Meditation calms you down. It lowers the blood pressure, pain and stress hormones. Even a few minutes of meditation a day will help you feel better.
In the book "Pain Why" by Dr. Ben van Cranenburgh the effect of meditation on pain is shown. An Indian man claimed that he could completely suppress painful stimuli through meditation. This indeed turns out to be true. Brain activity was measured while the man received a painful stimulus without meditating. Brain activity was then measured while the man was meditating. He received the same pain stimulus. But the response of the activated brain areas was completely different. We do complain that doctors are so quick to say that pain is between your ears and is made in your brain. But it's really true!
If you can control your brain, you can control your pain!
Meditation is a way to control your body and mind. It is often said that to meditate is to go within. I often have a trouble with that saying. Because where should you go?
Osho indicates that meditation is "not going outside." That feels much easier to me. But how do you do that?
Make sure you are not disturbed (phone off, etc.) Sit or lie down comfortably. If you are unable to do both, you can also walk quietly (walking meditation). You can actually meditate in all possible positions or activities. It's about your focus. It is nice to choose one specific location for your meditation so that your body knows when you will meditate again.
You can focus on breathing. (inhale-exhale-pause. You can then extend the pause, see breathing blog). It is often nice to start with a fixed pattern. For example, breathe in and out as deeply as possible twice. Or signal the start with a bell or singing bowl. Or light a candle and look into the flame. It doesn't matter at all, as long as it is clear to you and your body that your meditation is starting.
You can put on some meditation music. You can also find meditation guidance video's or sound clips in which there is only a tone to indicate the beginning and the end. The rest is in complete silence. You can also set an alarm so you don't have to look at a clock.
Then you start (sitting, lying or walking). Focus on your breathing, your body. Feel how the air flows in, how your stomach expands and flattens again. Don't change anything. Just accept what you feel. If a thought arises (I still have to buy potatoes...) then you let it pass by like a cloud in a clear blue sky. Just let them pass by as if you were staring at a cloudy sky. You don't run after your thought or hold on to it. You let it go. Now you are meditating, later you will remember what is needed. You just let every thought pass you by. Do you have a lot of thoughts and you see a huge storm sky. Fine, then you look at a stormy sky and let a lot of thoughts pass by. Inhale-exhale-pause.....
BREATH FOR PAIN AND DISCOMFORT
After a few minutes my body usually starts to protest. Pain can then be very pronounced, often throbbing. That often meets with resistance from me and that only makes it worse. So back to acceptance and letting go. Send breath to it. Breathe space into it. Love, warmth or maybe a color. What feels right for you. Accept the presence of pain and let it go. Focus on your breathing again. And...it is ok to change your position a bit.
If you find it difficult to focus on your breathing, say a word. For example AUM or OHM. Whenever your mind wanders and thus your mind goes outside, say AUM. You can do this out loud, you can also do it silently within yourself. See what feels comfortable for you and what works for you to maintain focus.