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Forums / Staying well / Mindfulness: What Is It? (Even if you dont know please post so we can help grow the forums accordingly)

Topic: Mindfulness: What Is It? (Even if you dont know please post so we can help grow the forums accordingly)

  1. Sueetties
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    26 October 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello everyone,

    I just came across this thread and mindfulness caught my eyes so I hope it's ok I write something here. I don't have experience to share but is it ok to ask questions?

    I really want to find out how long it will take to see the full benefit from practising mindfulness. Many people said it's very useful to calm our mind or take away stress as it brings our attention to the present moment. My mind always wanders around when practising the breathing part. The exercise is only about 10 mins. I have only just started not long ago (approx 2 weeks) but I don't find it particularly helpful as yet but I don't want to give up. I have the smiley mind/head space app on my phone and do it before bedtime. still sleepless most nights. is it normal not to feel anything at the beginning?

    1 person found this helpful
  2. blondguy
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    26 October 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi everyone! New members are very welcome to have their say too :-)

    Hey Quirky.....I used to try the counting and breathing technique too yet it really didnt do anything for me. Just for me...my concentration isnt up to it. I had a psychologist that mentioned gently focusing about a single word like 'Blank' or 'Boring' and I was asleep within 5 minutes....Thankyou heaps for all your help on the thread too Q :-)

    1 person found this helpful
  3. blondguy
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    26 October 2018 in reply to Sueetties

    Hello Sueetties

    Its great to have you post on the forums with us and thank you! If we didnt have new members posting on the forums would cease to exist. Your input is highly valued on any thread you choose to post on!

    I wrote this topic a while ago and still have difficulty with the word 'mindfulness' sometimes. What you are doing is excellent with the smiley head/mind app and the breathing techniques too! You are very proactive with your health and kudos to you :-)

    It does take some time to engage a new type of mindset and find some peace in our lives. It can sometimes take weeks or even months to be 'gentle with ourselves' using the techniques you are

    Sometimes we have various issues in our lives that can make our sleep quality poor. Can I ask if you are going through a stressful time in your life recently?

    I really hope you can stick around the forums.....if you wish...and when its convenient for you of course :-)

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Sueetties
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    28 October 2018 in reply to blondguy

    Hi Paul,

    thank you for your reply. Life is not partucular stressful recently. My insomnia has been ongoing for years and I have been diagnosed with depression few mths ago. I thought of trying mindfulness exercise to calm my mind and hopefully improve the sleep quality but don’t see particularly helpful. I guess I have to be more patient if it’s taking mths to see the benefits

    Yes I will stick around here. I find it very inspiring to read other posts and have learned something. Thank you.

    3 people found this helpful
  5. blondguy
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    28 October 2018 in reply to Sueetties

    Hi Sueetties

    Thanks for taking the time to post back!

    When you have some spare time there are some excellent suggestions on this thread where mindfulness is concerned from members that have a better grasp on it than I have.

    Just for myself I find gardening a form of mindfulness as it provides peace for my mind by focusing on the task at hand. I have been diagnosed with depression/anxiety 22 years ago and have been doing what I can to simplify my life since and make it less complicated and busy (similar to mindfulness)

    Can I ask how your depression is going if thats okay? Mine is under management and doing a lot better and have worked through most of it....which was hard work (understatement of the decade)

    Thankyou for being a part of Beyond Blue and the forums :-)

    my kind thoughts (hope your weekend has been good to you)

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  6. smallwolf
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    28 October 2018 in reply to Sueetties

    Sueetties,

    In one of your earlier posts you asked about how long it takes for mindfulness to work or feel the benefits. A few thoughts...

    • I was reading a book recommended by my psych which had different mindfulness exercises. Not all worked for. So I have to find one that works for me.
    • In the same book, deep breathing as a mindful exercise, the author said to put the book down and only return after completing an exercise, which was doing this exercise every hour for 5-7 days. And cause I work(ed) from home I could do that part easily.
    • my mind can wander and does still occasionally wander. But I also learnt from guided meditations on my phone that if your thoughts do wander, that is ok, but in my case with deep breathing, returning focus to the breath.
    • Other tools might help, like something physical. I have prayer beads. I can focus on those while repeating some mindfulness mantra.
    • (My psych also said that) it is something that you need to practice on the good days as well as the bad. A never-ending practice?

    I am not sure if the above helps to answer any of your questions. You also have to give into it a bit also. There was one meditation for me that was sounded a bit new-age, and 1/2 way through caught me off guard. At the same time I also said to myself that I needed to give it a chance. So a small amount of belief goes a long way.

    Hope that helps?

    Tim

    4 people found this helpful
  7. quirkywords
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    29 October 2018 in reply to Sueetties

    Sueetties

    I am glad you found this thread. It is my go to thread as well Pauls Do you love yourself, because I find I can drop in and ask a question or make a comment and always learn something.

    Remember when you never thought you would get to 5 posts and now you are nearly at double figures well done.

    I too have trouble sleeping and have had for decades but I still keep trying differnet techniques and am open for suggestions.

    Tim, you suggestions are very practical thanks. I have been guilty of not giving things a chance but now I try to be more flexible.

    Paul, thanks for the idea about one word, but do you breathe as you visualise each letter, or just imagine the letter. I would think I would need a long word.

    Thanks again Paul for this thread.

    Quirky

    3 people found this helpful
  8. Sueetties
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    29 October 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Tim,

    thanks for your many suggestions. I am just the beginner in mindfulness exercise and it may explain why I find it so difficult. I just practised tonight for 15 mins; and I didn’t feel anything. It made me wonder if I do it right or my mind just wanders too far away. The guided man said “it’s completely normal if our minds wander away”. So bring to back to our breath.

    I will try some of your suggestions and see if any helps. Very interesting prayer beads ....

    I had googled the difference between mindfulness and meditation and just found out they are theoretically the same thing! :)

    Paul,

    depression is sitting on my head all the time. I am on antidepressant which seems to start working now (wk 4). It is getting there I hope!

    Sleeplessness has been ongoing for my whole life. One of the culprits I reckon is drinking too much tea, but it’s just to hard to give up. I tried to cut back by half, slowly... I also tried different herbs but didn’t help. I struggle every night. The last resort is taking a sleeping pill but i don’t really want to rely on it. I only take it about once a wk to put me sleep.

    Quirky, if you find something works for sleeping, pls let me know! :) thank you.

    2 people found this helpful
  9. blondguy
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    30 October 2018 in reply to Sueetties

    Hi Sueetties (and thankyou heaps Tim and Quirky for your support on mindfulness!)

    You have tried so very hard to have a decent sleep and good on you for trying the various health remedies that are available too. I think that natural remedies are a good idea as I have always had a super healthy diet including drinking heaps of Nerada tea from QLD...yum!

    Just for me the tea isnt a problem....I spent over 10 years trying to get a good nights sleep and even though I never liked the idea of meds...I started a small dose of antidepressants which decreased my anxiety by approx 70% (with regular visits to my GP/psychologist for counseling)

    Good on you for taking the AD's. I am neither pro or anti meds. Its only my opinion Sueetties.....If our continual lack of sleep has an ongoing negative effect on our day to day well being there may be a need for a small dosage of meds so we can function reasonably well (depending on what our GP thinks of course)

    For my own symptoms...I take a small dosage of a benzo when required before bed.

    Hey Tim (Smallwolf) If you have any additional help where mindfulness is concerned...please let us know :-)

    My kind thoughts

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  10. Sueetties
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    8 November 2018 in reply to blondguy

    Hello Paul,

    I believe patience is crucial while engaging a new thing especially this is something intangible. I am trying a new form of mindfulness involving "visualisation". I feel like more focused as it takes me to an imaginary place rather than focussing on your breath. I have tried a few nights- yet still to see the benefits of it. Additionally, I am also doing mindfulness while running. The one I tried was 30 min long and I feel really good as I can sense my body while exercising. I will stick to this form for a month perhaps and see if any effects on me.

    Even though it doesn't work, it is no harm to try..... it is just a long haul process!

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    sueetties

    1 person found this helpful
  11. quirkywords
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    8 November 2018 in reply to Sueetties

    hello everyone practising, learning or struggling with mindfulness,

    Suetties,

    I agree patience and determination are important when trying mindfulness.

    I also think one needs to be flexible and maybe tailor something that suits them.

    if you can block out the overthinking even for a little while by breathing or visualising, it will help a bit.

    If you scroll back and browse through the thread there are some interesting posts with ideas that may help.

    One thing I have learnt from this thread is that mindfulness can take different forms from gardening, to eating to knitting to washing up.

    Aslong as you are focussing on one thing and totally in the moment that can help you .

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Spitfire1
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    8 November 2018
    i have and still trying to stay in the present, to acknowlege the bad thoughts and to let them slide away so they do not screw me up every time they are there but I find it so damn hard 1 minute I find that what is in my head controlling me the next I am so fuzzy headed and messed up that I really do wonder about myself my family & work people are worried about me I feel like that I do not respond to them appropriately. What is the best strategy for mindfulness I know what works for 1 might not for someone else, but I am open to suggestions, i feel like my mind is wandering all the time and would don't know how to keep it in the present any more. Not really feeling badly enough to be honest that I want to hurt myself but probably definately fuzzy headed and a lot of wandering thoughts.
  13. Spitfire1
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    9 November 2018 in reply to Spitfire1
    Just an afterthought reading through some of the earlier posts i agree it does take patience and perseverance and I will go through many of the earlier posts to read up on mindfulness, strategies and other info something I did not do when posting earlier. So patience, time, perseverance, hard work I believe is probably the start to mind control and to feel better about yourself.
  14. Sueetties
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    9 November 2018 in reply to Spitfire1

    Hi there Spitfire1,

    I am still struggling in mindfulness although I have been practising like 5 wks now. I went to my psychologist last week and addressed the issue of not getting the feel of it. The answer is that you need to practise and be patient. If you are a beginner like me, it would need a lot of practices and time to see the benefits. There isn’t a short cut. I have app and have tried some YouTube and I am going to borrow some books to read.

    As Quicky mentioned in the earlier post there are different forms and you may like to try one by one and see which one suits you!

    There are a lot of helpful resources around for you to try. See which one is right for you. Good luck.

    1 person found this helpful
  15. blondguy
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    9 November 2018 in reply to Sueetties

    Hi Everyone :-) New members are more than welcome to post their views too!

    Hey Quirky......Thanks heaps for your support and your great post too.....You mentioned "As long as you are focussing on one thing and totally in the moment that can help you" I agree with this Quirky as having a mind that overthinks would make 'mindfulness' difficult...One set of thoughts at a time.....Good1

    Hey Spitfire......Great to see you and thankyou for your valued post too! You brought up an excellent point when you mentioned "i have and still trying to stay in the present, to acknowledge the bad thoughts and to let them slide away so they do not screw me up every time they are there" You are spot on as this is the hardest part to get a handle on. I am still learning and open to any suggestions as you mentioned. Nice1 :-)

    Hey Sueetties.....Always a bonus to have your input on the forums and thankyou too! I agree with you that it requires patience to have the ability to practice Mindfulness. You mentioned " I feel like more focused as it takes me to an imaginary place rather than focussing on your breath" This is spot on as when my anxiety was bad breathing techniques were non productive...yet visual or audio distractions really worked!

    Without being boring...back in the 1980's my psychologists' used 'acceptance' therapy which worked very well. Once we truly accept these awful symptoms of anxiety/depression the fear dissipates making the anxious thoughts impotent and thus leaves us without the fear that triggers the anxiety in the first place

    Like mindfulness...this also takes time and practise too

    Thankyou everyone for helping others by posting :-)

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  16. quirkywords
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    11 November 2018 in reply to blondguy

    Hello everyone,

    Paul acceptance is still around and I think it is easier than it sounds and is quite hard to accept things we may have felt ashamed about.

    I think the word mindfulness can scare some people and sometimes it is just one more thing we may struggle with.

    I think we need to know what works for ourselves and then tailor that to suit our needs.

    Some people don’t like deep breathing, some don’t like yoga, or visualising , or grounding whereas these things work for others,

    try and test what helps you and have an open mind to try things and give them a go.

    Quirky

    3 people found this helpful
  17. blondguy
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    15 November 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hey everyone....New/Existing members are very welcome to post their thoughts about Mindfulness!

    Hey Quirky..thankyou so much for your help with this thread and helping others understand mindfulness

    Just a note re 'Acceptance Therapy'.....Im sorry if I was generalizing. Calm and true 'acceptance' of our symptoms (whether anxiety or depression related) is important as it dissipates the 'fear' that we have where anxiety/panic is concerned. This therapy has been around for a long time and only treats the symptoms.....

    It doesnt involve anything that we may be ashamed of in any way. Its a huge help where symptoms of anxiety or depression is concerned. This therapy has been around for long time

    Reference : 'Self Help for Your Nerves' by Dr Claire Weekes. The only psychiatrist I am aware of that has written a book(s) about her own clinical anxiety and depression. Dr Weekes does discuss 'Acceptance Therapy' in all of her books. Its been in print for many years and is also available on the internet (download) too

    You mentioned "I think we need to know what works for ourselves and then tailor that to suit our needs" You are spot on Quirky where mild anxiety is concerned yet its really up to our psychologist/GP to make the call on what will work best for us and then tailor that to suit our symptoms

    Have a great day everyone

    Paul

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  18. Sueetties
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    15 November 2018 in reply to blondguy

    Hello anyone reading this,

    I actually wanted to borrow a mindfulness self help book from the library. But when I went to the library all the mindulness books were either on loan or located in other libraries. The only book that was available on the shelf is called mindfulness - based stress reduction (MBSR) by Linda Lehrhaupt. It is kind of an introduction to an 8 wk MBSR course.

    One thing I found it interesting is that it introduces mindful eating exercise using 3 raisins and it involves our 5 senses :-

    1. Sense of sight
    2. sense of touch
    3. Sense of hearing
    4. Sense of smell
    5. Sense of taste

    The book outlines the steps how to eat and explore/sense each raisin slowly. This is interesting. I would never think it could relate to our everyday life. the concept of mindfulness here is like a baby who has never seen a raisin - exploring whatever arises for you.

    After eating the raisins, some participants said they had no idea of how a raisin looks the way it does. And each of the raisin experience is completely different.

    The core idea remains ‘being mindful’ - in practising mindfulness, we learn to be aware of the moments when we are not aware. This sounds really the basic but to be honest it’s easier said than done!

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  19. quirkywords
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    16 November 2018 in reply to Sueetties

    Hello everyone,

    Sueetties thanks for mentioning that book and reminding us of mindful eating.

    I know I eat way too fast at times and just slowing down can be hard. I tried the exercise with a mandating the first time and it is interesting what you notice and learn.

    I think using our sense when we walk or do many activities helps us to be in the moment concentrate and focus and stop us from being distracted by loads of other thoughts.

    It is true that mindfulness can sound basic but it is quite hard at times as we live in a world full of distractions and where we are expected to multi task all the time.

    Thanks again Sueetties for your helpful post.

    Have other people tried mindful eating?

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  20. Artgaz
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    16 November 2018 in reply to Spitfire1

    Hi Spitfire1

    I have the same problem but one practice I find helpful and miss when I forget.

    I call it my shower meditation. After I wash the outside, I then wash the inside. I imagine I am a dirty glass bottle and I clean the gunk out when I first started it I really noticed around my shoulders and lower back are where I am clogged and need extra cleaning. The more I do it the more easier it feels and does not take long. once clean you appear to be more in tune with the thoughts that clog you up.

    I still can breakdown, I still get angry and the silly thoughts are still there but I appears to be able to change my mood easier. I hope this makes sense.

    3 people found this helpful
  21. blondguy
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    16 November 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hey Quirky and Everyone!

    Really great to have your ongoing support and helpful posts on 'Mindfulness'...You are a legend Quirky!

    Hey Sueetties.....as Quirky mentioned above thankyou for your input and your reference "mindfulness - based stress reduction (MBSR) by Linda Lehrhaupt" The more information we have on mindfulness the better we will all be :-)

    Hey Artgaz...Welcome to the forums and thankyou for you support on the Mindfulness thread too...Greatly appreciated! You make perfect sense Artgaz....Your input re shower meditation is a great idea...Original and very helpful too :-) I hope you can stick around the forums when its convenient for you!

    Thankyou again everyone (thumbs up!)

    Paul

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