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Something that can help right NOW

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  • Something that can help right NOW

    First, I am not suggesting that anyone avoid taking medication if they need it - they've helped a lot of people. And by all means find a counsellor/psychologist/psychiatrist to talk things out with.

    However, sometimes one can't access those things immediately, but you need some relief NOW. Maybe you're on meds for depression, but they haven't kicked in yet. Maybe you're on a waiting list to see a therapist and you need a way to survive in the meantime. Maybe a lot of things. Either way you're reading this section of the forum because you need help in this area, right?

    Well, this is something you can try right NOW... right this second... that could help provide you with some relief from the mental anguish you may be feeling.

    I've been there... in the darkest place mentally... and it is an awful, horrible place to be.

    So, with that in mind, I'm sharing this as an option that could provide you with some relief right this second.

    It costs nothing, so you have nothing to lose by trying it.

    There is even science to back up the fact that this can help. (links at the end of this post if you need convincing...)

    What is it?

    It's using Headspace to calm your mind, and reduce (or eliminate, if you're lucky) a lot of the mental pain that comes with dealing with eyes that are sucking right now: https://www.headspace.com/

    It's basically meditation without the woo woo... meditation for people that aren't the type to meditate.

    Before you decide this is an utterly stupid idea, hear me out...

    First, there is science to show this can help calm one's mind. (again, links at the end of this post if you need convincing...)

    And if you're in a mental black hole of worry, fear, depression over your eyes, you could probably use some mental calming, right?

    Second, this can help improve your sleep. Even normal people's eyes can feel irritated if they don't sleep well... so for those of us who already have issues with our eyes, it's even more important to get quality sleep.

    And if you're unable to get a good night's sleep because you're waking up with your chest tight due to worry/stress, if you can't shut off your thoughts of "what if", "how will I go on this way..." ... Headspace might help you shut that stuff down and get some restful sleep, it can help lessen your anxiety/depression/fear/worry etc..

    There is nothing to lose by trying it. Nothing. I started out by using the free version... all I did was do the same free intro meditation for 10 minutes a day before I went to sleep at night.

    But to be honest, in the beginning I didn't want to do it...

    ... for one thing, I don't like sitting around doing "nothing"

    ...and honestly, there have been times when I've felt so depressed over all this that my emotional side just wanted to wallow in it and disappear (irrational, but it's how I felt)... so I resisted doing things that the logical side of my brain knew I should be doing to help my mental state... anyways, my mind was tortured and it was either try this, or, continue to suffer, or...??? Clearly trying this to improve things was the best option.

    So finally, I make myself start doing this every single night before bedtime. Only 10 minutes each day. Use the same free 10-minute meditation each time... it can work very well if you do it every day without fail.

    I started noticing improvement to my mental state after the first night I did it (sure, improvement doesn't equal "cure"... but it was a start). And of course, your mileage may vary. But even if it only gives you a minute of relief today, tomorrow you may get 10 minutes of relief... the day after that the relief may last hours... then maybe you'll be regularly going entire days where you honestly feel calm and happy... then weeks... the effects of spending 10 minutes on this every night at bedtime can snowball over time (in a good way!) if you keep doing this. And if you can feel happy again - or at least not depressed - you'll be in a much better position to deal with improving your eye problems.

    Try doing this every night before bedtime for a month and see what happens... my strong suspicion is that you'll be glad you did.

    And if you really like it, experiment with adding an additional 10 minutes of meditation every morning when you wake up.... or on your lunch break at work... whenever.

    Here's the link one more time: https://www.headspace.com

    There are paid subscription options for this app, too (but remember, you can use the free version and it's just fine). I first started using it in 2015 to improve my sleep... before using this app, I'd take 30-60 minutes minimum to fall asleep... after using this app regularly, eventually I'd fall asleep in less than a minute because I became so good at shutting off my mind so I could rest. But eventually I stopped using the app... the effects wore off... and then this year I found myself really struggling mentally due to a bad flare up with my eyes... I figured I should try this app to see if it might help me again - not only for sleep, but for the mental anguish I was going through. And it did. So if you're suffering as I have, please try this app and see what happens... I think there are excellent odds that it will help you to better cope with what you're going through, feel happier, and even sleep better (which can help your eyes feel better as a bonus).

    Again, I'm not saying this is a cure-all for everyone's depression/stress/worry etc, although for some people, it may be. Just please don't overlook this as an option that may help you experience a whole lot LESS mental suffering (and we all want less of that, right?).

    Anyhow, I've mentioned Headspace in other forum threads, but I wanted to make sure those who need it most will see it, hence, I'm mentioning it here in its own thread. Unlike meds and therapy, this is one thing you can access right this second without having to wait days/week/months. By all means try meds/therapy too if you need to... but while you're waiting for those things, give this a chance, too ... you may be pleasantly surprised.

    LINKS ON THE SCIENCE:

    https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-...ith-depression

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28131433

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2848393/

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0210134834.htm

    https://www.headspace.com/blog/2017/...th-depression/

    Also, since stress often goes hand in hand with depression, the following is also relevant:

    Stress can make any pain associated with your dry eye worse - so there's a chance that meditating may not only help alleviate depression, but help your eyes feel a bit better.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28225710

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4795524/

    Another bonus to meditating to reduce stress... there are plausible theories of how stress can increase inflammation in the body - and since inflammation worsens dry eye, it makes sense to think that reducing stress might help reduce symptoms of dry eye. I'm definitely NOT suggesting stress reduction is all that's needed (we all know that's not true for most of us)... but it can be one of many strategies that we can use to contribute to improvement of our dry eye (and every little bit counts!)

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5476783/

    https://chopra.com/articles/chronic-stress-and-inflammation-the-hidden-culprits-behind-disease-and-how-to-eliminate
    <- not a study, but an interesting article on the topic of stress and inflammation
    Last edited by SAAG; 10-Jan-2019, 07:26.
    Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
    Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

  • #2
    I concur. It's a great app, even the free version. Really helps you clear your mind, if even for a short while.

    Comment


    • #3
      Absolutely. I am also a fan of You are not your pain book. It includes guided meditation and also mindfulness and pain research, and some form of CBT. I was not able to continue seeing psychologists who do not know first hand what chronic pain feels like. If anything, I felt more angry after seeing them.

      This book is written by authors going through chronic pain and their advice and understanding of the situations calms me down.

      That being said, I have also paid for a yearly Headspace subscription last year, and use it pretty often! I need to get back on track with the practice.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CJ L. View Post
        I concur. It's a great app, even the free version. Really helps you clear your mind, if even for a short while.
        Most definitely!

        Originally posted by hopeful_hiker View Post
        Absolutely. I am also a fan of You are not your pain book. It includes guided meditation and also mindfulness and pain research, and some form of CBT. I was not able to continue seeing psychologists who do not know first hand what chronic pain feels like. If anything, I felt more angry after seeing them.

        This book is written by authors going through chronic pain and their advice and understanding of the situations calms me down.
        Oh cool... I'm going to check out that book - there's an audiobook version available on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Your-...dp/125005267X/). I was also thinking of trying to get in to see a psychologist of some sort to talk things out with (when I return to Canada) since it has the potential to be beneficial... but it did cross my mind that if all I was getting from them was cliches and/or platitudes, if they clearly couldn't adequately imagine what I'm going through... that I'd end up pissed off too. If I see someone, I think they'd have to have seen a lot of chronic pain/disability/illness patients because if they haven't - no matter how good their intentions are - they are more likely to just leave me feeling misunderstood, frustrated, and angry.

        Originally posted by hopeful_hiker View Post
        That being said, I have also paid for a yearly Headspace subscription last year, and use it pretty often! I need to get back on track with the practice.
        Cool! I subscribed this year too when it was on sale... figured I'd try out the full selection of options and see what I think. (BUT, note to anyone else reading this... the free version is perfectly fine to get started... I still got a lot of benefit from simply doing the same free intro lessons over and over again... so if money is tight, don't worry because you can still use it!)
        Last edited by SAAG; 13-Jan-2019, 05:15.
        Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
        Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

        Comment

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