Have you ever tried meditation? I personally enjoy meditation. Mostly, because it sharpens my awareness, helps with my anxiety, and has trained my brain to be a little less ADD.
If you tried it, did it help? And, what was the process?
When I was younger I was admitted to an institution after a suicide attempt. We did guided meditation and it lead me to a beautiful mental garden where I could even smell the cherry blossoms blooming. They taught us how to get to that happy place any time, and it does help. Sometimes if it's done well enough, you come out with an actual high like if you'd been smoking some really good weed. I haven't done it in many years, maybe I'll try and go back and see if the cherry blossoms are still blooming.
It helped with my anger and my stress levels. It brought me serenity when I was on the verge of snapping. I found it to be immensely helpful.
Yes, I've done and I do meditate. Not as regularly as I should. I recommend the book 10% Happier by Dan Harris.
Also when I'm alone, especially in the car not moving in traffic I will do a yoga "om" and I can actually feel my heart rate slow down and is calming. When I do it at home it freaks my cats out which is amusing.
I've tried guided meditations before because my therapist suggested them but I have a huge issue with intrusive thoughts and I just cannot quiet my brain. The closest I've come is diaphragmatic breathing and just focusing on that but it definitely helps lower my anxiety.
I meditated, before sleep, a LOT when I was young and allowed the habit to gradually fade, though I keep some remnants and need to rekindle it.
The process was the active relaxation techniques. Starting with your scalp, visualizing it relaxing, consciously relaxing it, and moving down piece by piece to your shoulders, then down your arms to your hands, then to the chest. Using deep meditative breathing the whole time.
Remnants? I was able to relax to increase blood flow to my arms/hands such that I could intentionally heat my hands and used to be able to force my palms to sweat this way. I can still warm up my hands but not as effectively as I could back in the day.
I keep myself warm, overall, through a practice that I think started from my meditation in youth. Visualization. Specifically, visualizing a warming candle in my chest/heart that keeps me warm. As I get older, I find I want/need a coat more often but rarely do.
I can, and do, raise/lower my blood pressure at will. As with other techniques, either I am getting less facile with this OR my health is getting old enough that this is keeping me from exploding! In the military I blew a high BP after a run and was forced to go in to see a medic to get my BP taken 5 times a day for about a week. I would lower my BP for one check. Then raise it. Then lower it, then... you get the idea. The Medic would look at me with the oddest expression while I chortled on the inside. I kept my face impassive. I just used TM techniques to raise/lower... just for fun. I can also affect my heart rate by concentrating on it but, not very well.
I need to get back into this and practice more. It would help me in so many ways.
I study Wing Chun and Tai Chi so meditation is a real requirement. With an empty mind your body reacts instead of the mind issuing the commands when faced with an attack. I don't really try the whole "reach enlightenment" style of meditation just emptiness when under pressure and the removal of all emotion
at home i usually sit just half an hour in the arvo.
my practical introduction into meditation was through 10-day silent retreats in thai buddhist monasteries; they teach the vipassana way. i love silent retreats &, unlike most participants, are reluctant to enjoy the return to vocal life after 10 days.
meditation centres my energy, my awareness, my whole being; it serves to find humility ... & forgiveness, love & mindfulness.
Chanting vibrates my body for pain relief. ....visualizing a center of peace in my mind works ....I don't have attention deficit disordered thought nor consider my brain hyperactive. ...what your fascist genocidal government does to Naval Air Station sailor skulls is TBI jet engine blasts tinnitus conductive hearing loss. ....the vicious lies our government tells to veterans only keep taxes low denying us compensation pensions nor civilian jobs due to high unemployment low wage policies. ... nonetheless I cope with memorizing symphonic orchestral cinematic music, scripts and saloon singing. ...I defeat war pain with harmonic joy as long as I am single. ...marriage has yielded greater heavenly results with my two daughters and their moms while they were sane and sensibly loyal to us instead of religion and boys they were obsessed with
I have tried numerous guided meditations over the years, as well as dabbling in other ways to focus, like counting breaths. Counting sheep to fall asleep is actually a form of meditation as well, though most people never think of it that way.
Yes, it helps me, and it doesn't matter what process I use, as long as I practice it regularly.
Somewhat recently, I successfully meditated for an hour each day. I alternated between many different types - simply focusing on the breath, eating meditation, walking meditation, scanning meditation, open monitoring - switching somewhat freely between them once I sensed a need to change due to sleepiness approaching or being aware that I was sick of whatever practice I was doing. It helped some amount, and my stoppage has more to do me dealing oddly with some life changes. Had I dealt appropriately, I'd still have been doing them rather than just now restarting them.
In any case, the biggest benefit/curse has been an increased awareness of my mental state. Benefit in that for a long time I had been somewhat aware as to how I was feeling and had something of an artificial buffer in place, curse in that, well, now I am now aware that I am not as functional and okay as I seemed.
But while I am now unavoidably aware of my current turmoil, I also have a more wholehearted way to deal with it and 'be with' it instead of ignoring it. The more powerful thing for me is during the moments in my job where it suddenly telescopes into a seeming eternity in which I am doomed to doing it, I can bring myself to the breath and ride out the feeling and deny it of the fuel it needs to survive on its own beyond 90 seconds, when most intrusive thoughts/emotions will fade without some form of reinforcement.
I tried doing a guided meditation once.
I positioned myself to listen: The “guide” started out by spending several minutes on “relaxing.”
Relax my feet, then my legs, then my stomach… all the way up to my head. He wants me to go down a staircase, deeper and deeper, relaxing as I go.
Ten minutes into this “relaxation” segment, I'm so annoyed that I can't even get to the actual meditation.
"I get it… you want me to relax. So shut the fuck up so I can."