How to Help Yourself

So far in this series, the focus has been on what people with pain should be doing for themselves to help them take charge of themselves. In this post, the emphasis is on how rather than what.

There are many methods and techniques that can help train calmness and relaxation. They are widely accessible. In last week’s post (The 3 Breath Relaxation Technique), Eric Reynolds described a simple but useful method that becomes more powerful over time. Instructions on meditation can also be found by clicking on How to Meditate on our website’s home page.

Here is another simple way to practice. This method does not require much time but it does require attention. It cannot and should not be practiced in any circumstance that requires constant attention such as driving or operating machinery. Please feel free to send us feedback if you try.

Begin by taking as little as a minute at a time to be as still as you possibly can. This can be in any posture but get as comfortable as you can too. Then relax as many of your muscles as you able to. No particular level of relaxation is required, however. Remember that trying to force relaxation only increases tension.

While being still, notice everything you can, sights, sounds, smells sensations, thoughts and emotions. Take it in all at the same time but stay as still and relaxed as possible. Avoid focusing on any one thing. This is like trying to see everything in the room you’re in by not focusing on a single object.

Do this as many times a day as is practical. You can increase or decrease the time you spend in these sessions depending on your tolerance. In each session there is no specific goal to achieve. Combine it with the 3 breath technique if you wish. All you have to do is what you can and that will be your best.

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