Mindfulness

(73 Posts)

Just wondering if anyone would be interested in an ongoing thread about Mindfulness? Either interested newbies or those, like me, hoping to stick to their practice a bit more regularly!
I've found it so helpful in getting rid of anxiety, but I want to really make it part of my everysay routine. Anyone else? smile

Mindfulness sounds a lot like the practice of contemplative prayer!

As for childrearing what you find is that fashions change every few years so going with what works for you with your personality and your baby and family and lifestyle is fine. When mine were little Christopher Green (Toddler Taming etc) worked well for me but I'm sure that I would be regarded as a very bad mother for using his techniques. My three have turned out ok.

Guilt is normal in motherhood but if you are having more than just random thoughts of doubt then it might be worth chatting to your health visitor.

Well... I hadn't discovered mindfulness in the very early days with my dc. It took me a while. Also, my anxiety was very much about my own health and state of mind, rather than about my dc or my parenting skills/choices iyswim.
But I think that mindfulness meditation would very much help with resisting that anxiety which can arise when you are worried about doing the right thing and beset by different advice and opinions from all sides.

Sorry - pressed send too soon! It sounds as though you are doing a great job with your pfb. At 10 weeks she needs you close, but I don't think you need to be worrying about lack of stimulation etc at this stage. Any rest and time you can give yourself will be beneficial to her really - happy mum, happy baby and all that! I say this with the benefit of hindsight of course - if and when you have baby number 2 and have to share your attention between baby and older sister, you'll look back and think what a lot of attention your pfb had by comparison! Be kind to yourself and try to find time for short meditations. smile

harrietspy Mon 01-Jul-13 13:31:03

Hello! I've been practising mindfulness for about six months and am definitely interested in joining your thread. It's helped me more than anything else I've ever tried. I wish I'd known about it when my dcs were little!

I get up before the dc to practice in the mornings but it feels like I need to 'up the dose'. I'd like to try to be more mindful during the day. I did a wonderful 8 week mindfulness course run locally and I loved the structure and companionship that our weekly meeting provided. I'm thinking about working through the Mark Williams Mindfulness book just to get that sense of focus again.

There's an irony here. My mumsnettery is often incredibly unmindful and I've been thinking about stepping away from the internet for a while. But it would be interesting to see if it's possible for me to be on mumsnet mindfully!

I know exactly what you mean about unmindful mumsnettery Harriet! I kind of use it to 'switch off', and as a means of task-avoidance too. Plus I think some of the threads I read are not really very edifying and don't encourage me to approach life with equanimity grin. I've stepped away from it for a while sometimes, but always come crawling back!
As far as my own practice goes, I really want to get more consistent. I have big lapses, usually when life is going well, then come back to it when I'm feeling a bit stressed or down. Silly really - it means I never get much 'deeper' into it.

TheGreen & Holmes thanks for the reassuring replies. I am trying to let go of the monkey mind anxiety through meditation. My mantra lately is: "thoughts are not facts, even the ones that say they are facts."

Harriet I also find myself pretty mindless on the Internet. I have given up surfing news sites as they just seem to fuel my distractedness and negativity and I feel better for it (though I have the occasional lapse). I was inspired by this article, ironically from a news site:
m.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli

Google is another problem instead of just being with and observing my baby I find myself googling all my worries about herhmm.

That's a really interesting article. If I apply that thinking to my use of MN, I wonder about the number of things I've read that might have affected my attitude to things, without me even realising!

I was wondering if those of you with children of school age have ever tried encouraging them towards mindfulness. My dd (7) has trouble getting to sleep sometimes. She says she can't stop thinking about things. I explained how to focus on her breath - hopefully she will find it helpful.

harrietspy Mon 01-Jul-13 19:28:59

holmes I was thinking about getting a mindfulness for kids cd for my dsons for exactly that reason. smile

Ooh - I didn't know they existed! My two did a class called 'relax kids' at school for a while, which sounded a bit mindfulness-related.

harrietspy Tue 02-Jul-13 09:22:22

I'm v keen because ds1 has inherited my anxious streak and ds2 has aspergers and mindfulness/meditation can be really good for both. smile

ClockWatchingLady Tue 02-Jul-13 13:11:18

Hello everyone. I'm very excited to find this thread (& trying not to identify too much with the excitement, etc...).

I've been attempting to use mindfulness meditation in recent months, initially to deal with anxiety/feeling low and regretful, etc., although it's gradually becoming a little more of a mindset, beyond being a way to deal with feeling crap.

As well as attempting to calm/slow (or even just watch) my monkey mind (and I think my monkey might be on performance enhancing drugs), I feel like I'm very (painfully) slowly trying to learn to accept things as they are, even if that's not how I "want" them to be. At least in individual moments. There are lots of things I desperately wish I could change, and these are the things which I wake in a cold sweat thinking about at 3am, which I need to learn to just accept. I'm trying to learn (with varied success) to lie still in the dark and just be with the images/thoughts/fears/regrets, rather than trying to reason them away, or getting up and watching TV, or googling stuff, which I know makes things worse in the long run.

I definitely agree with you, Nuralagusregina and Holmes, about the effect of using the internet (in certain ways at least). It's really interesting to see that news article. I remember reading (on one of my many endless link-following sprees) that you can predict if someone is depressed by the pattern of their internet use. That made a lot of sense to me. It sometimes feels that so many aspects of society - my own outlook most definitely included - feed off a non-mindful (e.g., judgmental, forward- and backward-looking) approach that trying to maintain even tiny moments of mindfulness is a constant struggle.

As others have said, I'm using by Jon Kabat-Zinn (his CDs and book Full Catastrophe Living).

Somehow I find it very reassuring to find a thread like this one where others are trying to tread a similar path.

Hope everyone's having a good day (or moment).

ClockWatchingLady Tue 02-Jul-13 13:16:51

I've just re-read my post and it's reminding me how difficult I find it to talk sensibly about mindfulness (didn't some Zen teacher once say "open your mouth and you're wrong"?).

Anyway, how ridiculous is it to finish by encouraging everyone to make a judgment about the quality of their day?! Sorry about that.

BurntCheeseStinks Tue 02-Jul-13 13:35:47

My DD is 12 weeks old, and I have the same anxieties about missing some important advice and not giving her everything she needs, or not doing things 'right' which will somehow mess things up for the months ahead etc etc. I have used mindfulness in a very basic way. For example, I go out for a walk with her, and if I catch myself thinking things like 'what time did she last feed? Will she need feeding before the health visitor comes or while she's here? If she's sleeping now does that mean she'll be awake and grumpy and the health visitor will think I'm a crap mum?....' like I was this morning, I just stop myself and try and notice current things. So this morning I noticed the view, the lovely greenery, my DD's breathing and snuffles, my footsteps etc, until I was able to naturally think, " this is so nice, I am so lucky to be out for a walk with my baby, I have a baby!" and felt SO much more relaxed and content.

I find it helps to just remind myself to think in the present sometimes. It helps if you are doing something eg walking as you really couldn't be doing anything else so there's no point in your mind rushing forward to the next thing on the to do list. It takes practice I find. Hope that helps!

ClockWatchingLady - grin at making us judge our day! I identify with much of what you said in your post. I was thinking about posting a list of the things I try to do/ things I find helpful about Mindfulness and the aspects I find difficult. I wonder if we have similarities there. Back with my list soon...

Oh - BurntCheese that's exactly the kind of thing I try to do too. It's so easy to let your mind wander off onto worries and plans, isn't it?

BurntCheeseStinks Tue 02-Jul-13 16:21:02

It really is. I appreciate that this is a bit of a simplistic view of mindfulness though so I might try one of those books!

Ok...
Mindfulness things I try to do:
Regularly meditate, focussing on my breath, for 10-20 mins
Be aware of my thoughts, particularly negative spirals of thought, but also the tendency to 'like' or 'dislike' or judge everything all the time
Draw my attention to my breath regularly during the day
Eat mindfully (I am normally a ridiculously fast eater)
Deal with my children mindfully
Concentrate on what I'm doing when I'm doing it (e.g. driving!)

Things I find hard to do:
To avoid regarding mindfulness as (yet) another thing to think about/judge myself for not doing!
To stick to my practice through good times as well as bad
To avoid the feeling of wanting to 'get somewhere' with my meditation instead of just doing it
Itches and fidgets when I'm meditating

More will probably come to mind...

blue2 Tue 02-Jul-13 17:59:26

My DS (aged 15) has suffered from TMJD for the last 18 months or so. Its a problem with his jaw (and associated headaches - terrible pain etc etc).

His consultant referred him to a psychcologist as it was being set off by anxiety. She has got him into mindfulness and has suggested this book by Prof Mark Williams. It also comes with a CD.

Book

He has his GCSEs next summer, so am hoping that a crash 8 week course in mindfulness over the summer will give him some 'tools' to help him through the stress of his exams.

If anyone has had any experience 'teaching' mindfulness to teenagers, please let me know!

harrietspy Tue 02-Jul-13 22:20:44

blue2 I use the Mark Williams cd regularly, along with some other longer guided body scans (Jon Kabat Zinn mainly). Hope it's useful. smile

harrietspy Tue 02-Jul-13 22:22:24

ps I'm not a teenager and have no experience of teaching mindfulness to teenagers but Mark Williams' approach is very accessible.

blue2 Tue 02-Jul-13 23:11:04

Its what this lady recommended as being the most 'accessible' way to learn about mindfulness for young people.

I think young people are put under so much pressure that its a very useful tool for them to have - whether they have a stress related ailment or not.

I'm going to search out this app with the gong!

Cheeseatmidnight Tue 02-Jul-13 23:19:55

Shamelessly page marking in bed to read tomorrow envy

MrsTwgtwf Tue 02-Jul-13 23:23:36

Even more shamelessly marking my place. smile

Nice to see so many people interested! I've got some cd's too, but haven't really got into using them. I prefer to read the books, then do the meditations myself. I bet they are good for young people though.
Have any of you tried the body scan meditation (in Jon Kabat-Zinn's book, and maybe Mark Williams' too)? I find it a good thing to do if I feel like I'm not going to be able to settle well for a sitting one. Helpful for relaxing before sleep too.

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