Mindfulness for mental wellbeing

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Please note the following information is taken directly from the NHS website and is in no way my words. I have put it on here because so many people seem interested in mindfulness and it contains some excellent information. All credit for this is to go to the NHS I am but the messenger.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/mindfulness.aspx

Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the article that was pasted in full here and replaced with the link to the article. Please do not paste whole articles in posts as it may breach other website's copyright. You can add a link to it and this will be approved as long as it complies with rules for posting links.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Well done, David!

    I stumbled across the concept of mindfulness nearly 40 years ago (though it wasn't called that then and certainly wasn't available on the NHS) and I can only say it turned my life around. I was in my mid-thirties at the time and still struggling with feelings of terrible resentment towards someone who'd abused me in multiple ways as a child. I was constantly "rehearsing" the events of my childhood in my mind and was tearing myself apart. Absurd as it might seem now, I had no idea that I could simply stop doing this! After six months in a guided weekly group, I learned to simply let go of all the bad feelings by coming into the present each time they came into my mind. That doesn't mean I've forgotten, or even forgiven, the events - that will never happen as long as my power of memory stays intact - but they ceased to have any hold over me. I could even re-establish civil relations, at least on a superficial level, with my abuser when family circumstances forced us to meet.

    I think I might be in a very bad place now if a friend hadn't spotted that small ad in a magazine all those years ago.

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    • Posted

      Lily

      I'm so glad you replied, I seem to spend a lot of time telling people about mindfulness, meditation, relaxation and self hypnosis but felt bad that I couldn't give them more help. Hopefully reading your post will encourage more people to self help as well as using medication. Your an inspiration

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  • Posted

    Thanks for sharing this David. Its something that i am slowly becoming aware of and i found that some things that i was doing to improve my life before i knew about this, i was actually practiscing. 

    From what i have experienced, on the surface, its easy to dismiss mindfullness, i initially thought 'oh how the hell is this going to make me feel better' well because i had oractisced it beforehand before i started to syuffer with depression it always stayed in the back of my mind. So far, with the small amount of experience i have had, i would say to those that may be in a terrible state thinking how can this help me, well thats the first step i would say, challenge or hold that thought. I would say initially those like me, who had the symptoms of General Anxiety Dissorder (GAD) and or depression, see your GP first and get the treatment they prescribe, then start to learn mindfullness, after a while you will start to change your thinking, which in turn will help you in the process but you may need medical intervention to get you started.

    hope this encourages people to dont just write it off at first glane. Take your first step in mindfullness and instead of writing it off, hold that thought and ask yourself, maybe i wont think that but think maybe this works and reflect on why you thought the former and think, well what harm can it do, nothing to lose and potentially i can be new person. It wont change overnight, quick fixes never work, but like losing weight and getting fit, it takes a while and if done oroperly whill change the way you do things.

    good luck!

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    • Posted

      Buffplums (love the name!) I agree with what you're saying here. When I discovered the concept of mindfulness in the late 1970s, there wasn't yet an "industry" built around it. In fact, I don't think I even heard the word till some years after I'd started practising it.

      Like a lot of good ideas, mindfulness is in danger of falling victim to the current hype surrounding it. Nowadays, when it's being promoted by armies of slick management trainers, self-improvement gurus and other snake-oil salesmen (sorry, but I worked in management training for 8 years!) it's in danger of becoming an empty buzzword to which people pay lip-service without understanding it.

      The concept originally arose in Buddhism, Hinduism and other eastern philosophies. And these are philosophies, not religions in the western sense. That being said, there's absolutely no need to go through any spiritual or religious practices to access a state of mindfulness. It can be learned - and in fact can only be learned - by changing your way of thinking, usually by doing simple mental exercises over a long period.

      Although I learned about mindfulness in a group that was teaching it, I'd actually come across it a couple of years earlier, when someone gave me a copy of Wayne Dyer's 1976 book, Your Erroneous Zones. Although it's light-hearted and a bit jokey in style (even the title was a send-up of a 1960s sex manual!) I'd still recommend this as a beginner's guide to mindfulness. It contains all the basic elements, though without necessarily giving an in-depth method of achieving them. For more sophisticated readers, there's also Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now. But people shouldn't be put off by the subtitle: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. It's not a recruitment tool for any dodgy sect.

      While reading is a useful way to find out what mindfulness really means, I think there's no substitute for guided practice. CBT under the guidance of a therapist, and possibly with back-up medication, would be the method of choice for someone who is severely mentally ill. There's also the more recent spin-off, DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy - you can Google it) which is thought by some therapists to be even more effective. For those not in need of medical intervention, I'd suggest looking around to see if you can find a group doing mindfulness practice. Most groups impose some kind of charge, but one word of warning: the benefit you draw from mindfulness training is likely to be in inverse proportion to the money you're charged for it. Beware the snake-oil salesmen!

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    • Posted

      Lily,

      i have to compliment you on another wonderfully informative post, you are a joy to read and I hope everyone takes note of your wisdom

      namaste 

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    • Posted

      Thanks Lily, really interesting reading, the bit at the end, i find very encouraging, so far Im not really sure what Im doing and trying to find out by reading peoples testimony's how much of a difference mindfulness can make. 

      Hehe glad you like the name, its a sort of send up from the Reeves and Mortimer series, If I was an acomplished Sax player,  buffplums would be my nickname....Nice! 

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