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Mindfulness for anxiety
#1
I don't know how many of you have tried this but I feel that mindfulness meditation has been one of the most useful cognitive tools I have learned in my life. CBT, DBT, Interpersonal therapy, I've tried them all, but this has really stuck with me. 

To close your eyes and feel your breath and just realise where you are, who you are, and that you are still alive and here is such a wonderful feeling. I started doing it for maybe 10 seconds a day- about as long as I could go without a random thought popping into my head. It is a skill, and practice makes permanent. I practice for at least 10 minutes a day, whenever I can.

It is also great at grounding you when you feel a panic attack coming on. As they say, your thoughts are all in the past or the future, when you are thinking in the moment you aren't thinking at all.

I acknowledge that I have my fair share of substance issues to work through, but I can honestly say that mindfulness has had more of a positive impact on my anxiety than any benzo. 

Have any of you guys (or girls) had experience trying this?
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#2
This helped me a lot..........
Have you ever wondered why some people get destroyed by suffering, and other people, when they suffer, they don't get destroyed. In fact, some people not only don't get destroyed by suffering, but they...they seem to become even stronger just by going through suffering. Have you ever thought about that?

Well, I didn't think about for a long time because I was brought up believing that suffering is something everybody can go through. So I was just brought up thinking that. So I always thought it was true. That if you wanted to go through it, you could.

Then when I started working with people who suffer a lot, both as a psychotherapist but also I've worked a lot with the poor and with the homeless, I started realizing, hey wait a minute, I'm not so sure this is true. Everybody doesn't go through suffering. Some people get destroyed by suffering. Despite their best efforts, some people simply get destroyed.

So I started asking myself what was the difference. I mean, what was the difference between the person who gets destroyed and the person who doesn't. Why is it that when some people get knocked down, they keep going. They get knocked down, they get up, and they go again. Other people, they get knocked down and they just stay down; they never get up.

So I thought to myself, well, I need to find the answer to this question. Mainly 'cause I work with a lot of people who suffer, and I work with a lot of people who seem to be getting destroyed by it. So I thought, well, if I can find the answer to that question, I could teach it and I could help the people that I work with. So I started to try to figure it out. So I thought a lot about it. I also did a lot of reading. I decided, alright, the thing to do is I'll try to read as much as I can about people who have lots of suffering in their lives, tragedies and traumas, and the people who somehow make it, and I'll try to figure out, what's the difference between the people who make it and people who don't make it.

The purpose of this program is for me to teach you what I've learned. In all the readings that I've done, all the thinking that I've done, and all the people I've talked to. What we're going to focus on in this program is how to make it; how to keep yourself from being destroyed. Even how to grow or to build when a life that you're living feels like it's not worth living.

We're going to talk about 3 sets of skills, or 3 sets of behaviours. Three things to practice. These seem to be what the people who grow all have in common.

So, there's a lot of information that's going to be coming your way in this particular program. You may want to take some notes. Most people find that pretty useful. So if you want to take some notes, I recommend that you do. The thing to do right now is to get up and put this program on pause. Go get yourself some paper; get a pencil or a pen; come back; hit the start button; get yourself all comfy again and get ready to go.

Now while you're doing all of that, I'm going to get myself all organized. I'm going to get all organized and be ready to teach the skills when you get back.

One more thing. If you just so happen to have my skills training book, when you get up to go get paper, go get your skills training manual. If you don't have the manual but you've got the handouts, well go get your handouts. Bring them back. And when you come back and sit down, you're going to want to open your book up and you're going to find the following handouts. You're going to find "Basic Principles of Accepting Reality." And there are two pages. On the first page you're going to have Radical Acceptance, Turning the Mind. We're going to be going over those skills. And on the second page you're going to have Willingness and Willfulness. We're going to go over those too. And when you get back, I'll be back. I'll be ready so I hope you are. Let's go.

There may be an infinite number of really painful things that can happen to you. But there are not an infinite number of responses you can make to pain. In fact, if you sit back and think about it, there are only four. There are only four things you can do when painful problems come into your life.

What do you think they are? Think for a minute. A problem is in your life, pain, suffering, something you don't want in it. How can you respond?

Well the first thing you could do is you could do is you could solve the problem. You can figure out a way to either end the painful event or you could figure out a way to leave the situation that's so painful. That's the first thing you could do. Solve the problem.

What's the second thing you could do? You could try to change how you feel about the problem; to figure out a way to take a negative in your life and make it into a positive. Alright, so that's the second thing you could do.

What's your other option? You could accept it. So that's the third thing you can do. You could just accept the problem.

Ok. That's not everything you could do. There is a fourth alternative. What do you think it is? You could stay miserable. That's the only other option you've got.

So you've got to either solve it, change how you feel about it, accept it, or stay miserable.



The skills I'm going to talking about, you could call them 'Reality Acceptance Skills'. And there are three: radical acceptance, turning the mind, and willingness. We're going start with the first one, radical acceptance.



RADICAL ACCEPTANCE
Can you think of any really serious problems, really serious pain, serious traumas, things that make you really unhappy that you can't change? Maybe you've had a child who's died. People who have had a child who's died never get over it. Maybe you have a permanent disability.

What are your options? You can be miserable or you can accept the reality that you've got it. Maybe you've had a really painful childhood. You know, a lot of people have to live with that; you just have to live with the fact that those happy childhoods you see on tv aren't in your life and there's nothing you can do about it. Maybe you didn't get a job that you really wanted - there's nothing you can do about it.

These are just not the kind of things you can start being happy about. So what are your options? You can either be miserable or you can figure out a way to accept the reality of your own life.

So what's Radical Acceptance? What do I mean by the word 'radical'? Radical means complete and total. It's when you accept something from the depths of your soul. When you accept it in your mind, in your heart, and even with your body. It's total and complete.

When you've radically accepted something, you're not fighting it. It's when you stop fighting reality. That's what radical acceptance is.

The problem is, telling you what it is and telling you how to do it are two different things. Radical acceptance can't really be completely explained. Why not? Because it's something that is interior - it's something that goes on inside yourself. But all of us have experienced radical acceptance so what I want you to do right now is to try to focus in on sometime in your life when you've actually accepted something, radically - completely and totally.

So let's think about it. When might that be? Well, think back in your own life to either something you've lost, perhaps someone you've loved has died, or something that you really wanted that you didn't get - a job you really wanted and you didn't get it.

Think about something you wanted that you either didn't get or something that you had that you've lost. Now, sit back, close your eyes and go back in time to right before you found out that you've lost what you had or right before you've found out that you weren't going to get what you wanted. Imagine that again. Kind of go back there. And then go through that period were you weren't accepting it, and then move to imagining when you did accept it. So kind of like, relive that.

Most people can find some place in their life where that's happened to them and where they've accepted it, and that's what I mean by radical acceptance.

I'm guessing some of you tried that exercise and you just couldn't think of any time when you've accepted something. So you couldn't imagine what it felt like cause you couldn't even remember a time when you have done it. Don't worry about it. Just try it another time - maybe after the program, today, tomorrow, or some other day. Just see if you can go back to a time when you've accepted.

But for the moment, let me tell you what it might feel like. Often when you've accepted you have this sense of letting go of the struggle. It's just like you've been struggling and now you're not. Sometimes, if you have accepted, you just have this sense of being centered, like you feel centered inside yourself somehow.

You may have a lot of sadness. Acceptance often goes with a lot of sadness actually, but even though you've got sadness, there's a feeling like a burden's lifted. Usually if you've accepted, you feel, well, ready to move on with your life. Sort of feel free, ready to move. So that's what it feels like.
Let's keep going. Pain is pain. Suffering, agony, are pain plus non-acceptance. So if you take pain, add non-acceptance you end up with suffering. Radical acceptance transforms suffering into ordinary pain.

There are three parts to radical acceptance. The first part is accepting that reality is what it is. The second part is accepting that the event or situation causing you pain has a cause. The third part is accepting life can be worth living even with painful events in it.
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#3
Interesting pickles. Truly.
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#4
(09-18-2018, 12:21 PM)FirePlaces Wrote: Interesting pickles.  Truly.

I've worked with several therapists in the past that advocated mindfulness and since I'm a pretty fast paced person it was difficult for me. I had a dear friend that talked to me a lot about meditation and even that was a difficult struggle, but he told me to just keep trying to meditate in smaller and smaller increments of time until I could manage it. At first I had to keep physically moving in order to get my mind to focus to even be able to successfully count to 2, sounds ridiculous right? But the reality was that my brain just works very quickly so to slow it down enough to focus I needed that physical movement component. Once I had a better handle on how to slow my mind I was able to remove the incessant need for physical movement to focus better. I still require a great deal of physical movement in order to keep my whole mind and body in the present, but it's no longer as extreme and I get a little better everyday at focusing my mind while keeping my body still and  keeping my mind still while my body moves. My point being, have faith in yourself that even if you must start small keep trying because every small achievement is progress!
"Nature's first green is gold...."
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#5
I downloaded the app Calm which is really helpful at training you to focus on your breathing. It's very calming and helps you deal with stress. She's very soothing and talks about how it's normal for our minds to wander but she gently reminds you to return to focus on your breathing. My SO started doing it with me and really likes it too.
Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed. ~ Mark Twain
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#6
Have anyone come across Michael Sealey? He has a lot of great youtube videos for mindful meditation, detachment from overthinking/anxiety

My fav one that I listen to most nights is hxxps://www.youtube dot com/watch?v=1vx8iUvfyCY

sorry I can't hotlink guys.

I've gone to meditation groups, but find them rather uncomfortable. Maybe I have to look around for a new place.

@pickles77 very interesting read, never thought of it in that way. Mind over matter :)

@reilli thanks for sharing that, going to download it now:)
Success!
To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
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#7
(09-18-2018, 12:21 PM)FirePlaces Wrote: Interesting pickles.  Truly.

Thanks I'm really into this DBT therapy and it's changed my life. You are a gracious person. There isn't aenough positive vibes being sent out in our everday lives. Positive psychology is interesting too.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a research-based, cognitive-behavioral treatment originally developed by Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington, to help clients with the suicidal and self-harm behaviors often seen in Borderline Personality Disorder.
DBT has since then been modified as a treatment for other complex and challenging mental disorders that involve emotional dysregulation, such as dual diagnoses, PTSD, eating disorders and severe mood disorders. Clients with these disorders often have great difficulty managing the emotional and relational crises of their lives because they lack the needed behavioral coping skills.

Using both acceptance and change strategies, DBT asks both patient and therapist to find a balance between accepting reality as it is, and maintaining a strong commitment to change. Such treatment is ideally offered in an environment that is warm and validating, while attempting to offer enough challenge and guidance to effect behavioral change and reduction of harmful behaviors. The goal is to help clients create “a life worth living.”

Research has shown that DBT treatment is most effective when it includes 1. individual therapy, 2. a weekly skills training group and 3. help with skills application by phone with the individual therapist between sessions. At MTA, we offer all three components. For information about individual DBT therapy or skills application and coaching, please contact us.

Weekly DBT skills training groups are didactic groups that use a step-by-step format to teach four sets of skills: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance.
Mindfulness: The ability to take control of your mind instead of having your mind control you. Mindfulness helps direct your attention through the process of observing, describing and participating from a nonjudgmental perspective. This allows for more objective, effective, and meaningful experiences in the here and now.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: The ability to communicate and express yourself effectively while maintaining an understanding and a commitment to your objectives, your relationship to the person(s) and your self-respect.
Emotion Regulation: The ability to regulate your emotions by understanding the relationship between thoughts, feelings, body sensations and behaviors. As well as, being aware of vulnerability factors related to emotional states such as; adequate sleep, balanced eating, appropriate medication usage, self-care, exercise and incorporating positive experiences in your daily life.
Distress Tolerance: The ability to get through an already difficult time without making it worse. Self-destructive behaviors are often a result of ineffective ways of dealing with painful emotions. Distress tolerance teaches the use of distraction, radical acceptance and pros/cons as alternatives.
These topics are covered through leader presentation, group discussion, handout materials, structured homework and homework review. For more information about DBT please see www.behavioraltech.com.

(09-18-2018, 06:09 PM)Liss6152 Wrote:
(09-18-2018, 12:21 PM)FirePlaces Wrote: Interesting pickles.  Truly.

I've worked with several therapists in the past that advocated mindfulness and since I'm a pretty fast paced person it was difficult for me. I had a dear friend that talked to me a lot about meditation and even that was a difficult struggle, but he told me to just keep trying to meditate in smaller and smaller increments of time until I could manage it. At first I had to keep physically moving in order to get my mind to focus to even be able to successfully count to 2, sounds ridiculous right? But the reality was that my brain just works very quickly so to slow it down enough to focus I needed that physical movement component. Once I had a better handle on how to slow my mind I was able to remove the incessant need for physical movement to focus better. I still require a great deal of physical movement in order to keep my whole mind and body in the present, but it's no longer as extreme and I get a little better everyday at focusing my mind while keeping my body still and  keeping my mind still while my body moves. My point being, have faith in yourself that even if you must start small keep trying because every small achievement is progress!

They did a study and thelongest any buddhist monk has ever keep his mind free from thought was 156 seconds. Mindfulness, Wise Mind and Radical acceptance with meditation are the things I have to address everyday so that my heart can be grateful giving and receiving love. Sounds like you are on the right path.
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#8
(09-17-2018, 07:22 AM)nick222 Wrote: I don't know how many of you have tried this but I feel that mindfulness meditation has been one of the most useful cognitive tools I have learned in my life. CBT, DBT, Interpersonal therapy, I've tried them all, but this has really stuck with me. 

To close your eyes and feel your breath and just realise where you are, who you are, and that you are still alive and here is such a wonderful feeling. I started doing it for maybe 10 seconds a day- about as long as I could go without a random thought popping into my head. It is a skill, and practice makes permanent. I practice for at least 10 minutes a day, whenever I can.

It is also great at grounding you when you feel a panic attack coming on. As they say, your thoughts are all in the past or the future, when you are thinking in the moment you aren't thinking at all.

I acknowledge that I have my fair share of substance issues to work through, but I can honestly say that mindfulness has had more of a positive impact on my anxiety than any benzo. 

Have any of you guys (or girls) had experience trying this?

I agree with you. The worst decision of my life was starting benzos. Now, no cognitive behavioral therapy and any psychotherapy won’t help. Meditation doesn’t work for me. I literally am just fighting off benzo withdrawals day and night and they are torture. I’m working with my psychiatrist to find me something to dull the effects of benzo withdrawal so I can try and come off.
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#9
DBT is one of the best therapiest around. Learning how to align your opposites is the greatest toolbox one can have. Aligning every perceived flaw one has with the opposite strength and realizing how mindfulness can bring about that strength on a daily basis is amazing. For me , learning the daily grace of Patience versus fight or flight has been Huge. Visualizing breathing out colors such as blue and yellow just gets me in that space where I can enjoy the day. "Its called the present because its a gift" is one of those cliche lines but just saying "this is a gift" is a great affirmation that is paramount in a daily routine.
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#10
WBN18, Has your psychiatrist offered/suggested using Inderal(propranolol) to help with your withdrawal? It is a med used mainly for reducing high blood pressure, but is also used for anxiety. My Dr. prescribed me this med before getting any benzo's. Before I retired and was in a high pressure job, I used it daily because bez0s were not an option. It made my last two years bearable. A high percentage of entertainers use this before going on stage to reduce stage fright. If meditation or any mindful exercises to not work for you then maybe physical activities might help. Something as simple as a walk around the block can have positive effects. Wishing you the best in your current struggles. Keep us updated as we all look out for one another.
MoJim
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