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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. blondguy
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    10 December 2020 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hi Everyone and thankyou for helping out with your take on 'Mindfulness'

    Hey Nurse Jenn...Its a bonus to have your experience/clarity on mindfulness...I understand and appreciate your input yet I find it difficult to suggest 'mindfulness' to anyone experiencing anxiety symptoms where their ability to function on a daily basis is concerned. It doesnt make any sense to me

    Hey Moon...Thankyou for helping out....I had to double check on ACT as well...As you have probably read above Tim mentioned 'acceptance commitment therapy'. Tim is spot on as using calm and genuine acceptance of our symptoms does make the anxiety feelings impotent

    My therapy involved 'Calm and Genuine Acceptance' of my own anxiety symptoms in the 1980's. Just from my own studies 'Mindfulness' was a new buzzword that evolved in the 1990's

    Just a note...Mindfulness wasnt recommended/suggested on the Beyond Blue Covid-19 thread

    Hey Tim...thankyou heaps for reminding me about calm & genuine acceptance of our symptoms...Nice1

    Hey Jstar49.....Its great to have your input and thankyou!

    Hey TomR....thankyou for mentioning 'Mindfulness became a bit of a 'buzz' word a couple of years ago' Just for myself I find the term 'Mindfulness' represents a 'busy' mind. I prefer using calm and genuine acceptance with my own anxiety symptoms...Thankyou for the informative post Tom

    Just a quick note for Nurse Jenn and all....my reference is 'Self Help for your Nerves' by Dr Claire Weekes

    my kind thoughts.....Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Moonstruck
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    11 December 2020 in reply to blondguy

    Hey BlondGuy.....you are right about the word "mindfulness" becoming a sort of "popular word ," all encompassing (and obviously confusing to a lot of people) when really the action of giving one's attention 100% to a thing, person, happening, scene that is occurring in front of your eyes etc has been available to us forever. And able to be accessed any time, anywhere.

    In fact...and I hope you don't find this boring....I was introduced to the J D Salinger books decades ago and absolutely loved them. (he wrote Catcher in the Rye) and other short stories. I remember enjoying reading his descriptions of everyday things that caught the book character's eye....he described it in great details and it was quite lovely.

    He made the mundane and ordinary seem beautiful and full of light....I remember some of his descriptions involved looking out a window and watching a little girl playing with her dog on the street below; a girl lying on a couch covered with a blanket...that's all...but J D Salinger described in detail the colours in her hair, where the sunlight fell, how soft the blanket looked, how she had her hand curled under her wrist...every detail.

    There are many more...but I see now, he was truly practising "mindfulness" and put it down on paper. I'll bet he hadn't heard of the word either, way back then.......it made beautiful reading.

    You see, he "noticed". He didn't just see a girl on a couch, or a kid playing with a dog.......I've had experiences like that and it feels wonderful. Just to watch....and see how beautiful the ordinary can be. Just stop and look!!

    So you see, "mindfulness" has been around for many years...they just didn't call it that!!

    2 people found this helpful
  3. quirkywords
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    11 December 2020 in reply to Moonstruck

    Moon

    I agree mindfulness has been around for ages but now it is a business with books, apps, podcasts , seminars and workshops etc .
    my parents called it paying attention.
    maybe because we try so hard to do so many things at once and have so many distractions on our time and mind.

    I like Catcher in the Rye and other writers who notice the details.

    3 people found this helpful
  4. Jstar49
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    12 December 2020

    Hi all,

    It seems like the rise in 'mindfulness' and new age stuff has corresponded with the fall in organised religion. Maybe we need to substitute one form of discipline for another...? Or maybe with the restrictions removed we are free to explore other ways of being.

    Me personally, I don't see any conflict between loving our creator god and practicing mindfulness, meditation. For me it's paying attention with all my senses, even those we don't really talk about, like our heart sense.

    I don't like trends, but every now and again the masses hit upon something worthwhile that the minority has known about for literally ages.

    I love how its being applied to wellbeing and mental health. I love how we are now TALKING about mental health wellbeing, instead of just mental illness.

    For those with busy minds, or strong feelings of anxiety, etc, I would guess that active forms of meditation would be beneficial. I mean, even going for a run and then when you stop, noticing the breath whooshing in and out of your lungs ( as they heave, in my case!) and paying attention to the physical aspect of one's body, heat, trembling, blood roaring in one's ears......Actually there's an attention excercise for the sense for an anxiety episode, to notice the 5 senses-

    what can you hear

    what can you smell

    what can your hands and feet etc feel touch something to help bring attention back into the body

    What can you taste

    What can you see/observe

    It's so simple, really. But thats often the way with good ideas.

    Cheers,

    J*

    1 person found this helpful
  5. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
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    12 December 2020 in reply to Jstar49

    Perhaps. :) ... in relation to your statement re organised religion.

    And please don't think I am just being negative on commenting on the simplicity of it. Also mindfulness has been around for a long time, just not in the Western world.

    My psych suggested I read a book titled "the happiness trap". At the end of the first chapters I listed a number of different strategies. I tried a few of them and they did not work for me. The author also wrote that if some of the ideas suggested did not work then try to the next one. So there is the issue there is no one size fits all. Each person then has to work out what works for them.

    Secondly, there is also a need for mindful based exercises which does not involve the 5 senses and rather one that helps me to process negative thoughts. An example from yesterday (literally) - I was in a zoom meeting and had to make some group decision. I spoke against of the options and the others laughed at me. Which plays into my feelings of how I see myself and whether I have anything worthwhile to say. So an exercise like leaves on a stream is good for me in dealing with this. In a few moments (time wise) I can sit with myself imagining myself by a streams, putting thoughts "they laughed at me", "i have nothing to say", "why did i bother", "you're weak", "suck it up" onto leaves, in a way of trying to let them go down the stream.

    Yes it can be simple. But can take a while to do it well if we are so attuned to negative thoughts about ourselves.

    2 people found this helpful
  6. quirkywords
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    12 December 2020 in reply to smallwolf

    Smallwolf

    I think we need many strategies to erase negative thoughts.
    I know a person who often says negative things to me which makes me think negative thoughts. IhVe tried the stream but I find dredging up all negative thoughts just emphasises them so now I imagine all the positive thoughts I can say about myself . I think we all need different tools like stream and the senses and many more.

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  7. blondguy
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    12 December 2020 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hi Everyone! New posters are always welcome too :-)

    Hey Moon....thankyou for the super helpful and clarity in your post above!

    Moon mentioned 'J D Salinger books' who wrote 'Catcher in the Rye'...and 'He made the mundane and ordinary seem beautiful and full of light....I remember some of his descriptions involved looking out a window and watching a little girl playing with her dog on the street below; a girl lying on a couch covered with a blanket...that's all...but J D Salinger described in detail the colours in her hair, where the sunlight fell, how soft the blanket looked, how she had her hand curled under her wrist...every detail'

    You are spot on here Moon..Mindfulness has been around for a long time after reading your post...Nice1 x

    Hey Jstar....thankyou for the super helpful post!

    Jstar mentioned ' I love how we are now TALKING about mental health wellbeing, instead of just mental illness' Good point Jstar...Do you find the forums discuss the illness too much over mental health wellbeing? Great to have your experience and support here and across the forums...Thanks J

    Hey Tim....always great to have your experience on the forums and thankyou for sharing! You have made an excellent point when you mentioned 'So there is the issue there is no one size fits all. Each person then has to work out what works for them' I think this excellent....IF...the person suffering has a strong desire to find some peace and/or heal

    Hey Quirky!...always wonderful to read your posts here and across the forums...I understand your thoughts when you mentioned 'I find dredging up all negative thoughts just emphasizes them so now I imagine all the positive thoughts I can say about myself'

    Its only my humble opinion Quirky...I used to think the same way as yourself for many years....until the bell rang and I realized that discussing our 'negative' thoughts was the best cleanser available...(for people that have a strong desire to heal)

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

    3 people found this helpful
  8. Guest_1643
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    13 December 2020 in reply to smallwolf

    Hi Tim - I am big into ACT as well.
    Mindfulness took me a while to come round to - I really resonatd with what Jstar49 wrote - and also what Quirky wrote too about monetising Mindfulness. I hate trends and buzzwords, maybe to my own detriment, because this is a pretty good one!
    ACT is my everything. It saved my life. I love it.
    I also learnt in hospital 2 specific mantras which sum up my negative thoughts about myself/my life/the world around me.
    I use those mantras - and use the ACT principles to "diffuse" them - (make them less powerful)

    That includes - singing the sentence in an operatic voice, and saying it over and over again for one minute straight. After doing that I feel less attached to that thought.

    Re what you said how some don't work for u - I hear that. I think when we find something that does work it gives us energy and motivation to keep searching. Several of the ACT techniques work for me but not all.

    Love The Happiness Trap and Russ Harris. I am glad that ACT is gaining in popularity and I personally find it complements and works with what I struggle with as a PTSD sufferer.

    3 people found this helpful
  9. Guest_1643
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    13 December 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    Hi quirky - thats interesting that you found the stream not so helpful. Have u tried it ever with a youtube vid talking u through it?
    I would imagine even not putting the thoughts on the stream, but just imagining a beautiful stream exactly as u like it - flowing past - could be nice - u could put all your hopes or ideas on it if the negative thoughts are triggering.
    1 person found this helpful
  10. Jstar49
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    13 December 2020

    Hi,

    I find this discussion so fascinating, because as you say, Quirky and Sleepy, we are all different, and our unique issues require unique solutions, individual to us. It's useful to hear what works for others, especially cos I'm in the healing/wellness stream, helping others.

    Just searched ACT and Russ Harris- looks very good. I'm thinking the 8 week course could be a great Chrissy present for myself.

    Also to clarify, the 5 senses exercise was suggested for a panic attack type episode, I think.

    Smallwolf I can really relate to your feelings in that meeting. It has always been one of my great difficulties, valueing myself and backing my own thoughts/ideas. Being able to view them objectively and argue for them instead of either putting myself down, or reacting so strongly that I effectively put others down for not listening to me. I have found particularly as a woman that this is difficult. (Not kidding, and not being over sensitive either- it's a fact that men are often viewed as having more authority).

    It is certainly a difficult balance to strike.

    In an ideal world we would value everyone's opinions and viewpoints equally, however in groups there is dynamics which play out, attributing more power to some, and consequences for 'bucking the trend'. Better decision-making arises from considering a wide variety of viewpoints so it's worth fighting for the chance to be heard.

    Cheers everyone,

    J*

    2 people found this helpful
  11. Ggrand
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    13 December 2020 in reply to Jstar49

    Hello everyone...

    Its so windy here today...I was..Well still am sitting outside with the wind blowing my longish hair behind me....It reminded me of the scene in the Titanic where the lady is standing on the front of the ship with her eyes closed and arms outstretched....

    I wanted to try it...so I closed my eyes, hair blowing behind me, outstretched my arms..then let my imagination take me on a journey..it really was so beautifully calming flying high amongst the clouds..,flying in and out of there fluffiness....Sometimes a good imagination is good to have while practicing mindfulness...Now I have a lot more respect for the wind...Nature sure is the best medicine we could ever ask for...

    If it’s windy at your today...I urge you to give it a try..

    My kindest and most caring thoughts...

    Grandy..

    3 people found this helpful
  12. Moonstruck
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    13 December 2020 in reply to Ggrand

    Hi Grandy.....yes you were doing well at that mindfulness exercise...your imagination joined in with your focus on the wind...I can't understand why some find "mindfulness"so difficult. As I understand, and experience it, it has nothing to do with "getting rid of negative thoughts' or "getting rid of" anything actually.

    all it is, is giving 100% of your attention to the thing, scene, object, person..whatever...that you are looking at. and when you're giving 100% of your thoughts to that alone...that's 100%...no room for anything else.

    You did well Grandy...I remember my man used to say if we were sitting in a windy place, with my hair blowing back..that I looked "all Kate Winslety"....(referring to that scene from Titanic)....love Moon S

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  13. Guest_1643
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    13 December 2020 in reply to Moonstruck

    If anyone ever told me I looked Kate Winslet-y (or spoke like her, or resembled her, or was talented like her...)
    I would be satisfied for the rest of my life!!

    What a compliment.
    The woman even does one of the only decent Aussie accents I've seen - (in the movie the Dressmaker)

    Kate Winslet is flawless - what a compliment Moonstruck!! :)

    4 people found this helpful
  14. smallwolf
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    13 December 2020 in reply to Guest_1643

    Hi All!

    Quirky - I understand what you were saying about leaves in the stream. At the time these were only the thoughts at the time. I was not (intentionally) looking back in time, but that can occur. For me it is a way of learning to deal with negative thoughts. It's a work in progress.

    Sleepy21 - that singing the thought you had did not work for me. Had to skip over that one. It was the actual words used that got to me.

    Jstar49 - Thanks for your feedback. While you are right that it is easy, to get to that easy point can sometime take a long - at least for me. I have mentioned to my psych that it can be learning an exercise on a instrument - it can take a day, or a week to get it right. Or it could take weeks, a month, or months or years to click. Bit that way for me and part of that is the number of choices we have.

    Grandy - it was windy here today. Also lots of rain! Would have gotten wet!

    MoonStruck - that movie is a blast from the past (for me).

    Lastly, Paul - For me, the cleanser idea works for me also

    Tim

    1 person found this helpful
  15. quirkywords
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    14 December 2020 in reply to smallwolf

    There is a another part of the movie Titanic involving Kate and Leo that people refer to and reproduce but it does not include the wind!!!

    Paul thanks for the summary.

    I realise the stream was one example.

    I think we all deal with negative thoughts in our own way. I try but not thinking and dwelling on them but that can be hard.

    1 person found this helpful
  16. Ggrand
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    14 December 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello Dear Paul...

    Now doing it in the rain would feel so much more real...😁

    Sorry I’m not good with movie stars names...

    I hope everyone puts aside a little time to be gentle and kind to yourselves...

    Grandy..

    2 people found this helpful
  17. blondguy
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    14 December 2020 in reply to Ggrand

    Hey Grandy ..your post just made me smile and thankyou 😊 woohooo! You are a legend!

    Hi Quirky....Im doing my best even though I have made a a mistake on 'Strategies for coping with racist behavior ' Thankyou so much for taking the time to provide a welcome and support to so many people here and across the forums

    Hi Tim...thankyou for all the TLC and counsel you provide to so many especially on Mindfulness and your post about the 'cleanser'...Nice1 Tim

    Hi Sleepy21....You are a legend on the forums and your support is Gold.....Thankyou for supporting Not So Hot as well as you have after my 'blunder' I hope you are having a good week Sleepy21

    Hi Moon...always a bonus to have your experience on the forums. I did read your excellent post on 'Do You Like Yourself" and I will answer it....Been going through a hard time with my 90 year old mum...bless her heart

    Hi Sophie_M.....thankyou so much for the wonderful support

    amazing people...ty

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  18. Jstar49
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    16 December 2020

    Hi all,

    Hmmm, negative thoughts. I've been having a few lately, and it's usually around how certain other people see me. It's a difficult one because it has claws attached, that dig in and don't seem to let go.

    One of the things I remember our teachers (meditation) saying is about our attachments- and I don't think I got it at the time. But now, 20 yrs later, somehow it sinks in a bit more. It's about not giving those negative thoughts any energy whatsoever. Noticing, then letting go. Don't get caught up going down the rabbit hole, trying to 'solve 'it (me, every time!) Come back to the present, the now, the breath, the task at hand. I guess for me recognising the emotion behind it helps, if it's anger I can take a run, if it's sadness I can let myself feel it, shed some tears, whatever, just allow it. Or pop it away for a later time, if now is not good.

    It's not easy this stuff. Simple ideas maybe, but difficult to do. And the thing is, we are choosing to do things differently. That's always harder than doing the same thing you've always done. We are rewiring the brain, don't you think?

    I'm catching myself now getting hung up on these tears that I've shed as I've been writing, but really, they're gone. They were here, and now they've gone.

    Do we need to talk less about our pain/illness and more about our wellness? I don't know. I don't think so. I think that when we've talked about our illness enough it naturally changes, so we can talk about our wellbeing. I absolutely hate it when someone asks me how I am, and I say just the tiniest little bit and then they're trying to cheer me up. I guess I do love a good wallow tho....

    Life sux sometimes! It's good to be able to say so, and feel heard and understood.

    Not everyone is ready to hear it tho.

    Sorry if I'm getting off track.

    Sorry for saying sorry....

    Cheers

    J*

    2 people found this helpful
  19. quirkywords
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    16 December 2020 in reply to blondguy

    Paul,.

    I feel we all make mistakes and sometimes our best intentions are taken the wrong way.
    I hope you are ok,.

    Jstar not officially topic. I like the honesty in your post.

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  20. blondguy
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    16 December 2020 in reply to Jstar49

    Hey Jstar49!

    I answered a great post you made a few days ago about 'discussing the illness' and thankyou for speaking from the heart in your posts as Quirky mentioned above

    Jstar49 mentioned 'Do we need to talk less about our pain/illness and more about our wellness'? You have made an excellent point . I am happy you are a part of the conversation Jstar49 :-)

    When I wrote this topic ages ago it was because I have difficulty understanding MF ...and I guess I still do. This thread is about people's thoughts re the meaning of Mindfulness . There is no right or wrong Jstar49 :-)

    Hey Quirky....your care factor is Gold. I paid a heavy price for my mistake which was unexpected. Thankyou for understanding that my best intentions can be misconstrued.

    Christmas Hugs

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  21. Guest_1643
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    16 December 2020 in reply to Jstar49

    Hey Jstar -
    i agree with u

    Let out the pain and be real... Pretending to be "fine" when I was def not "fine" was worse for me....

    doesn't make the pain go away and then you have the extra sickening feeling of lying, being fake, pretending

    I guess it sounds nice to focus on our wellness rather than illness

    but not at the expense of honouring our authentic feelings.

    It's okay to cry and to not be okay.

    3 people found this helpful
  22. blondguy
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    16 December 2020 in reply to Guest_1643

    Hi Sleepy21

    just saying thankyou for the wonderful care you show to everyone on the forums including Jstar above!

    Sleepy21 mentioned 'It's okay to cry and to not be okay' Thankyou too for your help and balance on Emmens thread on the weekend.

    I hope you have good week Sleepy

    my kindest always

    Paul

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  23. Guest_1643
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    16 December 2020 in reply to blondguy

    thank you Paul

    hope u have a fantastic week

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  24. blondguy
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    17 December 2020 in reply to Guest_1643
    Hugs and thankyou heaps Sleepy...I will x
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  25. Jstar49
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    22 December 2020 in reply to Guest_1643

    Hey Sleepy,

    Exactly! Let out the pain and be real- I think that would make a great tshirt!

    I love the search for the authentic self- it feels like it gives meaning to the madness.

    I'm glad that others have noticed your kind thoughtful comments, it's really stellar. And i can totally relate to how pretending to be fine makes us feel worse, more alone. It can be difficult to find ppl who can just be there with you when youre feeling big feelings tho.

    Perhaps this is the next step of mindfulness...

    J*

    2 people found this helpful
  26. quirkywords
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    3 January 2021 in reply to Jstar49

    A new year a new month anew day, all full of promise.

    I wonder if anyone has plans or intentions to try a different approach to mindfulness or to keep doing what is working for them

    i am going to try to have a more open minded and accept what i do to focus and be calm while not mindfulness according to some , helps me.

    3 people found this helpful
  27. blondguy
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    3 January 2021 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi everyone and lets hope the 2021 brings us some peace!

    Thankyou to everyone that has participated and provided their helpful input Hey Quirky...thankyou for your all the super support you have provided here and all across the forums

    Tim has an excellent grasp of mindfulness that has helped so many readers and posters..Thankyou Tim

    I will stick with using 'gentle distraction' and my proactive GP for a 'fine tune' in the new year:-)

    my kind thoughts.....Paul

  28. Jstar49
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    4 January 2021 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi all,

    I have a question for some discussion, if anyone's up for it.

    I've been pondering this since visiting a friend who is right into attracting what she wants in her life. She is putting out for a relationship, and being very specific about some qualities that she'd like in the relationship.

    So, my question is, how du all reckon this works with mindfulness? Du think it can work together, with being in the moment and accepting things with peace and equanimity?

    Cheers,

    J*

    1 person found this helpful
  29. smallwolf
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    4 January 2021 in reply to blondguy

    Thanks for your kind words Paul. Though I would call myself a beginner in respect to mindfulness. I know enough to be dangerous - in that we are always learning what works or does not work for myself. And perhaps reply.

    Perhaps the take out for 2021 might be this ...

    there are plenty of ways a person can practice mindfulness and we each have our own ways of knowing and doing what works for us. It is OK if we "don't do it properly or get distracted". The important thing is to be kind to yourself and remind yourself that you did the best you could.

    2 people found this helpful
  30. quirkywords
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    9 January 2021 in reply to Jstar49

    Jstar

    Has your friend read the Secret.
    I am not sure what it is to do with mindfulness.

    I would be interested in what others think too.

    1 person found this helpful

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