Saturday, October 8, 2016

Happiness At Times Of Migraines

Migraines have been troubling me for the last two decades, and I'm constantly looking out for solutions.  I'm writing this blog in case other people face similar trouble or other kinds of illness or discomfort that comes in waves periodically and has no easy solution.

When the body and mind don't respond too well, it's time to turn to the spirit.  This is why (I think) alternate methods like yoga and acupuncture, when followed according to their classical descriptions, work when other methods may not.  Sometimes it's hard to get to the root of the problem because we can't see it with any clarity ourselves and these methods point the way.

Of course, it's hard in the midst of pain and suffering, to be really happy about life.  But negativity seems to make everything more gloomy than it actually is and in fact, I can often sense a migraine coming much before it begins, by feeling a certain negative cloud drifting through me - mental negativity and pain which subsequently appears in a physical form.  By the time I sense this cloud, it's already too late - it has appeared and the ideal solution would be to stop it from emerging or moving into oneself.  What is this pain and how does it emerge?  I don't think we really have clear answers.  Spiritual texts do explain this phenomenon in different ways, as arising from mental tendencies that we have within us.  Some modern spiritual texts (The Power Of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, for example) explain this as a 'pain body', which is individual in nature but also gathers momentum when it resonates with similar bodies in other people.  The spiritual solution is to remain strictly in the present and observe the energies within, to realise that one is the observer and not the pain.  And gradually, a solution will emerge.

But we are generally not able to follow this recommendation (at least I have failed in the face of great pain); often the pain does not vanish even after much meditation and mental viewing.  As we live largely in a physical world, we need to perhaps accept this and find an in between path.

I have tried various things, and, when I can dredge up the energy, it is inevitably things that relate to my spirit that work best.  Writing is impossible, but cooking certainly works.  When I am cooking, I often am oblivious to the pain - it recedes and reappears once I have finished.  This is not surprising; musicians have reported not feeling their pain while immersed in playing.  I don't know about sportsmen, but I can imagine it working there as well.

At times when one can't actually do the things one wants to, it does help to imagine doing them and sometimes I long to do them so much that a certain positive reinforcement seems to be triggered from within.

The other tool that I recently restarted (somehow I had forgotten all about this, but it works for me - sometimes it takes weeks, months or decades, but it does work!) is affirmations.  To mentally affirm and visualise a desired scenario and to want to work towards achieving it.  Affirmations have to be very specific in content and wisely framed (and pithy to be repeated over again endlessly!).  For instance, in my case, I assume that there are blocks somewhere which are causing the headaches.  So I affirm that I am willing to release these blocks and, after some time, change the affirmation to "I am releasing these blocks now."  I don't know if it works immediately, but I often feel a dissipation of negative energy when I try this.  I also affirm that I am migraine free and happy now (and not in some distant future).  This stays with me and at times when I am heading towards a lifestyle-induced imbalance, the thought resurfaces and I find myself wanting to correct the imbalance instantly, in order to stay on my migraine free goal.

Is it working?  I'm not sure yet, but it's helping me deal with the pain much better than when I just lay down and did nothing and waited for the migraine to subside.  It somehow makes me feel in control of my life in a positive and creative way; to use the pain to reach a greater balance within and not to accept pain as a way of life.

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