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Mindfulness

For sharing your experiences and feelings about mental illness
breatheinandout
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:03 am
Location: UK

Re: Mindfulness

Postby breatheinandout » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:57 pm

What a brilliant idea for a thread amaya. I have just come through a tough few weeks and am feeling a bit wobbly and tearful and sorry for myself - and was thinking I hadn't been practicing... So this will really encourage me to try and get it back into my routine.

It always amazes me how many thoughts come into my mind - its almost like they are jumping over each other.

I like the way mindfulness is called practice: you come, you observe, you practice - you try to just be.

Completely agree about doing a course, thats how i got my head round it and really appreciated hearing other peoples experiences. If anyone is a fan of short practices, I was recommended an app called buddhify, it does cost, think its about £1.50 and it has medications for different situations and lengths of time.

The labelling thing is interesting - see what you mean ATTMP about sounds and connecting with the meaning, then it takes you towards judging / feeling something. I sometimes find it helps if i imagine the word written on a label eg 'shouting in the street' and then see it floating away.

But mindfulness isn't for everyone or for every mental health condition (how about if your thoughts are just too painful or traumatic?) I think the evidence is that it can help with some levels of depression and anxiety. Thats why it seems like a bit of a fad in a sense, the healthcare profession has got behind it because of research so it is fashionable at the moment.
Why did i pick such a long username?! Do call me Biao :D

deb1960
Posts: 1650
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:14 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby deb1960 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:58 pm

Hi Amaya

I did a mindfulness course about two years ago. I didn't really follow it through thinking it didn't work for many people. I'm starting a course in January. From what people on here say it can be of great help.

I managed to be mindful for a period of time recently and it was very helpful. This wasn't meditation it was being mindful when I was out.

I think we all have endless thoughts, it could drive you mad. The good thing about mindfulness is that you can't fail. Every time you bring yourself back to the present moment you can congratulate yourself.

Great idea for a thread. We can all help each other.

Deb x

amaya
Posts: 731
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby amaya » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:37 pm

Wow this thread is going waay better than expected. I have such a massive smile, I love the idea we can all encourage each other with something that really helps. Gives hope :)

Isap, I don't think I would manage to be "mindful all day" haha, I meant a little everyday. I know it is possible to bring mindfulness into any part of the day.. but I do not find that so easy yet. I am trying to do 30m a day at the moment as a formal practice and I already feel that it is making me feel calmer at other times when I was expecting to be a bit aggitated.

"Good thread, hopefully will encourage us all to get more into it. I did a 20 minute session this morning first time in ages" This is so awesome. I also managed my session again today as a result of being encouraged by all the responses on here :)

ATTMP, MBSR and MCBT are completely different approaches. MBSR is entirely based on Mindfulness practice to enable stress reduction and to help people to better coping with living, especially aimed at people with health conditions, but anyone can follow the program. MCBT is basically Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, but then with a Mindfulness component to make it more effective.

For me the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction techniques are wonderfully helpful but anything based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy makes me worse, even if they are linking it with Mindfulness practice somehow.

Here is a wikipedia article on MCBT that seems to give a clear explanation for anyone interested and also distinguishes it from MBSR:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulne ... ve_therapy

Here is a link from the Centre for Mindfulness founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn (whose profile is also available on their website) where they apparently provide both along with a description about which is good for what condition:
https://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/mindfulnes ... -programs/

ACT also uses Mindfulness a lot.

I think because Mindfulness is just so good for getting on with reality it can be of benefit to so many therapeutic approaches if it is used in parallel. For me right now, without treatment or proper diagnosis it is the only thing I have in my life that is helping me to move forward in my self understanding and learning how to cope with how I think, feel and experience things. I think it would have immense value to anyone, mental health issues or not.

"labeling still creates a spike in my thoughts" is it necessary to actively work to change that, or is it one of those things to accept and just observe that your brain wants to do that?

BIAO, awesome that you liked the thread too :) But sorry to hear that you have been struggling.

"It always amazes me how many thoughts come into my mind - its almost like they are jumping over each other." Yes haha glad to know I am not the only one who has so many!

"I like the way mindfulness is called practice: you come, you observe, you practice - you try to just be."
Me too, it takes the pressure off when there is no wrong thing to be experiencing, not many things in life are that simple. Even when you don't feel good it is okay, and that is very relieving for me.

"The labelling thing is interesting - see what you mean ATTMP about sounds and connecting with the meaning, then it takes you towards judging / feeling something."
I do think our brains do this as a natural survival process, identification and judgement. If we didn't do this and react quicker than thinking we wouldn't have survived as a species.. it is just that in most modern world situations labelling and judging everything is not at all necessary and we need the observational distance that mindfulness gives. But I feel like if we judge the labelling and judging process then we are still judge ourselves for something we do automatically.

I was recently reading some of Jon Kabat-Zinn's Full Catastrophic Living, and he says a major component of the non-judgmental part of mindfulness is not to judge your judging. It is enough to notice that your mind wants to judge, and remain yourself an impartial witness to the process. That way you develop true non-judgmentalness rather than trying to stop something unconscious. I guess it is the awareness of our judgmental nature that allows us to choose how to respond instead of reacting with judgment.

"But mindfulness isn't for everyone or for every mental health condition (how about if your thoughts are just too painful or traumatic?)"
And this is why I can't use it in a crisis. In a trauma related emotional flashback it would be dangerous for me. But then grounding exercises can sometimes help. But I must say, as someone who almost certainly has a severe form of complex post traumatic stress disorder.. practicing mindfulness when I am not in a crisis does mean that I am better able to protect myself from getting into a crisis in the first place. If anyone has difficulty with strong emotions or impulses or difficult thoughts in this way, I would suggest building up slowly. I actually started with only one minute and added a minute everyday when I felt like it, if not I kept it at the level I had reached. Now I can do 30m and I am much more tolerant of my own emotional state.

I think it seems like a fad because we haven't used it so much in the west until recently. In the east some forms of mindfulness mediatation have been used for thousands of years. It is actually very tried and tested. There is however a lot of nonsense online about mindfulness that sometimes isn't so helpful and that's why it is good if we share trustworthy resources with each other.

Deb, so cool that you already have a course planned. I have never been on an official course, been doing my own from books and YouTube etc. You guys are making me think I should look one up sometime!

Do give us updates and reviews I am interested to hear how it goes and how you find it :)

Sorry to make such a massive post everyone, your eyes are probably hurting if you read all that, but I am so excited that we have such a nice thing to try together. It has given me a really big smile tonight, more than once :) :)

Isap
Posts: 1619
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:13 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby Isap » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:17 am

Damn, my phone had virus and had to reboot. So lost all my audio downloads.

I remembered one which was good and here it is

https://www.padraigomorain.com/audio.html

nice Irish voice. If you're a beginner I recommend 10 minute breathing meditation

Isap
Posts: 1619
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:13 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby Isap » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:32 am

Hi ATTMP

Thanks for nice message

The following is the best site for free audio

http://www.freemindfulness.org/download

I like the 20 minute seated or sitting meditation by Kieran Fleck he concentrayes specifically on outside sounds towards end of practice

Isap
Posts: 1619
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:13 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby Isap » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:22 am

Another nice site

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~healthed/relax/downloads.html

I think this has a nice 5 minute meditation with tree frogs in the background

amaya
Posts: 731
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby amaya » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:15 pm

Thanks again Isap. You are a mine of Mindfulness information and I have no idea when I will have the time to look it all up. Awesome. We are never going to run out of inspiration :)

Here is what I have been up to:

I have used this every day for four days now. It is a simple meditation aid with just bells for sounds and a really short written intro and positive message at the end:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0nhVS1hkSI
This one is 30m long but there are various videos from the same channel with different times. Good because it is so basic you can really just spend the time with your breath.

Here is a good introduction to the beginning of Vipassana meditation, which is essentially just Mindfulness with another name. But one very specific technique to achieve better awareness of yourself and with a very specific interpretation of what that means. Whereas Mindfulness includes a variety of techniques for being in the moment, Vipassana is much more prescriptive. I find it helpful to use for short meditations. This video is from a more extreme course that is ten days of meditation, ten hours a day haha. Not something they advise for people with mental health issues. But I find the video helpful in any case:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz7QHNvNFfA
It is not religious, but it has it's roots (like all mindfulness practice) in buddhism. There is a philosophy behind it, but not one that is confined to religion.
(I presume there are nine more videos, one for each day of their retreat, but I have not watched the rest yet!)
(My psychiatrist in the UK was the first person to mention Vipassana to me as a good idea to help with emotional instability, but he also thought a ten day retreat was not a good idea.)

I have added these because even though the Vipassana uses a different approach, so far I find it compliments nicely the Jon Kabat-Zinn / MBSR approach. Another angle on the same basic idea of a non-religious practice to bring a person closer to their own experience of reality in the moment and a way of making peace with that moment and with ourselves.

deb1960
Posts: 1650
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:14 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby deb1960 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:30 pm

I understand mindfulness is pretty hard

Isap, would you say with regular work it makes a good difference? I don't know why I'm asking, most people on here speak well of it. I really want to learn to cope with my anxiety.

Debs xx

Isap
Posts: 1619
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:13 pm

Re: Mindfulness

Postby Isap » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:59 am

Hi Debs

Yes, with regular work it will make a difference.

I would start off with that 5 minute tree frog meditation. Make sure you do every day. Then try s 10 minute one, if you think you can manage, I would suggest from the Padraig site. As long as you do every day religiously, you know you are on the right path. Don't expect instant results. It will take time but you are learning a life skill

Isap xx

christabel
Posts: 1999
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:49 am

Re: Mindfulness

Postby christabel » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:38 pm

Hi all

Thank you for the links. Feeling a lot calmer now after a week of tension.

Chris.


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