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Found 5 results

  1. Hi everyone I'm new to the forum. I'd like to share my story with you, and to show you why/how I've come so far in overcoming my depression and anxiety through meditation. About six years ago, I began having depression and anxiety. It was very sudden. No traumatic incident sparked it, and in fact, my life has been pretty devoid of trauma. I've had what most would call an easy life, looking at it from the outside. I have a supportive family who gave me pretty much whatever I wanted, and good friends. In 10th grade (I'm a senior in college now, about to graduate) I began having disturbing thoughts that wouldn't go away. My anxiety got to a point where I was making myself physically sick. There were nights where I stayed up all night just because I was so on edge. I felt like I was going crazy. It seriously felt like I was in Hell. The anxiety and depression went hand in hand. My anxiety put me into very dark moods, and I was exhausted all of the time from the mental stress. When I began to research anxiety and learn that I wasn't going crazy, that it's a pretty regular thing, that gave me a bit of relief. I found a website (Can't post it cause my last post got removed for websites) that gave me tips to deal with my anxiety. The best tip I got was to accept how I felt, to say "hey, I feel bad right now, and that's okay". When I stopped pushing away the feelings and accepted them, I felt somewhat better. But over the next few years, I dug myself an even deeper hole. I really didn't want to live anymore. It just didn't seem worth it. Sometimes when I was driving I thought about how easy it would be to just veer into traffic. But I would convince myself that I was okay, that it wasn't that bad, and keep going, somehow. I was so used to it that I didn't realize just how depressed I was. After many miserable years, I finally decided to see a therapist. I felt a bit awkward, because I didn't have any traumatic events to get off my chest or anything like that. I had generalized anxiety. I stressed over every little thing and constantly criticized myself. I was so lifeless and disconnected because of the toll anxiety and depression had on me. I just wanted to find some way to be happy, to "be in the present moment" as I told my therapist during our first visit. She gave me anxiety workbook, and this was helpful. The workbook contained exercises which trained you to catch thoughts as they come and to question them. To step outside of your mind and watch the thoughts coming in instead of reacting to them (ideas I realized were key to peace, and are the essence of meditation). After winter break, which was when I started seeing my therapist, a new semester of school started. I take a lot of philosophy classes in college, and I so I decided to try Asian philosophy. It was recommended by my advisor, who said it was the best course we have at our university. I'm so thankful that he recommended it. Taking this class changed everything for me. My professor took us through Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The last three all contain similar ideas, but the ideas of Buddhism stood out to me the most. My professor taught us about the mind through a Buddhist perspective. He woke me up the way we always live for the future, chasing desires and running from fears, never content with the present moment. I remember when he demonstrated this cycle (called samsara in Buddhism) and then asked us "doing this, are we really happy?" It made me realize just how deep into this cycle I was. It made me realize why I was so unhappy. We also learned about meditation and why it works. When you meditate, you focus on a neutral sensation like the breath, and when your mind takes your attention, you simply bring your focus back to your breath. Who would have known that the way to peace is actually to take focus off of thoughts by instead focusing on awareness? Most people try to either push the thoughts away or to think happy thoughts. But neither of these methods allows you to see the thoughts that are bothering you as they really are, for what they are - just thoughts. The thoughts themselves aren't the problem - the anxiety you feel from them comes from your judgement of those thoughts. Meditation trains our minds to be content in the present moment. It also trains us to watch our thoughts instead of reacting to them. We can watch the mind instead of being the mind. We've conditioned ourselves to constantly judge our thoughts and to say "that's good" and "that's bad", instead of just realizing that it's the nature of the mind to wander. Let it do its thing. You don't have to judge it. In my deep depression and anxiety, every thought that popped into my head made me worry. Thoughts of the past, thoughts of the future, thoughts of what other people thought of me, and so on. What would happen if I just watched that thought and accepted it? I don't have to evaluate and judge it. I can let it come, see it for what it is, and let it go. Learning this and meditating regularly, I can honestly say I've overcome my depression. I still feel anxiety here and there as most people do, but I let it go easily now and it no longer controls my life. I've found deep inner peace that a few years ago I could never even imagine was possible. I want to share this with everyone out there suffering with depression and anxiety. It's a matter of changing our habits when it comes to thoughts and feelings. It's about accepting them instead of judging them. And yes, this is a slow process. It takes practice. But even when you first start meditating, you already feel its benefit. I can't post a link to any videos or anything here yet, but do a bit of research and you'll find a lot of resources. The basis of the practice is to focus on the sensation of your breath, and when your mind takes your focus (and it will), to gently return your attention to the breath. You can choose to focus on any place where you feel the breath, your nostrils, upper lip, even your stomach rising and falling. When you get caught up in thoughts, you can say to yourself "thinking" and return to your breath. I thank you all for reading my story, and I wish you all peace. If anyone has any questions, feel free to reply or to message me!
  2. Hi everyone I'm new to the forum. I'd like to share my story with you, and to show you why/how I've come so far in overcoming my depression and anxiety through meditation. About six years ago, I began having depression and anxiety. It was very sudden. No traumatic incident sparked it, and in fact, my life has been pretty devoid of trauma. I've had what most would call an easy life, looking at it from the outside. I have a supportive family who gave me pretty much whatever I wanted, and good friends. In 10th grade (I'm a senior in college now, about to graduate) I began having disturbing thoughts that wouldn't go away. My anxiety got to a point where I was making myself physically sick. There were nights where I stayed up all night just because I was so on edge. I felt like I was going crazy. It seriously felt like I was in Hell. The anxiety and depression went hand in hand. My anxiety put me into very dark moods, and I was exhausted all of the time from the mental stress. When I began to research anxiety and learn that I wasn't going crazy, that it's a pretty regular thing, that gave me a bit of relief. I found a website (Can't post it cause my last post got removed for websites) that gave me tips to deal with my anxiety. The best tip I got was to accept how I felt, to say "hey, I feel bad right now, and that's okay". When I stopped pushing away the feelings and accepted them, I felt somewhat better. But over the next few years, I dug myself an even deeper hole. I really didn't want to live anymore. It just didn't seem worth it. Sometimes when I was driving I thought about how easy it would be to just veer into traffic. But I would convince myself that I was okay, that it wasn't that bad, and keep going, somehow. I was so used to it that I didn't realize just how depressed I was. After many miserable years, I finally decided to see a therapist. I felt a bit awkward, because I didn't have any traumatic events to get off my chest or anything like that. I had generalized anxiety. I stressed over every little thing and constantly criticized myself. I was so lifeless and disconnected because of the toll anxiety and depression had on me. I just wanted to find some way to be happy, to "be in the present moment" as I told my therapist during our first visit. She gave me anxiety workbook, and this was helpful. The workbook contained exercises which trained you to catch thoughts as they come and to question them. To step outside of your mind and watch the thoughts coming in instead of reacting to them (ideas I realized were key to peace, and are the essence of meditation). After winter break, which was when I started seeing my therapist, a new semester of school started. I take a lot of philosophy classes in college, and I so I decided to try Asian philosophy. It was recommended by my advisor, who said it was the best course we have at our university. I'm so thankful that he recommended it. Taking this class changed everything for me. My professor took us through Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The last three all contain similar ideas, but the ideas of Buddhism stood out to me the most. My professor taught us about the mind through a Buddhist perspective. He woke me up the way we always live for the future, chasing desires and running from fears, never content with the present moment. I remember when he demonstrated this cycle (called samsara in Buddhism) and then asked us "doing this, are we really happy?" It made me realize just how deep into this cycle I was. It made me realize why I was so unhappy. We also learned about meditation and why it works. When you meditate, you focus on a neutral sensation like the breath, and when your mind takes your attention, you simply bring your focus back to your breath. Who would have known that the way to peace is actually to take focus off of thoughts by instead focusing on awareness? Most people try to either push the thoughts away or to think happy thoughts. But neither of these methods allows you to see the thoughts that are bothering you as they really are, for what they are - just thoughts. The thoughts themselves aren't the problem - the anxiety you feel from them comes from your judgement of those thoughts. Meditation trains our minds to be content in the present moment. It also trains us to watch our thoughts instead of reacting to them. We can watch the mind instead of being the mind. We've conditioned ourselves to constantly judge our thoughts and to say "that's good" and "that's bad", instead of just realizing that it's the nature of the mind to wander. Let it do its thing. You don't have to judge it. In my deep depression and anxiety, every thought that popped into my head made me worry. Thoughts of the past, thoughts of the future, thoughts of what other people thought of me, and so on. What would happen if I just watched that thought and accepted it? I don't have to evaluate and judge it. I can let it come, see it for what it is, and let it go. Learning this and meditating regularly, I can honestly say I've overcome my depression. I still feel anxiety here and there as most people do, but I let it go easily now and it no longer controls my life. I've found deep inner peace that a few years ago I could never even imagine was possible. I want to share this with everyone out there suffering with depression and anxiety. It's a matter of changing our habits when it comes to thoughts and feelings. It's about accepting them instead of judging them. And yes, this is a slow process. It takes practice. But even when you first start meditating, you already feel its benefit. I can't post a link to any videos or anything here yet, but do a bit of research and you'll find a lot of resources. The basis of the practice is to focus on the sensation of your breath, and when your mind takes your focus (and it will), to gently return your attention to the breath. You can choose to focus on any place where you feel the breath, your nostrils, upper lip, even your stomach rising and falling. When you get caught up in thoughts, you can say to yourself "thinking" and return to your breath. I thank you all for reading my story, and I wish you all peace. If anyone has any questions, feel free to reply or to message me!
  3. Curious if anyone has ever tried meditation? Before I was put on Zoloft I had tried it but good grief there was so many things on my mind I couldnt sit still long enough to focus and when I would I would be so stiff sitting (Indian style) that I could barely get up. I mean it would hurt badly trying to unfold my legs... LOL . So now after learning things about whats going on and all these conspiracy theories about how the world is going to end and blah blah. at first seeing all this fear really scared me and I was panicking for a week straight. and then I started learning more and looking within myself and it totally calmed me right down. I am not going to lie, I have been deathly afraid of dying. I dont know why but now...I dont let it bother me because I know whats really going on. Just curious if anyone else has tried it and how and if it works or doesnt work for them. Thanks for reading I love this forum and everyone here!
  4. Sleep seems to be a recurring issue for many people with GAD. I certainly have trouble settling myself at night time and being able to drift off to sleep. I thought I would share some tips and things that work well for me to ensure I have a good night's sleep. 1. Guided Sleep Meditation This has been so good for me and I hope it will work for others too. All I do is simply YouTube search or google search 'guided sleep meditation' and I choose a result, put my headphones in and lie back in bed and listen. It is great to have a soothing voice guiding you into relaxation and sometimes you need that comforting voice. You dont have to do anything, all you need to do is listen and close your eyes. There is usually a voice accompanied by soft quiet music and the voice will instruct you to breathe and clear your mind. Then you will go through a process of relaxation to sleep. Meditation of course takes a lot of practice but it is worth it. It has so many benefits for stress relief and for just general wellbeing. It gives you tools to calm yourself down and to breathe which are particularly helpful when a panic attack is coming or happening. Here is a list of great Youtube channels to search for: - Jason Stephenson - TheHonestGuys - Meditationrelaxationclub - YellowBrickCinema - (does great sleeping music) - MrMcClung Music 2. Sleep Music I also listen to soft quiet music at night to help me drift off after I have meditated. I find it soothing and I like having the soft music in the background. Sometimes being in silence freaks me out because my mind isn't distracted and so I find listening to soft music very helpful to stop this. The YouTube channels I have mentioned above are helpful for that but you can always google relaxation music or listen to soft classical music even. Listening to nature sounds is very relaxing as well, I personally love listening to ocean sounds. 3. Prior to Bed I have some rules for myself before I go to bed to ensure I am in sleep mode 1. No computers or television an hour before bed 2. A warm shower or bath in the evening 3. No caffeine or sugary foods or drinks 4. A cup of relaxing tea - herbal tea designed for relaxation is fantastic and natural 5. Meditation for sleep 6. Read a book or do some mindfulness drawing/colouring I hope this is helpful for you guys and I hope you get something out of this! Good luck and let me know how you go! - Georgia xx
  5. http://tinybuddha.co...and-meditation/ Editor’s Note: This is a contribution by Paul Jun “Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh One morning I woke up and noticed a few, strange red bumps on my arms—bug bites, I thought. Then, the next day, more bumps. Within one full week, my skin went from being clear and tan to being covered with red, scaly, teardrop spots all over my body, including my face. My self-esteem and confidence were thrown out the window; my comfort zone reduced to about the size of a prisoner’s cell. I went to the dermatologist, avoiding any possible eye contact or bright office lights, and made my way into the office. The doctor came in and I watched her eyes go straight to my arms and hands. By the look of it, she immediately knew what it was. I’ve had Psoriasis before but nothing this excruciating. She explained to me that I had Guttate Psoriasis. In short: no magic pill to cure it. Creams alleviate it (although they never worked for me, ever). Light therapy helps, but the ultimate cure: meditation and believing that I would get better. Just put yourself in my shoes for a second and imagine your skin completely shifted gears on you over the course of one week, and the only answer that you get from a professional with a foreign-sounding name, holding an iPad, is meditation and belief. Sounds like a load of crap, right? But when you’re in the mercy of the unknown, and you literally feel like jumping out of your own skin, you will do anything to get better. I’m not here to complain or give you a medical testimony on Psoriasis: I’m here to tell you how my skin alleviated tremendously in about two months by being mindful of my actions and thoughts, harnessing the effectiveness of words, and exercising the practice of meditation. GO SLOWLY I knew that feeling sorry myself wouldn’t heal my skin, so I took the dermatologist’s advice and began practicing meditation. When most people try meditating, they quit because they don’t know what it is they’re trying to accomplish, or even how to start. But what if it’s as simple as relaxing? What if you meditated because it helps you organize your thoughts, mitigate negative emotions, and maintain some peace in your mind? Isn’t that worth it? I firmly believe that the practice of meditation is the sole reason why my skin cleared up, and it also allowed me to better focus on my tasks and get them done. Note: Meditation isn’t necessarily a cure-all, and medical treatment may be necessary; I had to go to light therapy to further alleviate my skin. However, meditation can ultimately have positive results. It will be as effectiveness as you allow it to be. Some tips for meditation: Sit in a quiet room, set your environment to your comfort, close or open the door (your choice). I sometimes sit on the floor, other times I sit in a chair like I’m at the psychiatrist. Sit still. Take deep breaths, in your nose, out your mouth. At one point, you may not realize you’re even breathing because it happens so naturally. It’s truly fascinating, and it feels liberating. Try to think of nothing and just be. Be the person in the room. Be you. I try to think of a white room without any surroundings, corners, or edges. While you attempt to do this random thoughts will pop up: What’s for dinner? When will that email come in? Ice cream sounds good right about now. And so on. Simply observe them and let them pass. Focus on what you want. For me, it was for my Psoriasis to go away—so I would focus on clear skin. I would focus on getting better and not feeling the way I did. I consistently told myself—even if it felt like I was lying—that I would get better. I adamantly believed it. Sure, there were days I was completely down on myself, but the point is to catch yourself in the act, refuse to give into negativity, and focus on the small, positive steps that lead to a positive outcome. Do this for 10 minutes a day if you can. If you can do more, then do it. Practice often. All you need to do is breathe. Always remember: go slowly. The truth is, meditating takes much practice. You learn to develop the habit of sitting still, purging your negative thoughts, and simply breathing. MINDFUL WORDS AND ACTIONS It’s not just seated meditation that creates positive change in our lives. Being mindful of our language can also make a big difference. I believe that words are an influential and determining force—not only the words that we say, but how we say it. If you consistently use negative, undermining words, the result will consistently show. If you use positive, encouraging words, you’re more likely to create a positive outcome. I had to quit saying: “My skin is awful. I’ll never get better. I hate my life.” Instead, I had to begin exercising mindful thoughts such as: “My skin will get better. I will finish my eBook. This is only one obstacle, and if I get over this I will be stronger than yesterday.” You can apply this to your life, your passions, and craft. If you consistently tell yourself that you will never lose weight, or you’ll never find happiness, then guess what? You never will. YOU HAVE POWER By developing the habit of meditation, and exercising mindful actions and words, you will decrease the stress and anger in your life and harness your personal power to create and spark positive outcomes. When negative emotions pop up, you will know how to cope with them instead of feeding into them. I could have sat in my room and felt sorry for myself. I could have procrastinated writing for the next few months. I could have thought that the doctor was full of it and completely disregarded her advice. But I didn’t. I chose to be mindful of my thoughts and actions. I chose to practice meditation, regardless of how daunting it may have seemed. I chose to put effort into getting better. After a few months, my skin cleared up dramatically, my mood became less foul, and I finished my eBook, largely through simple, mindful practices. You can change your life too, starting right now. You won’t see drastic change in a few days, and maybe not in a few weeks. I felt antsy because I wanted to get better quickly, but I’ve learned to be patient with myself. Go slowly. Be mindful of your words and actions. Start choosing to live a more fruitful, positive life. About that eBook I mentioned—it’s about harnessing the power of words, and it’s my free gift for you. http://www.amazon.co...31388729&sr=8-1