Category Archives: mindfullness

MIA today – but will Catch up tomorrow! — Anyone read Eckhart Tolle?

Hey Everyone!

 

I have had somewhat of a busy day, so I have had much time to look at my posts today to respond to comments 😦

BUT…. I am going to get to them I promise!  I have scanned a few and will most definitely be replying to them!  I haven’t forgotten about you!  I just needed to focus on some of my “homework” (DBT/CBT) for therapy to work through my anxiety, depression, and PTSD  as well as just started to re-read a book that my case manager from 3 years ago bought me for graduation, which I never read as I was so unfocused.  My therapist brought it up, so I thought I would look it up.  It was a book called “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.  Anyone else ever read it???  Would love to hear what you all thing!  Feel free to leave some messages below about it.

It is a pretty good book – talks a lot about mindfulness.  There is quite a bit I don’t agree with, but it does have some decent stuff in there.  She gave it to me in a version on audible, so I have a hard time focusing, but I think I am halfway through.

Anyway,  I write posts ahead of time, so I think I have some coming out tomorrow that you should get to read still.  And I will try to get back to reading through some comments and being more present on here to get back to everyone!

 

Thanks for all the support!!! 🙂

Mindfulness

We are surrounded by different textures.  One of the principle components of mindfulness is to pay attention to things around us, focus on that – not things that worry us such as finances or school.  Just to stay in the moment.

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I took a trip to Malaysia a few months ago and it is an absolutely beautiful country.  When I went, almost no one here knew were it was.  After all the publicity about the missing plane, and then the plane being shot down – it seems like everyone knows where it is.  Well, now that you all know – you should visit it!  It really is a beautiful place.

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While I was there, I paid attention to everything.  I visited a multitude of places during my month there.  While on the beach though, there were all these little crabs!  I live in FL so of course I have been to the beach.  But for some reason, being on the beach there was just fun.  I saw these crabs and they were amazing.  Thousands of them!  Scurrying around – they created all these cool designs on the ground.  They were called bubbling (bubbler) crabs.  They make these little sand pellets and they usually form very cool circular shapes.  I did not get a picture of one of the designs, but I did get a picture of some of them.

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Focusing on all the beauty of the area though took my mind off of any problems going through my mind.  Mindfulness is amazing when you actually use it.  Of course, they key is using it!

 

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Post a Day – Off We Go! A Trip to Remember my Freedom from the Hospital!

WordPress Post A Day – ‘Tis the season for road trips — if time and money were out of the equation, what car-based adventure would you go on? (If you don’t or can’t drive, any land-based journey counts.)

 

I absolutely love road trips!  In fact I think I have taken 8-10 of them in the last 3 years, Not with friends and not generally planned though. After multiple psych hospitalizations, the psychiatrist started pushing my parents to have me go stay with them.  So, my dad would trek his way from Florida to Indiana, and we would drive back down. I would stay for a month, and then we would drive back up.  This happened a few times.  Then I moved to Texas (it was supposed to be permanent) at one point, this was another road trip.  Then I moved back to Indiana, another road trip.  Perhaps these weren’t what others would call road trips?

Well, they were to me! See, we explored all the National Parks along the way. I saw all the National Monuments that we knew about.  I visited museums and of course was the tourist, stopping to take pictures at every visitor center at the state line, taking pictures with the state’s welcome sign!

If I could take another road trip, and no money or time was involved, I would definitely visit all the National Parks.  See, being in nature calms me.  It helps me to see life.  Having mental illness makes me feel dead inside all too often.  Being around nature though, seeing the green trees, green grass, watching the animals around me, seeing the majestic mountains, or trees as tall as the sky – they open my eyes to the beauty around me, the life around me. I feel free in nature, not locked up in a house, committed to a job or a person, I can just focus on anything, be mindful of my surroundings, listen to the sounds around me.

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And the road trip itself – going to all the National Parks, well that might take a while!  Perhaps I wouldn’t make it to all of them at one time.  It would probably take a few road trips over the years.  But driving in the car, listening to some music, singing along – who can argue with that?  I don’t typically enjoy driving to be honest, but knowing I will be going to a place I enjoy, knowing that I am free, I think I could enjoy that!

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This road trip would remind me of being out of the hospital.  They were freedom from the psych hospital!  Now, they will be for pleasure, but they will always represent my freedom – my freedom to be me, to be independent, and to get away and enjoy life and really live.

 

 

Mindfulness

It is so hard to be mindful. I struggle with staying in the moment all the time. This sums up exactly why we should be mindful though! Excellent reminder!

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Mindfulness. The word alone makes me cringe a bit inside after the absurd amount of times I’ve heard it in various hospitals and treatment centers. Ick. I have flashbacks to the oddly-colored sign in the psych ward dining room, promoting mindfulness and peace. The word brings up memories of sitting in a hospital meeting room with a bunch of other pain patients, discussing ways to take our focus off of the pain. I never thought I’d actually practice this skill, but now I am realizing that I have been practicing mindfulness without even realizing it.

So what is this crazy concept? Being mindful…of what? Well, the way I understand it, mindfulness means living in the moment. It means focusing on the present rather than what has happened or what will happen in the future. It’s about becoming aware of your thoughts but not letting them get to you. Mindfulness…

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Grounding Techniques for Anxiety, Panic Attacks, PTSD

I have struggled with anxiety for forever!  I have PTSD and so panic attacks have come and gone in my life for a long time.  Since I began therapy to deal with the trauma specifically they have become much more frequent though.  Luckily I have an amazing therapist that has taught me some wonderful grounding techniques.

1) When you begin to feel anxious and panic, take deep breaths in and out.  Blow out longer than you breathed in.  Pick a specific color that you see in the room around you, then begin to focus on all the things you can see in the room that have that same color.  For example, if you see something that is green, look for all the other items in the room that are also the color green.  This particular technique is my favorite.  I am a very color oriented person and so this distracts my mind.  It took some practice at first, but it has become an excellent tool for me to use.

2) Again, begin to take deep breaths in and out, with the blowing out being longer than breathing in.  Begin to name the objects in the room.  Describe them, such as where you got them or who gave them to you.  Think about why it is important to you.  This one is still a bit hard for me, mainly because many times I do not have much attachment to the things in my apartment.  They were simply bought at a store that I do not remember and not many things that people gave me.  But many people have antiques or special gifts from family members, and this could possibly be very good for them to use.

3) Pick a particular object.  Use all 5 of your senses to describe it.  For example, make a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.  (This way you can enjoy it also!)  Look at it intently.  How does it look?  What is its color?  Are there swirls in it from stirring?  Is the cup warm to touch or too hot to touch?  What does it smell like? How does it taste?  Is it flavored coffee with a hint of French vanilla, or regular strong coffee?  Is it a dark chocolate or milk chocolate flavor? Do you hear anything?  Are you stirring your cup? Does the spoon clink against the glass?  Or is it simply quiet where you can only here the birds outside or the fan spinning in the room?  This is an activity the I enjoy as well.  It allows me to focus strictly on what is going on in front of me.  Although it is a bit harder to do exactly during a panic attack, I can practice it at other times to help me be more mindful and reduce anxiety on a daily basis.

4) To bring myself out of a nightmare of panic attack and back into the present moment, it has been recommend that I just simply grab a piece of ice.  Simple right?  Doesn’t sound like it will help?  I didn’t think it would do much at first.  Supposedly the change in temperature shocks your body into recognizing there is a difference and therefore coming back to the present.  So, if you go into a panicked mode, a flashback, or wake up from a nightmare and do not really know what exactly is going on – are scared and frightened and need a way to refocus… simply grabbing a piece of ice or running your hand under cold or warm (not scalding hot) water, this might help to bring you to the present moment.  Then once in this place, you can begin to practice one of the other grounding techniques.

Those are a few techniques that have helped me.  Everyone is different though and not everything that helps one person will help another.  It is important to try things out though.   If it doesn’t work the first time, don’t give up, because most times things do not work on the first time and take practice.  Talk with your therapist or doctor though to see if they have any ideas as well, as there are a multitude of grounding and mindfulness exercises out there.