Welcome to Day 3: Meditation
Meditation is one of the most widely studied and scientifically supported alternative/integrative/holistic practices for mind/body health.
(I'm in full support of using integrative practices side by side with western medicine.)
I'm offering meditation here as a benefit to dealing with the sh*ttyness of having a chronic illness, not because I believe psychology is at the root of ME/CFS. Psychology and mind/body practices can support us emotionally because it is crappy to live with chronic illness, it can help us cope, and help us to have a better relationship with ourselves in spite of being ill.
If you're new to meditation, it's going to feel exactly the opposite of what you would expect it to. Instead of being relaxing and calming you're going to start to notice just how busy your mind is. This is not wrong, this is the point.
Meditation is the space you create to start being aware of your thoughts, beliefs, mental busyness, and your ability to start to focus your attention.
There are guided meditations out there for absolutely everything. I started with body scan meditation, it's a great way to have guided help along your meditation practice and a way to get both your mind and body engaged in focused relaxation.
Here's a 30 minute body-scan meditation to get you started:
For those who need a laugh - this F*ck That meditation 3 minute is just as valid - and also hilarious.
I practice meditation every day. I use an app on my phone called Headspace to remind me to meditate and lead guided meditations. You can set these meditations from 10 - 20 minutes, and if you wish to sit for longer you can do so on your own time.
If anyone wants a free
And if you think you can't afford the time away from all the things you have to do in your life - Meditation is not just for you, it's for everyone around you. Meditation changes the way you interact with everything and can greatly improve how you are around other people. Plus meditation actually EXPANDS time - when you slow down you actually have more focus to get more done. It's like magic 😉.
P.S. If you're worried about your posture for meditation, don't worry. Sit or lie down in a way that works for you. Many days I cannot hold myself up for 20 minutes. I either sit on a cushion with a pillow against a wall, or I lie down on my yoga mat. If you are prone to falling asleep it's best to try to sit up - but do so supported on a chair or couch or against a wall. This isn't' about being perfect, it's just about showing up. And it's definitley not about suffering through pain.
If you feel so moved to help The OHC bring an integrated approach to more ME/CFS patients, Click Here to Donate to the Optimum Health Clinic Foundation
Go to Day 1: What ME Feels Like and About This Challenge!
Go to Day 2: Gentle Movement
Go to Day 4: Protein and Plant Power
Bonus - here's me at 17 years old ...2001/2002 leading my water polo team through a meditation before a big tournament.