Mindfulness and Meditation

From the FPA Young Patients Committee

There is something particularly difficult about living with facial pain in the colder months. We encourage mindfulness and meditation as a practice throughout the year but know that it can be especially helpful during the days that seem colder and darker than the rest.

This time of year can also be rejuvenating. It’s a chance to reset, recharge, and focus on yourself. Meditation allows you the opportunity to look inward rather than backward. If you practice often enough, it can help with the healing process as well. It isn’t uncommon to experience a denial or grieving period when you are diagnosed with facial pain. Looking inward and focusing on yourself gives you a chance to learn acceptance and promote healing.

Meditation allows you the opportunity to thank your body for all it has experienced and done to help you overcome and endure throughout the year.

There are many options online that can help with guided mindfulness and meditation. You can find these on platforms such as YouTube, Spotify, and apps designed for these exercises. You can also give it a go with just these simple tips below.

First, it’s good to keep in mind that meditation and mindfulness don’t always look the same for everyone. You don’t have to get it perfect to practice these helpful exercises. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and make mindfulness and meditation work for you!

Find somewhere that feels peaceful, calm, and free from distractions.

Add some music that is soothing in the background. Having sounds of nature can be helpful, especially in colder months. It can transport you to the outdoors when that might not be possible due to cold weather and facial pain.

Light some candles with scents like lavender or mint. These scents are known to lessen stress levels and increase soothing feelings!

Get comfortable. Many think that meditation and mindfulness must be uncomfortable, but that isn’t the case. If you are comfortable sitting in the classic meditation pose, the lotus position, then go for it! But if not, then choose another way to sit, lie, or stand. You can decide what works best for you. You are in control!

Focus on your breathing. Breathwork is an amazing tool that can be accessed and harvested anytime. It is also a great technique to use for chronic pain. You can learn to breathe through the pain, relax the muscles in the body, and reduce tension. Breathe in deeply through the nose. Hold your breath and count to four. Then release the breath through your mouth while counting to seven. Take a few seconds to relax. Repeat this process.

Focus on your breath for a little while. If a thought or sudden surge of pain occurs, acknowledge it, and then if you’re able, return your focus to your breathing.

Be mindful of your self-talk. We all have our own self-talk, and it may change from day to day. How we talk to ourselves is very important. Using compassion and love to talk to ourselves, especially to our mind and body, can help in how we face each day with facial pain. If our self-talk looks like telling ourselves that we are a burden to others because of our facial pain, then we will start believing it, and our ability to work through the pain that day may be harder than if our self-talk was gentle and compassionate. Adding some personal mantras can help and be empowering to our self-talk.

Often, having facial pain can make us feel like we have no control. Mindfulness and meditation can give us that sense of control and can be a gift we give ourselves now and into the warmer seasons.

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By filling out the form below, you will receive a free FPA Patient Guide and periodic updates on the management and treatment of facial pain conditions. We do not share this information with any outside sources.