Mastering Meditation as Self-Medication

Stop, take a deep breath, count down from ten, take another deep breath, repeat.

These steps and more are echoed by friends, portrayed in movies, and found in self help pamphlets throughout doctor’s offices across the country. But really, how does meditation actually help to manage chronic illnesses like addiction, pain, or anxiety?

The first thing you need to understand is these illnesses all follow a similar pattern. They are  persistent pain regardless of the shape they take form, whether physical or mental. While those suffering from addiction might consistently feel compelled to indulge with drugs or imbibe, those dealing with chronic pain physically have a relentless invisible wound incapable of being healed.

With that said, many dealing with these invisible illnesses have struggled with coping in a world where people put too much stock in physical proof of illness. This can make it hard to build a solid support network for the individual suffering with the illness. Support from those closest to the individual, coupled with a physician’s recommended regimen, can truly make the difference for someone facing persistent pain or illness.

Coping with these feelings of pain, addiction, or anxiety can be made easier with help from meditation. By incorporating even the simplest of meditation techniques into your healing regimen, you can see a vast increase to the quality of your life.

Why Breathing is Important

The easiest of all meditation exercises is to focus on and re-center your breathing. A breath is something the body does automatically, but it can be controlled.

It is important to understand how breathing can affect your life. By learning how to breathe right, you can aid your body’s elimination of oxidized complex carbohydrates via expelled carbon dioxide. Moreover, the different breathing techniques available can influence the way your body responds. This is vitally important to understand because it essentially means not all breathing techniques are for everyone. If you have a chronic condition, it is important for you to talk to your physician before adding anything new to your regimen.

Breathing Techniques

The most important concept to introduce into your breathing is to slow down. Too often we are found taking deep gasping breaths during anxiety attacks or particularly painful moments. We don’t pay active attention to our breathing and work ourselves up because of the mix of pain and poor breathing patterns.

The easiest way to focus on breathing is by counting the seconds it takes you to inhale and exhale. Try doing that now.

Depending on your particular situation, you are probably taking too many breaths in too short a pattern. Most people find success by slowing down their breaths to about 4-5 seconds per inhale and 4-5 seconds per exhale. Practice this technique and see how easy/hard it is to regulate your breathing. Some find it helpful to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.

For others, this breathing technique can be made even more effective by incorporating counting into the breathing. For those who suffer from anxiety or addiction, the counting can give you something to focus on outside of the impulses you have. This, too, can aid those suffering from chronic pain to shift the focus of their attention from the pain to the counting.

To incorporate this strategy into your breathing start by regulating your breaths once again. 4-5 seconds inhale, hold, and 4-5 seconds exhale. For the purpose of this article we will use a 5 second inhale and exhale.

Center yourself. Take a moment to regulate your breathing to match with the 5 second pattern. Now, as you inhale count each second 1…2…3…4…5. When you get to 5, hold for a second and then exhale counting backwards 5…4…3…2…1. Repeat this pattern for as long as needed.

This technique can also be used with 4 second inhales and exhales, deemed the  4-square breathing. You follow the same pattern as seen above but for a count of 4 instead of 5.

By exploring your breathing and trying different techniques, you will be able to gain an understanding of what works and does not work for you.

For many of these illnesses, a sense of displacement or distraction from pain, anxiety, or impulse is what is needed. This is why structured breathing exercises can enhance one’s quality of life. Take the time to sit and concentrate on your breathing. How long do you normally inhale? Exhale? Do you hold your breath for a half second or do you go straight into the exhale?

Doctor’s listen to how patient’s breath because it can tell a lot about what is going on in a patient’s body. By learning to optimize your breathing you can improve your overall health and wellbeing. is a platform that attempts to bridge a huge gap in the care of people suffering from chronic pain or Pain Medication at Home.


  1. whoah this blog is fantastic i love studying your posts. Keep up the great work! You understand, lots of individuals are looking around for this information, you could aid them greatly.

  2. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  3. When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

  4. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks!

  5. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who has been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact bought me lunch simply because I discovered it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this subject here on your web site.

  6. I’m not sure why but this website is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  7. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything. However just imagine if you added some great images or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this site could undeniably be one of the best in its niche. Very good blog!

  8. You’ve made some good points there. I looked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.

  9. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I think that you need to publish more about this issue, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people don’t talk about such subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!

  10. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

  11. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

  12. naturally like your website however you need to test the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very troublesome to tell the reality then again I’ll definitely come again again.

  13. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will come back from now on. I want to encourage one to continue your great work, have a nice weekend!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here