper meditation experience, do this in combination with alternate nostril breathing. Here’s how:
- Hold your right hand up, palm facing you.
- Bend your index finger and middle finger down, leaving your thumb, ring, and pinky fingers up.
- Using your ring finger to hold your left nostril closed, inhale through the right nostril for a count of four. (Think, “I AM.”)
- Release your left nostril and using your thumb to hold your right nostril closed, exhale for a count of eight. (Think, “LOVE.”)
- Continue holding the right nostril with your thumb, and inhale for a count of four. (Think, “I AM.”)
- Release your right nostril, hold your left nostril closed with your ring finger, and exhale for a count of eight. (Think, “LOVE.”)
- Lather, rinse, repeat three to seven times.
Alternate nostril breathing activates both sides of the brain. Even practicing here while I am typing out the instructions, I can feel the positive effects! Let me know what you experience.