I think a lot of what is discussed here is equally attributable to many of the drugs MAVers are prescribed
Thanks for the post James. The section from 5:07 to 6:10 particularly interested me where he says “We each have an anxiety set point. Let’s say you’re worried about something and all of a sudden it gets resolved - phew! That just makes room for the next thing … if you’re an anxious person you probably will always be somewhat anxious.” This could be seen as a depressing statement but hey! there are advantages to being a bit on the anxious side. I hear of friends and acquaintances getting into all sorts of life dramas and terrible situations because they charge through life with seemingly no anxiety about anything and fall straight into the first hole they encounter! No, I don’t mind that I’m an anxious person. What I WOULD like to work on (and preferably not by taking drugs) is the accompanying tension, neck pain, sometimes migraine, hypervigilance, negativism, inability to relax etc that go WITH anxiety. I know I should try meditation but that really is hard work for me - a form of torture haha Doing nothing?? Thinking nothing??! aaaargh
Meditation is HARRRRRD work !
I have tried it 2 or 3 times in a guided group session and did feel lovely and chilled afterwards but I resented the time it took. Straight after I got home it was time to go to bed! A whole evening gone They tell me it gets easier with practice…
Meditation is hard. I don’t think the Western psyche is designed to cope with it. Our Western way of life is totally contrary to it in thought and deed. I just turn off completely too when told to ‘visualize’. I have no imagination whatsoever. I’m a photographer. If I’m told to visualise being by the sea I can close my eyes and see a photo I’ve taken of a beach. I cannot ‘make up’ an imaginary scene. I do do Tai Chi but I always found it impossible to imagine my body is protected by a golden ball or visualise emotions flowing as colours. Sounds complete and utter nonsense to me I’m afraid. Leaves me cold.
With meditation I found a sort of half way house in initially trying Deep Muscle Relaxation techniques - Google them - they are physical, anybody can do them, you alternately tense and relax each individual muscle in a prescribed order. Then try the ‘clearing your mind’ technique I learn years ago to get off to sleep. Visualise a huge flock of sheep - I took a photo - and count them meticulously at first then get faster and faster til counting’s impossible by which Time I would be asleep but if you can combine the muscle relaxation with the counting sheep you are about ready to start meditation.
It does get easier with practice. The deep muscle relaxation is er, quite relaxing in itself and far safer for you than Xanax or anything of that sort. Just don’t fall out of the chair. Helen
I’ve replaced my meditation with CBD, ice cream, and youtube at night! I had three main difficulties with daily meditation + MAV:
- Too much awareness of chronic pain/discomfort. I would sit there and become more and more aware of my own discomfort. Not helpful after a full day of suffering.
- It became “another thing to do” on top of all the other self help required for recovery.
- Relaxing my breathing and body warmed my nasal passages more so that each hot slow breath produced more nasal pressure. So, yes, then I start breathing through my mouth, but all in all everything just became so uncomfortable and not productive for me.
Having said all that, as I feel better I am able to do more meditation that is helpful. Including mindfulness during simple tasks such as the dishes.
I guess my point is there is no wrong in ditching meditation practice with chronic MAV. The important thing is to focus on the things that help, no matter what they are. For most people mediation practice requires a non-chronic pain baseline to build on. So I would just sit in front of my TV with my CBD, ice cream, and YouTube, and just try my best to checkout/relax - advice I would have scoffed at pre-MAV now totally makes sense…
I can imagine that with meditation. The idea is to clear the mind and think of ‘nothing’. Not really possible with chronic pain as it is all pervading as is chronic dizziness. The stiller one sits the more obvious it must become.
Too much inner thinking probably not good. Reading up on PPPD professionals being told never to ask patients to keep list of symptoms. Worst thing to do. Figures.