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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. Blue's Clues
    Blue's Clues avatar
    2299 posts
    18 April 2022 in reply to missep123

    Hi all,

    Smallwolf, cheers for your clarification about being in the present moment without judgement (yeah, I know that was re a comment from some while ago, thread got busy and I didn't have the brain space to keep up for a while). I agree with you too about regular mindfulness practice making it easier to engage in when it's really needed - admittedly a bit of a problem for me, I try to remember to do it, but my ADHD does undermine me a bit on that score (ADHD = forget all the things).

    Paul, my partner struggles with anxiety and I do breathing exercises with him when he starts to hyperventilate - the whole slow "in through the nose, out through the mouth" thing. It works well, and calms him somewhat in the moment. That is a form of mindfulness - and something that can be explained after a person calms down. If you help them in that way, they don't really need to be confronted with confusing terminology in the moment and can learn about it in more depth later. Coming back to your friend with arthritis, I don't think the doctor suggested mindfulness out of a lack of other options, but because it has studied benefits for chronic pain management. It won't eliminate it, but the idea is about changing a person's relationship with pain, slowing the negative feelings and distress that come with it - the expectation of pain, the stress that comes with it and physical tensing of anxiety are all known to exacerbate existing pain, and mindfulness can decouple the pain itself from the emotional responses and thus increase the chances of positive outcomes from treatment. It's like a complementary therapy to help with physical treatments.The WA Government dept of health has a site called painHEALTH - it is really useful!

    Kind thoughts to you all,

    Blue.

    3 people found this helpful
  2. GTL
    GTL avatar
    6 posts
    18 April 2022

    Samādhi or one pointed concentration has obviously generated a enormous amount of thought here... there is some irony in this!

    It pre-dates Buddhism, but has been popularised internationally from India internationally over the centuries. Each branch has it's own tweaks. I wish I visited a temple instead of the psychologist that only aped this convention.

    Let's not think too much about it - the more we stress the more we lose the plot. The plot to mindfulness is that there shouldn't be one - if you are desiring concentration it becomes forced. So knit, breath and focus on breathing, draw, facet a stone. It doesn't matter. Don't force the issue - it is not a cure, it is an aid. Buddhists only do it because the philosophy and the dharma is exhausting and they are giving their brains a rest.

    If you want a good tip - try Yoga Nidra and listen to a nice voice that does it for you - guru style - that moves your awareness from sounds to bodily sensations from your thumb to your feet. I can't meditate when I'm exhausted. No one can. It is a challenge. I needs to be effortless and when I'm tired, a recording really works without stressing about how to do it. Go from there - but rest and quieten the mind and lose the desire to perfect the process!

    3 people found this helpful
  3. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    6279 posts
    18 April 2022 in reply to missep123

    A way of adding mindfulness into your day ...

    1. Sit up in you bed. (You could do this in a chair or on the floor. For myself, once I get out of the bed I sort of run on auto-pilot making it harder to start.)
    2. Take 3 long deep breaths - in through the nose and out through the mouth. Notice the rise and fall of your stomach as you breath in and out.
    3. Ask yourself - what is my intention for today?
    4. Set your intention for the day. For example your intention might be something like "to be kind to myself and patient with others".

    To go one step further you could check-in with yourself to see how you are aligning yourself with the intention you set at the start of the day.

    You might ask yourself ... how can I keep going each day with this exercise?

    We stick reminders on the fridge to tell us, to remind us of, what we have to do today, in the week or month. It could be a shopping list. Or reminder to make an appointment.

    Rather than putting the reminder on the fridge, put the above onto a note beside your bed so that when you wake up, you will see it and then do it.

    I am not telling everyone this is what you should be doing. Rather, it is just one example of of incorporating mindfulness into your day and find a way to make it part of each day.

    2 people found this helpful
  4. missep123
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    1100 posts
    25 April 2022 in reply to smallwolf

    I don't know if this is considered mindfulness or not but I read that some people like to say out loud 'Show me how good today is going to get!" first thing in the morning to set the intention to be open to good experiences or just put you into that frame of mind!

    What does everyone think about this?

    2 people found this helpful
  5. blondguy
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    blondguy avatar
    11398 posts
    27 April 2022 in reply to GTL

    Hi Everyone...smallwolf/Tim and thankyou heaps for your heartfelt support re Mindfulness

    Hey Blue....Thankyou for sharing about the breathing technique...when you mentioned 'my partner struggles with anxiety and I do breathing exercises with him when he starts to hyperventilate - the whole slow "in through the nose, out through the mouth" thing. It works well, and calms him somewhat in the moment' You also mentioned this a form of mindfulness which helps a lot :-)

    Just a note on breathing techniques Blue...except for your and Tims helpful posts are many people that think that 'deep breathing' on its own can bring a sense of calm...and this incorrect and can result in hyperventilation...Thankyou for explaining the correct technique....

    Blue...my friend has rheumatoid arthritis...not osteoarthritis or arthritis....I doubt that 'mindfulness' will help with the acute pain that accompanies joint deformity. Your advice re mindfulness and arthritic pain is very helpful though!

    Hi GTL....Welcome and thankyou for being a part of the forum family with your helpful input :-)

    GTL mentioned 'rest and quieten the mind and lose the desire to perfect the process' Brilliant GTL

    Hey Missep123.....Its always a bonus to see you, and what you mentioned is mindfulness to me..Its a positive and calm way to start the day...Missep123 mentioned 'first thing in the morning to set the intention to be open to good experiences '

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  6. CMF
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    CMF avatar
    9223 posts
    11 May 2022 in reply to blondguy

    Hi all,

    It's common to feel anxious upon waking in the morning. I try the 'think of 3 positives' technique. In my head I stay 'Stop, go away' & think of 3 positive things.

    I also try to remember how i feel when I don't have anxiety & remind myself I can feel good & not be worrying.

    Cmf

    1 person found this helpful
  7. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    14701 posts
    12 May 2022 in reply to CMF

    CMF

    I am not a morning person and often feel a bit low or teary. I used to go for a walk and practice mindfulness but it is too could and wet so I do time on a rowing machine.
    I think of nothing but the exercise and gradually I feel better.
    Thanks Paul for your summaries of the post, as it is useful .

    1 person found this helpful
  8. CMF
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    CMF avatar
    9223 posts
    13 May 2022 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky,

    I think the rowing machine sounds perfect. The continuous rhythm would be relaxing plus good exercise. Tonight we went to a school performance. The opening performance were students ayi g various drums. Similar to an army/marching band. It was very soothing ,& relaxing. The rhythmic beating of the drums had me mesmerised. I was completely in the moment.

    Cmf

    1 person found this helpful
  9. mmMekitty
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    mmMekitty avatar
    3903 posts
    13 May 2022 in reply to CMF

    Hi CMF,

    I love those times when nothing exists between & beyond me & the music. 😹

    2 people found this helpful
  10. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    6279 posts
    14 May 2022 in reply to CMF

    Hi CMF,

    Changing how our mind thinks takes time. Even when you cannot believe the messages you tell yourself do it the next day.

    A trigger for me was waking and thinking there were things I should have done or some disaster I felt responsible to fix. And as I got closer to my laptop to open, turn on, etc. my heart would race faster. Now, if there was no bad email to look at, I would breath a sigh of relief but think that it has not come yet for today. In short, a trigger.

    Perhaps not quite the same as you. Similar?

    I won't tell you how long it has taken me to get over that.

    And if that does not work, then rowing? As you suggested in your post.

    Whatever exercise you do, please understand it is natural for the mind to drift or counter with negative thoughts. And when that happens, bring yourself back to what you were doing or saying, and continue that practice. In these moments, remember that doing it is half the battle and you are doing the best you can, and that is all that can be asked.

    1 person found this helpful
  11. mmMekitty
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    3903 posts
    14 May 2022 in reply to smallwolf

    Hello Smallwolf & everyone.

    I imagine the most difficult thing would be to recognise the anxiety & the thoughts, to feel your body reacting, & stay still, with the feelings, acknowledging them without moving towards the laptop. Finding out if the feelings can become tolerable. Maybe taking many attempts to realise you can tolerate the feelings, & doing so, over time, you won't need to urgently check for emails, or even turn on the laptop, for longer periods of time after you first wake up.

    I'm trying to do something similar when my phone rings. I want to pause. If the speech is off, turn that on first, then check if the caller is identified, then decide about answering. I don't want to be like Pavlov's dog, jumping to the sound & panicking in my effort to answer it immediately, before the call goes to voicemail. At one time my Voicemail didn't work properly, & I was unable to retrieve messages. That's when I began panicking about answering. Now, I don't want to answer scammer calls.

    Similar for noises I hear outside. There is no benefit to me to look out everytime I hear a noise & feel an impulse to identify & locate who & what the noise is - I can't see enough unless they were a few inches from the other side of my window where I look. So why do I keep doing that? I am trying to just stop myself & yeah, maybe identify what the cause of the sound is, maybe which direction it is coming from. Even that is 99% more than I usually would need to know... so let that be enough. When I can do that, allowing the sound to be, as it were, left alone by me, I will slowly calm down without looking outside or opening a door (not the security door),or window to hear better... I can do this.

    So, stop, note if intervention is required, & if not, let it be. I will calm myself. I've noted my thoughts & feelings. I am in no actual danger, just notice. It's okay.

    For me, this is a sort of mindfulness. Even if it is not, I don't think it atters what I call it, while I feel my method helps. 😺

    mmMekitty

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