I just came across an article in today's Epoch Times newspaper here in Ottawa. There was an article that caught my attention, about MBSR, Meditation Based Stress Reduction.
I've never heard of this before and wonder why it might not have been suggested to me at the OSIS clinic when I was a client.
Has anyone any experience with this that they would like to share, either publicly or through PM? I think it might have value for me perhaps.
Meditation is very helpful. And it is really easy. Once you wrap your head around the fact that thoughts arising in you head is normal and not "failing", it is very relaxing. There is a lot of evidence of a direct relationship between meditation and lower cortisol levels. It also helps anxiety.
The two main methods are a mindfulness based practice and a non directive method. For mindfulness, you just sit and focus on your breath, how it feels, the sounds, the rise and fall of you belly etc. and when ever you find yourself floating off in thought or worry, you cone back to your breath. That coming back to breath is the important part of mindfulness. You are recognizing the monkey mind and bring your mind back into focus.
Non Directive meditation is kind of the opposite. What ever happens, happens. In it's simplest form, you just sit and observe what you kind is doing with out judgement. A more common method is mantra meditation. This is the basis for transcendental Meditation but it doesn't have to be as mystic (or expensive). You pick a word and repeat it silently over and over in the background of your mind. Some people have suggested words like relax or quiet, other use Hindu words like OM, LUM , etc. or you can just use a nonsense word. It is just a focal point to keep your conscious mind busy.
There are a lot of apps out there which can help get you started. The most popular is headspace and it's 10 for 10 program (10 min meditation for 10 days) is free. Calm is similar. I like insight, it is a community based app with hundreds of different guided meditations and a nice time if you don't want a guided version.
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