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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. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    28 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Ecomama, what a gret description of what Just sara wrote bout hpw anxiety and depression relate differently to mindfulness.

    So interesting.

    I wonder if people have personal experience of the difference with mindfulness with anxiety and or depression,

  2. blondguy
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    28 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi EM and everyone! New members are always welcome to post too :-)

    Hey EM....Thankyou so much for your excellent post. Mindfulness can be sometimes be difficult to practise when we are in a dark place....You are spot on EM...JustSara's post is brilliant

    Hey Quirky.....Thankyou again for your unswerving support and input on a subject that I have always found somewhat difficult to comprehend....( I am doing my best though!)

    my kind thoughts always

    Paul

  3. CMF
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    29 May 2020 in reply to blondguy
    Hi all

    I have been using Smiling Mind app and meditating each night before bed. Sometimes a morning one too. It really focuses on breathing for mindfulness. Paying attention to the breath, feeling the breath enter and leave the body etc. One exercise is to practise mindfulness/breathin when doing a certain thing ie everytime you open a door or everytime you sit down. I'm still new at it but enjoying it. It's something I never thought I could do.

    Cmf x
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  4. CMF
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    29 May 2020 in reply to blondguy
    I've been stretching. Paying attention to how my body feels when I stretch. Gently of course..
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  5. ecomama
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    30 May 2020 in reply to CMF

    CMF said:I've been stretching. Paying attention to how my body feels when I stretch. Gently of course..

    Wow CMF.

    Under guidance from my chiro... Years ago he said that I had a back like a "tortoise shell" and to him this indicates "protection"... curling up to protect.

    So when we feel scared or anxious, or have a compressed feeling in our chest.... Instead of curling up by instinct, we can affirm to our body and mind that we are safe. The crucifix exercise he gave me: Stand up & open arms and legs into a star shape. Wrists flexed as far back as comfortable. Head back exposing neck.

    EM

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  6. CMF
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    30 May 2020 in reply to ecomama
    Hi Em,

    Love that info, thanks for sharing.

    Makes so much sense and I love the 'tortoise shell example.

    How is your stretching going? Are you finding it helpful?

    Take care

    Cmf x
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  7. Elizabeth CP
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    30 May 2020 in reply to CMF

    I was recently asked by my psych to try mindfulness. Normally I'm very goal orientated but now depression, tiredness & lots of life stressors have made it very hard to be motivated so when I do anything I'm having to really push myself & then even things I should enjoy are just a chore. The way my psych wants me to do mindfulness is to concentrate on the journey rather than the goal.

    The one way I find this easier is walking when I take time to enjoy the walk. Recently I took my young grandkids for a walk. They were constantly stopping to throw things in puddles. Watching them float or sink. They started bringing rocks to ask how they were made leading to a full geology lesson. Other times they balanced on narrow walls or pieces of wood. I just went at their pace with no plan of where to go. It was much better than my normal walk where I try to do a route to get the exercise done quickly. Good physically but not so good mentally.

    I need to find ways to do this with other projects. Recently I was doing something which I've been finding stressful. I purposely tried to take moments of time to stop & think about what I was doing and get some pleasure or a break from the pressure.

    I'm interested in others ideas to help/ encourage me

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  8. ecomama
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    30 May 2020 in reply to CMF

    CMF said:Hi Em,

    Love that info, thanks for sharing.

    Makes so much sense and I love the 'tortoise shell example.

    How is your stretching going? Are you finding it helpful?

    Take care

    Cmf x

    ABSOLUTELY!

    I work with a lot of clients who've had abuse in their background. I'm currently supporting family members who have also.

    When anyone says to me things like "I can't breathe from the stress etc" and usually they are hunched over, if I feel the timing is appropriate then I say can you do this with me?.....

    And I show them how to do the crucifix stretch. The wrists flexed back is like the "ping" moment, once you flex your wrists back and your head back, something happens. You can feel the change.

    If we reflect upon the behavior of animals in a fright / flight / freeze state - heightened awareness / vigilance and they've 'flipped' - amygdala is exposed... like us, then they cover their vital organs of stomach and neck. We do too instinctively. We are animals after all.

    Following constant heightened states of anxiety / trauma / abuse..... to affirm to our bodies that we are safe supports a correction of balance.

    It's also a great pose for breastfeeding mothers - hunching to feed and protect babies/

    It's also a great pose for gardeners lol - pushing barrows, raking, sweeping, digging etc.

    It's also great for anyone using computers at sit down desks a lot. That's why I love the stand up desk. Affirming a feeling of being safe.

    Love EM

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  9. quirkywords
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    30 May 2020 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hello everyone

    lizabeth that was a lovely description of a walk with your grandsons. I felt peaceful reading it.

    am not good at crafts, art etc, but I took up knitting well just plain stitch scarves and it doesn't matter if I ever finish them because when I feel a bit stressed and worried I sit and knit . Even a few rows helps me to be in the moment. I also like walks but I am alone but I just look at the different houses breathe in as I walk up a steep hill, and feel how cold it is against my cheeks.

    Way back people talked about eating mindfully, instead of eating fast try , looking smelling, maybe feeling if it is a fruit, before eating then eating slowly,. This helped me as I am a fast eater at times.

    Thanks Elizabeth

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  10. blondguy
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    8 June 2020 in reply to CMF

    Hey CMF.. ecomama...ElizabethCP...Quirky and Everyone!

    Thankyou for your super helpful &ongoing contribution to the discussion :-)

    Maybe I am inexperienced with 'Mindfulness' and its meaning (as per my thread topic) yet I just find 'grounding' myself in the 'moment' very effective.. in the early 1980's psychologists/psychiatrists never mentioned mindfulness during my appointments

    All contributions are always welcome and appreciated!

    Have a really good week amazing people.....Paul

  11. CMF
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    9 June 2020 in reply to blondguy
    Hi all,

    Thx Paul. It does take time doesn't it, but we'll get there.

    Em, I am enjoying the stretching although
    forgetting to do it at times. I love the 'crucifix' suggestion. I noticed a few months ago I was breathing differently. Deeper, slower. Don't know why but it's good and I'm conscious of doing it.

    Today I was pulling out weeds. Couldn't find my gardening gloves or tools so used bare hands. I noticed the soil was very soft and very wet and cold.The weeds came out easily, I love the feeling of the bigger weeds coming out roots and all. I used a small shovel to turn the soil,it turned easily. Before I picked up little miss from school I sat at a local cafe and had a chai. Had to sit outside and I was cold but the hot chai was lovely, with a hint of honey. I enjoyed the sweetness.

    That was my mindfulness today.

    Cmf x
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  12. quirkywords
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    13 June 2020 in reply to CMF

    Hello all

    Donyou think once we concentrated on being in the moment but now with all the distractions of phones and i

    ads and laptops and lots of noise,

    CMF mentioned weeding. We have always gardened but we didn’t call it mindfulness,

    I wonder have we over complicated our lives and then we create a whole industry about mindfulness.

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  13. Elizabeth CP
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    13 June 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    I think that there are a few things which we now need to do on purpose which was done automatically in the past. For example in earlier time people worked with their hands & walked everywhere. Now we use cars & labour saving devices so we need to go to the gym or do specific exercises to make up for the execise we no longer do automatically.

    I guess mindfullness is a way of getting us back in the moment

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  14. blondguy
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    19 June 2020 in reply to CMF

    Hi Everyone...New members are always welcome to post too!

    Hey CMF..Quirky and ElizabethCP...thankyou so much for contributing your thoughts on Mindfulness

    Just a note...Nurse Jenn posted an excellent post on another thread re mindfulness and how simple it really is. When I find her post I will copy & paste it in here....it was really good...and yes it included 'losing ourselves' when we are doing the gardening!

    Happy Friday amazing people x

    Paul

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  15. Balance
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    19 June 2020

    Hi Everyone,

    VISUALISATION is the tool I use to practice Mindfulness.

    Mindfulness for me is simply living my life Moment by Moment, one Day at a time.

    How did I arrive at this point?

    I broke my life down into the natural rhythm of the 7 days of the week, and a profound shift occurred.

    Focusing on living one day at a time brought strength, joy and gratitude to my life.

    I also visualise one particular word on the day in the week, ie. on Wednesday HEALING and I then meditate on this word. So every Wednesday for instance, I visualise my own healing and say or txt a few words to a person who might be in need of a healing thought etc.

    Mindfulness has become a way of life for me now.

    These are the 7 words/qualities I focus on and practise each day:

    Focus on Monday practising Patience
    Focus on Tuesday practising Courage
    Focus on Wednesday practising Healing
    Focus on Thursday practising Faithfulness
    Focus on Friday practising Caring
    Focus on Saturday practising Stillness
    Focus on Sunday practising Balance

    Where Focus goes Energy flows ... and by focusing on a new word every day unhelpful thinking patterns can be changed one thought at a time, one day at a time.

    The structure of this simple exercise can bring hope and balance to a person's life.

    Warm regards,

    B


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  16. quirkywords
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    21 June 2020 in reply to Balance

    Thanks balance,

    for your thoughtful words to focus on each day of the week,

    very helpful.

  17. smallwolf
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    21 June 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi All.

    YES, phones, ads, laptops etc are unwanted distractions. Though we may also use them when starting mental health exercises. My father a case in point - he would do the exercises assigned by his psychologist at the laptop. They become unwanted distractions when they interfere with our regular lives.

    Mindfulness is more of an activity focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts - perhaps as words or images on the side of a bus or train leaving a station.

    Our lives have become complicated for many different reasons, perhaps too many to list here. Mindfulness however been around for a very long time, but came into western thought in the 1970s as a type of therapeutic exercise. The meaning of words can change the over time and when moving from one language to another. Mindfulness could also be a way of the telling us to slow down?

  18. blondguy
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    23 June 2020 in reply to Balance

    Hi Everyone....New posters are more than welcome too!

    Hey Balance....Thankyou for taking the time to write such a super helpful thread..I hope you can stick around the forums....if you wish of course!

    Hey Quirky...you are spot on about Balance's post being thoughtful and thankyou for ongoing care x

    Hey Smallwolf....always a bonus to read your posts..no matter where you provide support! Awareness of the current moment is mindfulness...As you know I have had years of help from therapists...psychologists...psychiatrists...proactive GP's....they have never mentioned 'mindfulness' once.....they did discuss the power of distraction though....I am still learning about mindfulness Tim :-)

    Have a great night everyone

    Paul

  19. blondguy
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    23 June 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    A quote from 'Starwolf' who used to be on the forums....and it has helped me so much

    Starwolf mentioned "a common mistake is to fight (push forcefully away) intrusive thoughts.
    Calm acknowledgment before focusing the mind elsewhere is the key
    "

    I hope others find this helpful

  20. quirkywords
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    24 June 2020 in reply to blondguy

    Paul

    like the quote from starwolf but I worry the acknowledgement will leave to obsessive thinking yhtn overwhelming.

    How does one stop acknowledgement from leading to motr intrusive thoughts.

  21. Gambit87
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    24 June 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Starwolf mentioned "a common mistake is to fight (push forcefully away) intrusive thoughts.
    Calm acknowledgment before focusing the mind elsewhere is the key"

    Could not agree more.

    like the quote from starwolf but I worry the acknowledgement will leave to obsessive thinking yhtn overwhelming.

    How does one stop acknowledgement from leading to motr intrusive thoughts.

    I used to obsess and fight my intrusive thoughts hard, the thoughts of hurting myself or other people really rocked me and I would absolutely chastise myself for thinking these thoughts and it would lead to negative thoughts about myself. It was/is a vicious cycle that overwhelms me.

    I've learnt that reacting to these thoughts only feeds them and makes them stronger. Think about a child banging pots in front of you- you tell the child to stop but they keep on banging the pots - you get angry - the child bangs the pots louder and louder - it doesn't stop. However you tell the child to stop once, turn your back and focus on something else - the child will eventually stop because they loose interest (terrible analogy haha but I hope you get where I'm coming from).

    I acknowledge the intrusive thought, tell it im disregarding because its fake new and focus on something else. I'm finding these thoughts are having less of an impact on me, im not reacting as I did and they are less frequent. I also meditate and practice mindfullness to reinforce this practice and it helps aswell.

    IMO - acknowledging intrusive thoughts is key, your telling your mind that these are just fake news and moving on. Over time the thoughts loose their power and they disappear just as quickly as they appear. They still come and go though - but you dont react to them.

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  22. CMF
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    24 June 2020 in reply to Gambit87
    Hi all,

    My little miss and I have been working on a jigsaw puzzle she started a while back. It's almost done. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy themv so I bought myself one today. It is are at distraction. Something I need at the moment.

    Cmf x
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  23. quirkywords
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    24 June 2020 in reply to Gambit87

    I suppose I give my intrusive thoughts too much power.

    I suppose these last 6 months have really worn me down and I do dwell on the past .\

    Gambit and CMF thanks on your suggestions.

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  24. blondguy
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    25 June 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Everyone...New posters are always welcome to post too :-)

    Hey Quirky and Gambit87....Thankyou for your super helpful contribution re Starwolfs' post. The bulk of the 'hits'(internet clicks) the forums have are from people that choose to read only which is great...(70%) So any posts you write benefit more people than the members here

    Starwolf mentioned "a common mistake is to fight (push forcefully away) intrusive thoughts.
    Calm acknowledgment before focusing the mind elsewhere is the key
    "

    Hey Quirky...I agree with you when you mentioned "I worry the acknowledgement will leave to obsessive thinking and overwhelming" I used to think the same way...as I was scared to 'let go' like yourself

    Being able to use genuine and calm acceptance does work yet it does take determination and practice to accomplish....The answers are in Dr Claire Weekes book 'Self help for your nerves'

    Dr Claire Weekes wrote this brilliant book a while ago....(thus the title)...yet she was a psychiatrist who figured out that 'acceptance' of intrusive/negative thoughts render them impotent and they lose their power as a result

    Its a small paperback written in plain English....Its around $A15 and available globally in all languages

    Thankyou Gambit for mentioning " I've learnt that reacting to these thoughts only feeds them and makes them stronger" Always a bonus to have you on the forums

    Happy Friday everyone!

    Stay well

    Paul

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  25. blondguy
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    30 June 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi everyone and thankyou for being a part of the discussion too! Mindfulness can be difficult to take on board

    Hey Smallwolf (Tim)...thankyou so much for your post!

    Smallwolf (Tim) mentioned..."Mindfulness however been around for a very long time, but came into
    western thought in the 1970s as a type of therapeutic exercise
    " I had no idea that mindfulness has been around for so long! My therapy started in the early 1980's when I was in my early 20's and my counsellors never mentioned it as a management tool for my anxiety attacks..They did focus on the power of 'distraction' though

    Hey Quirky....I do hope you get a chance to read Dr Claire Weekes book 'Self help for your nerves' Please excuse the old fashioned title....the book is mainly about false and intrusive thoughts. I hope you are doing ok

    Starwolf* mentioned "a common mistake is to fight (push forcefully away) intrusive thoughts.
    Calm acknowledgment before focusing the mind elsewhere is the key
    "

    * Starwolf is not active as a member of the forums

    my kind thoughts always

    Paul

  26. smallwolf
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    1 July 2020 in reply to blondguy

    Hey Paul (and everyone else),

    Was listening to a podcast on relaxation which talked about different types of mindfulness. Some of these were

    1. mindful awareness
    2. mindful appreciation
    3. tactile mindfulness
    4. mindful observation

    there were other mentioned. All have the same end result of acceptance of the current moment vs stress.

    1 person found this helpful
  27. quirkywords
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    2 July 2020 in reply to smallwolf

    Smallwolf

    can one combine all 4 types of mindfulness into one mindfulness.
    thanks for sharing this.

  28. smallwolf
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    2 July 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Quirky,

    Potentially but you don't have to.

    While you could combine all in gardening (?) it is not necessary.

    An example of mindful observation could be staring at a flower for a couple of minutes, noticing its shape, forms.

    An example of mindful appreciation is typically a list 5 things at the of the day that you appreciate and might not otherwise think about?

    Tactile is using your hands so... fidget toys, cleaning, gardening, art...

    You could also try mindful listening... the exercise where you are told to listen to and identify the sound furthest from you.

    So if you stare at a flower for a couple of minute then it is not meditation either. In the moment of the exercise you are just accepting, paying attention to/in the current moment without judgement. Besides who would cast judgement on a flower?

    Tim

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  29. blondguy
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    2 July 2020 in reply to smallwolf

    Hi Tim (smallwolf)

    your input is Gold and thankyou for sharing your experience here..

    some health professionals mention 'mindfulness' as a word without clarification and thats okay as they are only referring to their manual

    Nurse Jenn mentioned (on another thread topic) "you dont need an app to experience mindfulness" Excellent!

    One of the most inane questions I have read on the forums is..."Have you tried mindfulness?"

    you rock Tim

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  30. Balance
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    6 July 2020

    Good morning Everybody,

    thank you for your appreciation on my post on Mindfulness.

    These are the 7 words/qualities I focus on and practise ONE QUALITY each day:

    The Focus on Monday is practising Patience
    Focus on Tuesday practising Courage
    Focus on Wednesday practising Healing
    Focus on Thursday practising Faithfulness
    Focus on Friday practising Caring
    Focus on Saturday practising Stillness
    Focus on Sunday practising Balance


    2 people found this helpful

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