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Losing Ground
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone tried meditation to help with SA, stress or depression? Did it help you and if so were the effects long lasting (like all day or half the day) or was it only immediately after or during the meditation? How long did it take you to become proficient at meditating? Are you able to meditate in the work place to help you relax?

haha a lot of questions but I'm curious, any help is appreciated. :yes
 

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Hi! I am not going to be very helpful to you, but I am very interested to see people's answers. I have tried 'mindfulness' and have found it nearly impossible. I think it takes a lot of practice. I got some books on anxiety/meditation from the library and found them quite useful, maybe you could start there? As far as I understand, meditation isn't so much supposed to have 'lasting effects', but rather it is supposed to train your mind to be able to focus your thoughts. If you can do this, then you can transfer this skill to everyday life and to managing anxious thoughts, because you are able to divert your attention away from the worries. Is that right...?
 

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I have been meditating for about a year. But have not quite mastered the full effect of 'mindfulness'. I still have trouble just 'being in the moment' but as Supreme said its about training your mind. As for short term effects.. When I do take half hour to focus on meditating. I do feel the lasting effect all day. It definately gives me an appreciation for life and the 'simple things' like a flower, a tree, the sky.. like I get more focused on whats there in the moment. If that makes sense?
I can only do it when their is no distractions. I could never do it if at work or school or if I have time contraints, like I had to be somewhere.
I do it while my bf is at work and Im home alone or just before bed, I tell him I need half an hours peace. Id really like to get 'back to nature' and try it somewhere like the beach, a park etc. But havnt quite got there yet.
Im still learning. But Im finding the more you do it, the more effect it has.
 

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I never really understood the typical meditation of the east in its full practice. I do a simple meditation where I keep my mind full of good thoughts to remind myself of things, instead of the emphasis on not thinking or chanting. I believe though that sitting with a straight back and breathing into abs can be important unless you want to lie down because you are really really tired. The eastern thought is good with physical aspects but the mental psychology that goes with it I have had personal trouble with and generally have modified that part.
 

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I've given it a try lately, mainly out of desperation. It is very difficult to master. To become as spiritual as a buddhist monk, you have to train for years. It is even more difficult for people with anxiety.

However, I do believe that the mind is very powerful and that meditation over time can allow you to retrain your brain to deal with situations in a more calm matter. Again, it is very difficult, but something worth striving for. I give credit to anyone who has mastered the art of meditation.
 

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Losing Ground
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Has anyone gone to see someone who teaches you how to meditate? What about therapists, is there a such thing as a therapist who will use meditation as part of the therapy to help you? Not sure if such a thing exists. I think I'm too ADD to teach it myself.
 

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I do yoga and meditation daily. And have been doing so for the last two years. The yoga part is just like stretching, it doesn't help much for SA (but I guess any form of exercise has anti-depressant effects). The meditation doesn't help either, I notice no lasting effects throughout the day. I do them mainly for health reasons not for emotional / personality ones.
 

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hi,
yes I do meditation these days every morning, and it is helpful with anxiety. It does calm the mind. And the body I guess. I think the benefits are hard to put your finger on, and cumulative over time and regular practice. I've heard it's better to meditate 15 minutes a day than 1 hour one day and not at all on others. The regularity is helpful. Also it seems to me it does increase my mental capacity, I've noticed I can remember things better, rather than not being able to remember, like, what was I just doing? I can remember as opposed to not remembering, because my mind is getting trained to pay attention, and I think it helps make it sharper, and I can use the help! God knows!

Also it helps you to get out of your usual perspective on things, to get loose from your mental habits, which helps with anxiety.

Basically you can meditate by just sitting comfortably, I close my eyes but they teach to have your eyes almost closed and barely focused a bit in front of you. Hands together (as I do) or not, but just focus on your breathing (and get ready to start consciously getting uptight w/how you're breathing! ha), just "observe" your breath, and watch your thinking, your thoughts pass like clouds, and feelings along with them, and then you'll get caught up in your thoughts and feelings, and at some point you realize and so you bring your attention back to your breath, and watch your thoughts.

You can start with 30 minutes or even less. Meditation is the main thing holding me together these days. I gives me a source of strength, somehow.
 

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Meditation

First I highly highly highly recommend buying an MP3 player and listening to these guided meditations. Also first I would listen to Eckhart Tolle's the power of now book over and over again before you start meditating. Really teaches you a lot of things that will help you not just with your everyday life but also with your meditations. Very very important. So much of this book completely resonated with me and just made so much sense to me. Also there are a bunch of Eckhart Tolle / Adyashanti recorder retreats that I like to listen to. Very easy to do a 'presence' meditation while you are listening to them.

Also first I would like to tell you why I really really believe in meditation. Especially the ones I am about to list. I had suffered some severe mental traumas (temporary depersonalization syndrome, completely bizarre and very destructive thoughts) due to some really bad hallucinogenic drug experiences. I was pretty much a complete anxious / depressed suicidal mess for half a year afterwards. Only after about 1 year could i be somewhat functional. (Still incredibly anxious and depressed but better than I was) Anyway I was researching meditation and buddhism, and was practicing 'mindfulness of breath meditation,' I was doing it wrong, was controlling the breath instead of just 'watching' it without manipulating it. Anyways I had been meditating for 2 and a half hours or so in the dark basement when all the sudden I sort of freaked myself out, I felt the panic sensation coming and my heart started beating incredibly fast. My first urge was to stop meditating and try to escape mentally before it turned into a full fledged panic attack, instead I decided to stay with it and completely surrender to the panic attack, I 'let it do its worst', make no mental resistance, just allow the panic to be, watch it, don't identify with it, don't think about it, just feel it and put your attention on it. Anyways it turned it into a complete full blown panic attack. My heart and breath were incredibly fast. Still had the urge to try to escape it mentally but I did not I just continued the practice.

Anyways after about 1 or 2 minutes of this and me staying present and creating no mental resistance to it and facing it head on all the sudden the panic completely changed. I was no longer panicky at all. I felt absolutely amazing. It shifted almost instantly too. I had what felt like energy and tingles just surging up and down my back and I felt incredibly elated like a huge weight was lifted off my mind. Felt very happy and completely different. Seemed like all the negative energy was released. A state of bliss. Most amazing experience I've ever had. I never had a panic attack again and for half year or so I felt very good, still had some social anxiety by it was greatly reduced, then I got into other drugs and bad habits returned. Anxious again. Bad anxiety maybe but still no panic attacks. Also I think I closed the door on depersonalization syndrome forever. Never depersonalized since or had the feeling like your awareness increases like 100x like you do when you are about to depersonalize. Anyways I later read Eckhart Tolle and Adyashanti and they described the mental aspect of it perfectly. Also Eckhart Tolle described exactly what happened to me. Like people would come up to him and tell him about experiences that were the exact same as mine

Also here's something I wrote in another thread which I think is really helpful.

The more energy you give to thoughts the more prevalent and more powerful they become. You must not feed them any more energy. The key to living in the now is to allow everything to be as it is. Don't resist anything mentally. Don't project into the future in attempt to escape an unpleasant now. Just be still. Feeling anxious? Allow yourself to feel anxious, don't try and escape it. Treat every moment as if you had chosen it. Totally surrender to whatever you are feeling, even if it is very negative, when you are completely surrendered then there is no conflict, no projection, no trying to escape, no more negative thoughts (which trigger even more negative thoughts and negative emotions which trigger negative thoughts etc.) There are two methods that I use to try to become more present if I am dwelling on things from the past. The first is to just watch your thoughts. Don't identify with them. Don't judge them. Just watch them. Observe them, realize that they are not you, they are just a matrix of repetitive conditioned thought loops. Gradually they will start to lose power over you and will no longer make emotional connections which trigger negative emotions and other thought loops. Another method is to consciously put your attention into the present moment. Try to feel your body from the inside and any sensations. Listen to the noises around you. Put your attention on your breathing etc. I alternate between these and others though. I find the 'allowing everything to be as it is' method the best though because you are not trying to get anywhere (which is projection, the false belief that you need to 'get somewhere' to feel complete and in the now, sometimes I got myself into bad mental states trying to hard to be in the now, so completely surrendering to the present moment and your emotions whatever they may be is best, you will sort of figure it out though through trial and error)

Favorite meditations in order with descriptions:

Adyashanti's "Allow everything to be as it is meditation"
Found in "Spontaneous Awakening audiobook" for me its chapter 5 but chapter 4 is also needed imho. Also "True Meditation" audiobook. Can be found on the internet if you know where to look ;-) Just please buy them if they work for you. Guided meditation. Listen to it with an mp3 player. (Also this might be a better meditation to try when you have some experience with eckhart tolle's meditations.)

This is very very similar to what I was doing during that panic attack. The general idea is to completely stop manipulating your experience. Don't try to get to any particular mental state. Don't resist anything mentally. Allow everything to be as it is. Accept each mental state as if you had chosen it. Surrender to the now. Completely surrender to whatever you are feeling, feeling anxious? Allow yourself to feel anxious. Don't resist it, don't try to think your way out of it. Allow awareness to flow wherever it will. Don't try to change it. Allow it move about freely. Very relaxing meditation. Great for when you are in an unpleasant mental state. When you are in a bad mental state the last thing you want to do is 'think your way our of it' or do a manipulative meditation to try and get out of it. This can cause serious conflict if you fail and more mind activity and negativity. Best to allow it to be and totally surrender to it, then see what happens

Eckhart Tolle meditations:
In his book / audiobook "The Power of Now"
Can be found on the internet if you know where to look
General idea is to stay in the now instead of in the past or future. Escape your mind by creating 'gaps in the mind' where there is no thought just awareness. Many methods of doing this, you can 'listen to the silence' which means put your attention on the 'silence.' (Better listen tot he audiobook to get a better understanding of what this means. You can also just listen to whatever sounds pop up, just put your attention to listening to whatever comes up. Another is the 'feeling your inner body' meditation which never worked to well for me, I usually just focus on whatever sensations I feel against my skin and such. "Watching the mind meditation" is a very powerful one, its purpose is to break your identification with your mind. So your mind no longer controls you, watch it make mistakes, become aware of you (the observer / awareness) and your thoughts at the same time. Goal is to realize that you are not your mind, and your thoughts are not you, and are often completely irrational and crazy and make no sense. Lots of good meditations in the book. I recommend doing these ones first.

Jon-Kabbat Zinn General mindfulness meditation
I like listening to this one when the others aren't working so well. I rarely do it relatively but it is a good meditation especially for beginners. I don't like mindfulness of breath meditation because I did it wrong for so long and felt so much negative energy / physical discomfort in my chest and 'controlled' my breathing instead of just watching it. If you do the mindfulness of breath technique try to feel the breath on your nostrils and not your chest if you feel lots of anxiety in your chest. But still a good meditation. Very effective and great for a beginner. He really does a good job explaining what you are supposed to do. I also like the method of gently putting your awareness on several things at once. Such as your hearing, the feeling in your body and hands etc and your breath at the same time.


Here's a good ebook dealing with mindfulness
Mindulness in Plain English
http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe.html

I alternate between all of these, these are the major ones that I do. Occasionally I will do others but I find these the most effective. Recommend Jon-Kabbat Zinn / Eckhart Tolle meditations for beginners, when you are more experienced or if the previous meditations seem to lose their effect try Adyashanti's meditation. I constantly alternate between these ones especially if my meditations have become stale or unsuccessful. I dislike mindfulness of breath because I did it wrong for so long and also because once I do it I find it hard to do eckhart tolle's and adyashanti's meditations because I automatically watch my breath.
 

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I meditate everyday, and I have to say that it does put a "positive edge" of sorts on your day. It most definitely does relieve anxiety tension and depression. I find that if I meditate for at least 30 minutes, I will generally feel better for several hours afterward. I guess I could say that I'm proficient at meditation, but only because I've resorted to doing it everyday as a result of really having nothing else to do that doesn't provoke anxiety. It's easy, though. I cannot typically meditate in the immediate presence of others without suffering a slight bit of discomfort, which breaks my concentration, though I have had some degree of success at my local park.

If you are interested in meditation, I would suggest that you look up deep-trance meditation, or the mind-awake body-asleep state, and WILD, or Wake-Induced/Initiated Lucid Dreaming. Having your body fall asleep while your mind is awake feels absolutely fabulous, not to mention that you can even induce lucid dreams from that state.
 

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Meditation is good for SA. But the major problem I run into is finding a quiet place to do it. Personally I prefer yoga for immediate anxiety relief - which helps stifle hyper thoughts in the form of relaxing exercise...2 birds, 1 stone.

But, meditation is a great foundation for positive thinking and can be used while standing in crowded place or other anxiety-inducing locations.
 

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Wonderful

I also meditate every day. Usually for fifteen minutes, sometimes for thirty. The key is not to see how long you can meditate for, because that will frustrate you if you aren't able to achieve your desired length, the key is to establish a healthy routine.

Also, I highly recommend joining a meditation center. I'm a member of the Milwaukee Zen Center and I absolutely love it. I go there at least once a week, sit down and meditate with the resident priest for an hour and a half, and feel awesome after I leave. Buddhists are also known for not prying into other people's business so if you want to be more involved with the center, you can, but if you would rather just go there and meditate and not be bothered with anything else, that's great as well.

Here are some sites I found (and still find) very helpful:

http://www.audiodharma.org/timer/timer.html
This site has some mp3's that let you know when 15 minutes or a half-hour is up with the sound of a bell. Personally, I use these all the time.

http://www.do-not-zzz.com/
If you're interested in Zen Buddhism, this is a creative and fun introduction to it.

And here is a good guide to meditating:
http://www.web-us.com/meditation/alternateguidemeditate.html

Hope this helps and the best of luck to you!
 

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Hi! I am not going to be very helpful to you, but I am very interested to see people's answers. I have tried 'mindfulness' and have found it nearly impossible. I think it takes a lot of practice. I got some books on anxiety/meditation from the library and found them quite useful, maybe you could start there? As far as I understand, meditation isn't so much supposed to have 'lasting effects', but rather it is supposed to train your mind to be able to focus your thoughts. If you can do this, then you can transfer this skill to everyday life and to managing anxious thoughts, because you are able to divert your attention away from the worries. Is that right...?
Ah yes, mindfulness. A month or two ago I was at a food convention in Vancouver Canada. I was wearing a long sleeve white shirt and at the food court in front of hundreds of people I spilled chicken curry all down the front of myself from the tip of my collar right down into my shoes. Then it was a 20 minute walk home down one of Canada's busiest shopping streets with me covered in bright red/orange curry sauce from head to toe. My CBT homework that week was supposed to be practicing mindfulness, and it's harder than ya might think in some circumstances!!! LOL
 

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My wife dragged me to a local Buddhist temple for her anthropology field study. I gotta admit it was a very neat experience and mediating with the monks was awesome. We plan to go back for the day retreat when it cools off. I highly recommend people to check one out regardless of your religion.
 

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I meditate 20 min in the morning and 20 min at night. It really helps you cope with your anxiety and to bring yourself into a more stable you. Also, try combining it with CBT because as you meditate, you might probably get negative thoughts emerging time to time; when you meditate, it is very easy to rationalize those negative thoughts. I've been seeing more and more results, so it doesn't hurt to try!
 

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Actually this forum and social anxiety support website community working very hard to provide quality meditation knowledge around world through internet. I read this website about 6 month regularly cause I want to know something more.
However, you question is really logical that I also asked this question to my teacher that how much time it will require to feel good and deep with meditation. He told me that time will not a fact and you will satisfy with your own mind. Here, psychological strongness is very essential. Some days ago, I watch caroline myss audiobook CD and I really pleasure now. Thanks
myss
 

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Meditation is very important to me. I started taking it a lot more seriously after reading a book titled "Autobiography of a Yogi". After I read that, I started doing more research into eastern mysticism. I don't care much for the supernatural claims, but meditation itself is a very useful tool. One reason that I think a lot of people disregard it, is that the tool usually comes packaged with metaphysical and religious nonsense.
 

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It's a really misunderstood thing I think. It can sharpen your concentration tenfold.
 

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ive just finished reading a very usefull e-book called "the end of social anxiety" by edward cottrrill, its only about 3 quid and is about 60 pages long. I found it really inspireing tbh, and as off tomorrow im gonna start practicing some of the meditation techniques explained within the book, that are specifically designed to bring an end to social anxiety.

i cant actually vouch for weather or not these techniques actually work as ive not started them yet, but i highly recomend the book, and hopefully i will begin to see some results soon!
 
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