I was aware of meditation but I had thought it was only for achieving “enlightenment” and the true meaning of life. Therefore I’d always felt it was a bit beyond my capabilities, as I had visions of Tibetan Monks in the mists of the mountains living a simple life.
But I was wrong, yes this is what meditation can be used for, particularly if you are a Buddhist, but its benefits are much wider ranging than this.2 years ago I was in a car accident in which I sustained a diffuse axonal brain injury. Click To Tweet
2 years ago I was in a car accident in which I sustained a diffuse axonal brain injury. It’s the type of injury Richard Hammond sustained whilst a presenter of the BBC motoring show Top Gear. Essentially through rotational forces in the accident a number of the brain’s pathways, called neurons, become disrupted and signals are either lost or take much longer than usual to reach their intended destination. So like Richard you wouldn’t look at me and think there was a problem. But one of the most common effects of any brain injury is the impact on the patient’s’ mental health. I struggled with depression and anxiety as my brain was almost permanently in fight or flight mode. As I’d been through such a traumatic event my brain was constantly trying to anticipate something happening again to keep me safe.
I was introduced to Mindfulness mediation by the charity Headway as it has been shown to benefit those who have a head injury. I was pleasantly surprised how it was much simpler than I had imagined, and enjoyed the feeling that I was in some way taking an active part in my recovery. Particularly in those moments when I was stressed or upset, it really helped to put me in a calmer mindset. It was retraining my brain on what was a better response to situations so I could deal with them, instead of panic.
One of the effects of my injury is my attention span has been dramatically reduced. Therefore, I need gentle reminders when meditating to come back to the breath and the present moment.
That’s where Welzen helps me. Using the guided meditations when I become lost in thought, the calm guide reminding me to observe the thoughts go by but not judge them. It has become part of my daily life, even now that my mental health has improved, it’s an activity I will do forever. It doesn’t take long but is as much a part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth.
I now write a blog to help raise awareness of brain injury and help other survivors. Mindfulness helps in so many different ways, this is just one example. That’s why I recommend it to my readers of jumbledbrain.com