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(73 Posts)
holmessweetholmes Wed 12-Jun-13 09:55:37

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

EllieArroway Wed 12-Jun-13 11:00:43

I've found it so helpful in getting rid of anxiety

Really? Can you elaborate? What do you do and how does it help?

I don't know anything about "mindfulness", but if it's a form of meditation, I'm all for that.

Salbertina Wed 12-Jun-13 11:28:22

Yes, definitely interested. In fact had started a thread on v same thing yesterday but never posted...

A real refuge for me- "you are not your thoughts" my new mantra! Still after several years of reading on this /meditating etc find it hard to sit for longer than a few mins. Much easier for me to be mindful on the move-walking, running.. But think am avoiding my demons this way, need to sit with them in order to deal with them

holmessweetholmes Wed 12-Jun-13 11:36:00

Ok - in brief, the aspects of it that have helped me with anxiety are:
1) learning to 'stay in the present moment' rather than letting your mind get caught up in a spiral of negative thoughts and feelings. That sounds easier said than done, but regular mindfulness meditation sessions, plus constantly reminding yourself to 'be here now' really help.
2) Learning that your thoughts are just thoughts, they are not 'reality' (and sometimes they are not even true!) Instead of mentally reacting to your thoughts or trying to fight them or distract yourself from them, recognise them and acknowledge them for what they are ('Ah - there's an anxious thought!') and let them go.
3) We are constantly dominated and led by our tendency to like or dislike (I.e. judge) everything (places, ideas, people, opinions etc.) all the time. It is very releasing to recognise and try to resist this tendency!
There's lots more, and plenty of books on the subject. I recommend the ones by Jon Kabat-Zinn - he makes a lot of sense. I'm quite good at remembering to apply the general ideas but less good at being regular with my meditation!

holmessweetholmes Wed 12-Jun-13 11:39:58

Oh - x-posts Salbertina! Yes, the thoughts thing is key for me too. I almost laugh at myself now when I catch my 'monkey mind' going down those bad routes!
I've just installed a 'mindfulness bell' app on my phone. A bit of a gimmick perhaps, but it's meant to remind you to be mindful when it rings at intervals through the day. It's a gong sound - very Zen wink.

Lambeau Wed 12-Jun-13 12:04:18

What a great thread.

I am also trying to catch my monkey mind and do better at some times than others.

I have been working on the idea that all events are neutral and that it is up to us to interpret them however we like.

And oh how refreshing it is to give yourself permission to not have to have an opinion on everything. I had no idea how exhausting that was.

Lambeau Wed 12-Jun-13 12:05:22

Loving the mindfulness bell. I would love to sound it in the middle of some meetings wink

holmessweetholmes Wed 12-Jun-13 12:30:59

I'm actually having more trouble than usual with my monkey mind today as it is chattering about the phone call I'm waiting for, telling me whether or not I've got the job I was interviewed for yesterday! Come to think of it, maybe that's why I chose today to start this thread grin! <breathes deeply and tries not to jump at random noises>

EllieArroway Wed 12-Jun-13 13:12:17

See, that all does make perfect sense & I can see why it would help, holmes. Anxiety is rooted in intrusive thoughts - so controlling them by being calm & not rising to them is the answer, I think.

It bothers me sometimes that people think meditation is a bit woo. I don't think it is - deep relaxation and calming of our jumbled thoughts is underestimated in terms of health benefits, I reckon.

I shall look out your book recommendation. Thanks smile

(And crossing my fingers for your job interview result!)

holmessweetholmes Wed 12-Jun-13 13:22:13

Thanks! Glad you think it sounds like sense.

holmessweetholmes Wed 12-Jun-13 19:58:55

Well, I got the job smile. I was going to ask if people found meditation easy to get into. I still find it quite hard to focus.

elfycat Wed 12-Jun-13 20:15:34

Well done on getting your job smile

I've been doing meditations for about 11 years, but would say I'm still a beginner. I don't take the time to do them all of the time and some of them are connected to woo (sorry) and others are just for calmness or introspection.

I've been having a daily meditation for the last week and am not full of panic/stress/monkeys about a Literature Exam tomorrow (though I do need to look at a couple of poems tonight).

Once the exam is over I would like to work more with mindfulness. I had a dabble about 8 years ago but it didn't take and while I use some of the principles of observation and acceptance I probably need a bit more post-DC. I haven't had PND but I have been suffering from post natal irritation/stress and just about keeping on top of it. I'd like to work on being able to let that go.

holmessweetholmes Wed 12-Jun-13 21:14:05

Wow elfycat - 11 years! Do you mind me asking what branch of woo grin?

elfycat Wed 12-Jun-13 22:04:51

LOL, not at all. I took a crystal healing diploma 2004-6 with lots of meditating about energy (to put this in perspective I was working as a theatre nurse and needed ... balance. Polar opposite ends of the healing spectrum huh?). I do not come across as particularly woo if you met me.

I'm just finishing off my qualification homework to become a Bach remedy (and general essences ie Bush flower etc) therapist.

Both come under the title of 'vibrational healing' and there's quite a bit of sensing how energy in the body feels while meditating. But I also meditate without so much wooness.

I haven't really tried doing much crystal healing, except where asked. This Bach thing I could see myself doing for a living.

But I'm not always very good at meditating. Sometimes I just can't settle or find myself composing shopping and to-do lists and then I know that I'd be better off getting up and getting on. Mindfulness might be a way to do both. Do you think you can shop mindfully in Asda? grin

EllieArroway Thu 13-Jun-13 00:21:08

See - this is where I check out.

Deep meditation and relaxation has value. Involving "energy" is completely unscientific and meaningless. What "energy"? Kinetic? Chemical? What a shame meditation is infected with unscientific rubbish.

Elfy Please show some responsibility and refuse to attempt to "heal" anyone with crystals. This kind of thing can prove very dangerous.

Thank you for drawing my attention to "mindfulness", though holmes. It sounds interesting.

elfycat Thu 13-Jun-13 06:35:20

I'm not going to fill this thread with woo. I'm interested in deep relaxation for relaxation's sake, the same as the next person. I simply answered a question.

Next time I'll pm the person who asks. But just out of interest since my energy healing is, for you, a load of nonsense just how is it dangerous? I'm not an alternative practitioner. I've sent clients to doctors because I can tell they have a medical need (one person was diabetic, I can't diagnose or treat her for that). I refused to heal someone with a mental health illness because they were not complying with their medication and suggested they also needed to speak with their doctor.

So from your point of view if I can help the scientifically researched percentage of the population who can benefit from the placebo effect what is your problem?

holmessweetholmes Thu 13-Jun-13 09:23:40

Eek - didn't want to derail the mindfulness thread by asking about 'woo'. Sorry - I was just curious! Ellie - do come back and chat if you get into Mindfulness or just want to know more (not that I'm any kind of expert!)

I'm going to really try to meditate every day from now on. New job doesn't start until September and the kids are at school, so I really have no excuse!

Lambeau Thu 13-Jun-13 14:32:59

When you are meditating do you count breaths to focus you or are you able to 'control' your monkey mind (if that is the right word)?

I have tried to get into meditating a few times and never stuck at it but I would like to try again. The method I was using was to start with focusing on the breath entering and leaving the body, counting to 10. This was to give a beginner something to focus on.

Do you have any other tips for getting started with meditating? I would love to try again.

holmessweetholmes Thu 13-Jun-13 14:50:04

Yes that's what I do too, focus on the breath. I don't count because I feel like that is 'thinking' in some way iyswim. Given that I want to switch off my inner chatter, I kind of feel that giving it numbers to say instead is kind of cheating! I'm sure it helps for some people though.
I find I am easily distracted, more by physical things than intrusive thoughts, when I'm meditating - a sound, an itch, the feeling of my heart beating etc. Hard to switch those off!

elfycat Thu 13-Jun-13 15:04:32

One guided meditation group I went to had us concentrate on the way the air / felt at the nostril. We had to try to let no other thought apart from that experience into our mind.

If we did start thinking of anything else we had to forgive ourself for the lack of focus and go back to the feel of the air. If the thought returned we had to do the same and promise the thought that we would return to give it time later, but not now.

If the same thought returned again we were supposed to let it be and concentrate back on the breath but observe why we couldn't let the thought do. Trying to be detached from any emotion and observing the language and word choice, positive or negative. Or consider what is happening in your day that makes it important to think of this NOW.

This is the basis of the meditations I do. Not daily but I'm adding this onto the things I need to do each day from today. but i'll forgive myself if I miss it

Lambeau Fri 14-Jun-13 14:43:38

Thanks for the responses. I like the idea of focusing on the breath at the nostril.

I am very much a beginner and find myself just about getting there and then my monkey mind jumps in saying 'ooh am I doing it? I think I am, I'm meditating' which quite clearly is not the point. grin

Forgiveness is definitely key to progress.

holmessweetholmes Sat 15-Jun-13 07:45:01

Exactly, Lambeau. I think the idea is to lead the mind gently but firmly back to the breath, as though escorting a small, wayward child!

Kione Sat 29-Jun-13 09:10:33

Just found this thread, and I practice mindfulness and meditation. The way I do it is ro think that we are a peaceful soul and external events interfere with this peace and make us stressed etc. so when you feel like that, think that you ARE a peaceful soul. I do meditation and love it, really helped with my PMS and helps to root the idea of being peaceful soul.
Shopping at Tesco's the other day was a real challenge to my peaceful soul tho grin I have to master that!
I will download the gong thing on my phone!

holmessweetholmes Sat 29-Jun-13 10:08:54

The gong helped me out this morning actually. I was doing my 5k Parkrun and was red-faced and knackered by about 3k. Gong went off and I slowed my breathing, relaxed into it a bit and felt much better for the last 2k!

Nuralagusregina Mon 01-Jul-13 11:04:00

I've been looking for a thread like this. I took a mindfulness course to help with my anxiety during pregnancy. It helped me by giving me a different perspective on my thoughts and giving me tools ( meditation and being present) to help manage it.

This has helped as well since the birth. However, I am struggling with tiredness and self doubt. My 10 week old DD (she's a PFB smile) is still breastfeeding every 3 hours through the night and I am still anemic from a PPH. This leaves me with very little energy to interact with DD. I'm trying not to judge myself as DD appears to be doing well by any external measure. However I keep worrying over whether I'm doing the right thing ie is she sleeping too much/too little am I overstimulating her/neglecting her because I forgot to talk to her for an hour.

After reading a lot on different and conflicting childrearing experts, I've come to the conclusion nobody really knows but will fight their corner viciously anyways. This has helped me feel better but I am plagued by random thoughts of doubt I'm hurting her by not following the advice of these experts.

I don't get much time for meditation and often fall asleep when I do (which I am happy with as I need the sleep as much as the meditation).

Any tips for getting through the early days mindfully?

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