Check out our 15 most popular posts for 2015! #1 Migraine that looks like a stroke, #2 12 days of migraine, #3 Five ways to thrive with chronic pain, #4 Three states of mind, #5 Energy drink research series, #6 Vitamin D research series
No one ever guessed that this socially-awkward child had autism. After all, she didn’t fit any of the stereotypes. She was highly intelligent, meeting all developmental milestones ahead of schedule. She was polite and articulate with seemingly good social skills.
I managed to develop critical thinking skills, despite the influence of certain conservative-backwoods-redneck elements of my hometown. This is in no small part to the heroic efforts of teachers. My earliest introduction was to that lovable renegade, Dr. Seuss. I didn’t realize how influential Seuss had been until I started reading to my own children. The moral lessons are disguised by creative wit and I am grateful for the entertaining indoctrination.
“Cutting off your nose to spite your face” happens when we focus on being right or fair despite the negative personal consequences. For migraineurs, there are a lot of opportunities for this to happen. Right or wrong, fair or unfair, sometimes we have to play by someone else’s rule in order to get what we want. It can be difficult to swallow our pride and do what is effective in order to get what we want.
Most people spend their days on “automatic pilot” not really paying attention. We often engage in one activity while our mind is focused on something else. We think we can accomplish more by doing several things at once. This is simply not true. When we bring our whole being into focus on one thing at at time, we are more productive. Sometimes we must quickly switch from one activity to another. The key is to give your full attention to each activity only when you are doing it.
Like a lot of the skills already covered, this one appears simple. Putting it into practice can be a little more complicated. We all like to think that we are non-judgmental. Yet we place value judgments on ourselves, others, and events all the time.
Participation is the last of the “what” Mindfulness skills. It is the natural extension of Observe and Describe. Anyone can sit on the sidelines observing an experience and describing it. Immersing oneself in the experience invites us to be authentic participants in our own lives.
One moment home was a noisy flurry of activity. The next moment, a surreal silence filled the air. Even the dog sensed it. Change happened in an instant. Three weeks ago I left home for the AHMA Conference. Three days later I returned to and empty house. My three-bedroom home became an empty nest.
Think about your last migraine in terms of what you observed with your five senses. Take all the time you need to review the event using observation skills.
Achieving mindfulness involves HOW we focus and WHAT we focus on. This time we will be learning how to observe what we focus on with each experience.