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To ask if mindfulness works for anxiety?

(28 Posts)
Tinabn Thu 17-Nov-16 19:49:30

I've suffered from anxiety for most of my life and have recently had CBT, the counsellor thinks that I cope well with managing it and that mindfulness is the next step. Has anyone tried this?

SootSprite Thu 17-Nov-16 19:53:21

I find mindfulness works when things are starting to build up, it makes me take a step back and refocus my mind. Kind of making you stop and take a few deep breaths. I find it very calming. Definitely worth a try x

VikingChallenger Thu 17-Nov-16 19:54:40

It didn't for me and I really can't see how it could have as anxiety takes over your whole body and mind. Sorry. Just keep using CBT techniques to question your thoughts.

I wish you luck though, I think there are positive stories.

Tinabn Thu 17-Nov-16 20:25:52

Thanks for the replies. I was a bit [sceptical] at first as it's going from one to one to group sessions, but I want to actually stop overthinking rather than spending all my time questioning my thoughts.

Rogue1234 Thu 17-Nov-16 20:27:11

I use a meditation app and go to the occasional class and I find it really helpful.
If I'm at work for example and starting to feel stressed out and anxious, taking a minute in a quiet room and focusing on my breathing calms me down and makes me feel more able to tackle what's coming next.
I've also found that if I'm feeling anxious before I go to bed, 10 minutes meditating makes it easier for me to get to sleep. That then makes the next day easier to deal with because I'm not exhausted as well.
If I were you, I'd give it a go alongside your CBT. If you don't like it or feel it isn't working, you don't have to carry on with it.

Tinabn Thu 17-Nov-16 20:27:12

Got the smiley wrong. Too old for them!

Leanback Thu 17-Nov-16 20:29:21

My anxiety is based in overthinking. If i'm worrying about something I will lie in bed imagining how what I am worrying about is going to manifest itself over the next few days. I can literally lie in bed worrying about things which aren't even an issue but my brain is telling me they are. Mindfulness helps me focus on the present and shut out those intrusive thoughts. I would give it a go! Can't hurt to try.

JuneBuggy Thu 17-Nov-16 20:30:05

It works for me but I'd argue we all experience anxiety in different ways so what will / won't work will differ too. I found an app called Pacifica particularly helpful.

Definitely worth giving it a try - you have nothing to lose but potentially a lot to gain!

Tinabn Thu 17-Nov-16 20:32:12

Thanks Rogue. My niece uses a mindfulness app - the anxiety is inherited throughout the family- and finds it really helpful. I will look into meditation o help me sleep as I suffer from insomnia. I will try to get onto the course as well.

RichardBucket Thu 17-Nov-16 20:34:11

Not in my experience but these things are so variable. Citalopram worked wonders for me and worked horrors for my best friend.

Nothing to lose by giving it a go!

Tinabn Thu 17-Nov-16 20:34:44

Lean back, you are me! I overthink to the end of humanity!
Definitely going for it. Will also try the app JuneBuggy.

harderandharder2breathe Thu 17-Nov-16 20:36:11

I find it useful as a distraction mainly. So walking to the train to work instead of thinking about what might happen at work, I'm only thinking about walking to the train.

Different things work for different people

SaltyBitch Thu 17-Nov-16 20:36:20

What is mindfulness?

Tinabn Thu 17-Nov-16 20:37:51

On a very low dose of citalopram as well RichardBucket as I am going all out to tackle it once and for all. It is getting better, but would love to kick it into touch.

AChristmasCactus Thu 17-Nov-16 20:40:41

I have bipolar, take 20mg Citalopram and 300mg Quetiapine. It basically staves off mania and severe depression, but I'm left with moderate depression/anxiety. Mindfulness has really worked for me. It's actually being taught to medical students in the UK and Australia because it's so good for stress management.

Give it a go.

murmuration Thu 17-Nov-16 20:44:13

I use the Headspace App (meditation) and the Anxiety pack is all about mindfullness. I did help me, although it takes a while. I've been doing it 2 years now and have just done Anexity for the third time. First time already was a noticeable difference, but only now do I really feel like I'm getting a lot better. The Sleep pack helped me a lot too! I use to to sleep every night now and usually drift off before he's even done talking.

pastizzi Thu 17-Nov-16 20:47:24

Mindfulness really helps me to let the anxious thoughts pass through without me giving them any attention/ adding any fear.

Fearful reaction to thoughts is what got me into all my trouble in he first place...

CharliePurple Thu 17-Nov-16 20:49:22

I know a lot of people rave about mindfulness but I just don't get it, the one thing that stopped my anxiety was running - I now run twice a day and have been off the tablets for three months; it's improved my self confidence and got rid of my depression and anxiety that has plagued me since my teens.
I think it can work for some but i could never relax enough to make it work.

Tinabn Thu 17-Nov-16 21:04:45

CharliePurple, I am concerned about not being able to relax enough to use mindfulness, I use distraction all the time but sometimes need three things on the go to keep the thoughts out.

CharliePurple Thu 17-Nov-16 21:23:25

Distraction always worked better than relaxation for me, I could never switch off from all the thoughts about meal plans, work, any kind of things just buzzing through my head and all kinds of worries like when Tim peake went to the ISS I was lying awake worrying about him!
Running works well, I look at the views, occasionally I swim and counting the lengths clears my mind.

murmuration Thu 17-Nov-16 21:26:22

But mindfulness isn't about keeping the thoughts out. It's about observing them from a bit of 'distance' so they lose their power, if that makes sense? So you go, "Oh, that's an anxious thought. How interesting about my breath getting fast and my stomach getting all crampled and feeling dizzy. That's my body being anxious too." I've found my body actually gets anxious before an anxious thought so now I notice that and go, "oh, my body is feeling anxious. I wonder what about? Oh, that!" But it's much less severe because it's like its something else that's passing through.

murmuration Thu 17-Nov-16 21:27:09


But I'm liking 'crampled'. It should be a real word.

AChristmasCactus Thu 17-Nov-16 21:27:22

You don't have to relax to be mindful. It's about observing your thoughts in the moment. It's not about relaxation at all.

Esmereldada Thu 17-Nov-16 21:27:49

I'd say it reduces mine by about half.

AChristmasCactus Thu 17-Nov-16 21:27:54

murmuration sorry, cross-post and yours was more articulate than mine!

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