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Mindfulness: What Is It? (Even if you dont know please post so we can help grow the forums accordingly)

blondguy
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Everybody

This is only the basic dictionary definition...

"Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment without judgement"

  • Please be as blunt you wish....If you dont have an idea about mindfulness it would be great if you could let us know
  • If mindfulness hasnt worked/or is too broad a concept for you it would great if you can let us know your thoughts too
  • If mindfulness has helped you, please help others to help themselves by posting how you have embraced this mindset

It goes without saying that the forums are a judgement free zone and I really hope that everyone can jump in and have their say

Your input is highly valued no matter how you respond to this topic. There are no experts here...New Posters are Most Welcome!!

My Kindest Thoughts

Paul

1,330 Replies 1,330

Blue_Jane
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Paul

Thanks for starting this new thread. When I was in the worst throes of my anxiety I used mindfulness to calm my mind and the many thoughts going through it. I used mindfulness to be more appreciative of what I was feeling, smelling, seeing etc at that moment. So if I was walking through a park it meant observing the sound my shoes made on the ground/on leaves or observing my breath or smelling the air.

It did work when my normal breathing exercises were not making a difference. It was nice to force a break in my mind and be focused on the detail of the present.

Look forward to hearing from others.

Blue Jane

CMF
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Good one Paul,

i have tried a few times, works better when I'm not trying so hard. Am reading a book about it at the moment. So will come back to this when I have learnt a little more.

cmf

Quercus
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Paul,

Good topic!

The way I was intoduced to mindfulness was this...

Choose an object that appeals to you. Hold it in your hand. Focus solely on the object in your hand and block out everything else.

Feel the weight of it. Turn it. Shake it. Touch it. Smell it. What does it feel like? How does it smell? What colours can you see it it? What textures? What temperature is it? List every minute detail of it in your mind.

I was told do do this whenever I was overwhelmed. To ground me in the present and block of painful thoughts. Sometimes I find myself picking up and object in a shop and people look at me like I'm nuts. But it helps me sometimes. Just to have some quiet in my head.

Guest_322
Community Member

Hi Paul,

Great thread idea 😊 I'm glad so many of you are benefiting and/or exploring mindfulness.

I feel as though I'm in the minority here but I've personally found that mindfulness isn't really for me. Maybe my brain is wired weirdly or something but I've found that I actually often felt worst afterwards. I'm not entirely sure why.

One of the core symptoms of my depression is feeling listless and "blah", and I found that mindfulness only helped exacerbate the pre-existing listlessness in me. Hence why I no longer practice mindfulness.

One of my old psychs switched it up with art therapy, which suited me a lot better. I tend to respond better to creative outlets but that's just me. I guess we are all a little different.

Now, I'm obviously only speaking for myself. I realise other people swear by mindfulness, and it has greatly improved the quality of many lives. Power to you guys. If it works for you, keep at it.

Dottie x

Hi Paul,

The subject is new to me. I must say I read and re-read the definition a dozen times. It's a powerful process to comprehend, however the thing that mostly jumps out to me is that there are three (3) statements. One could argue the definition is to broad? For example the last sentence "Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment without judgement", is this not how a small child behaves? They live in the moment. So you could say there is an element of child like behaviour involved. (And whats wrong with having fun?)

Let me post it again, it's a mouth full πŸ™‚ (Or mind full) πŸ™‚

"Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment without judgement"

So you focus on the present while at the same time observe your thoughts and feelings (from a distance) without judging them good or bad. Hmmm (Whilst being child like) Hmmm ???

Not sure I can do it. LOL Is it like rubbing your belly and tapping your head at the same time?

So it is obviously some state of mind, that honestly I don't totally understand. The only thing that comes to my mind, is it might be likened to meditation.

I have personally studied Hatha Yoga and one of the Poses (I think they were called) was to stare at a candle flame for some minutes, then close your eyes and watch that same candle flame dance in your minds eye.

Interesting topic, thanks.

IF



blondguy
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hey Blue Jane, CMF, Quercus.....thanks for posting and your take on how you benefit and understand mindfulness. Great stuff that you have success with this mindset

Hey Dottie and IF.....thanks for posting too....Great to have your opinions on this mindset. It can be a broad term which is similar to 'grounding ourselves' in the moment instead of our thoughts going into the anxious or catastrophising mode.

You are not in the minority Dottie...Ive seen this term used a lot on the forums without a reference point. There seems to be many people who feel similar to IF and yourself.

Ive been using grounding therapy for years and slowly getting a handle on mindfulness. It seems similar

my kindest. Paul

Starwolf
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

I was introduced to the practice of mindfulness many years ago while living in Asia. In the East, it is taken for granted that the mind can be trained and controlled...something I would have loved to hear when I grew up in the West, struggling with PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Dissociation etc...

As many of you already know, I have been a staunch advocate for mindfulness around the forums. It saved my life.

Being in the here and now involve all 5 senses to be alert. When this happens, the mind becomes quiet and oblivious to its own activity. Only the involuntary function remains (heartbeat, breathing and all bodily processes are maintained). Very young children and animals can do this switching off naturally. Individual life experience causes us to lose track of this functioning at root level. Anything we become engrossed in (watching a good thriller, reading a captivating book, rapture in music or dance, playing sports etc...) leaves no space for anything else. The rest of the world temporarily disappears. We lose awareness of time and space. It can be applied to work, play or just intense observation. Practicing mindfulness produces this intensity of action or observation on demand. We become in charge of the mind instead of the mind controlling us.

Mindfulness is the cultivation of this fully-in-the-moment mode. When mastered (not easy), it is the best antidote ever to overthinking. At its best, it is the mind watching itself, registering each thought without holding on to it, like watching passing clouds over a clear sky. When this happens, there is detachment. Pure objectivity without emotions getting in the way. Mindfulness is the art of developing this watcher within.

I won't lie to you...training the mind that has been allowed to run amok over many years is like taming any wild animal. It must be done very carefully because it can easily backfire. Strongly intend not to think of anything you would normally be unlikely to think of and watch your mind rebel and do exactly the opposite.

Like with all training, daily and persistent practice is the way to go, first with easy things or actions to focus fully on. Gradually increasing difficulty and duration. Keeping in mind that it is more demanding than building up a seldom/never used muscle. Because the untrained mind has acquired autonomy and rulership. Dictators don't relinquish power easily and patience is not a mentally ill person's best asset.

Hey Paul,

Thanks for the feedback and open mindedness. I mean, anxiety isn't really a huge problem for me personally (depression "dominant" through and through in my case). If I'm dwelling on something, I tend to reason with myself if that makes any sense.

So I don't feel that I necessarily have anything to "ground." But hey, each to their own. I'll leave the mindfulness to you guys- awesome that it helps some of you guys - and I'll just stick to my art and music πŸ˜‰ Thanks again.

Dottie x

blondguy
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello Starwolf and thankyou for your knowledge and experience on mindfulness.

You have a gift of keeping things simple yet informative.

Starwolf Said "We become in charge of the mind instead of the mind controlling us" and "Mindfulness is the art of developing this watcher within"

I will be saving this post to my 'Coping Folder' Star and thanks again. I was hoping you would help out:-)

Hey Dottie: Your voice here is appreciated because there are a ton of people here that are lost on Mindfulness. I am glad you posted because its great to hear from the people that are like me and find it a new and broad topic

Just fyi....Grounding is just grounding ourselves in the moment so our thoughts (even depression) dont go back into the past and repeat old behaviours. Thanks again Dottie...I have and always will be a fan of how you have helped so many people with your caring yet intelligent advice. Paulx