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I've been interested in mindfulness for quite some time now. It also seems to be the current trend in mental health care and recovery. So: 1. I'm currently reading Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. These two men really know their stuff; they are some of the leading researchers on mindfulness and mental health in the world.
It's an excellent book. I cannot recommend it enough. They have an eight-week course laid out in the book; I am not following it as a course. As I often do with self-help books, I have read the whole thing and implemented the strategies that seem most helpful right now. I will probably go back later and implement others. I have found it very difficult to meditate. I believe the psychosis has something to do with this. I know most people find it very difficult to start with, but from what I understand that is due to a lack of attention.
For me, it is the opposite. I fix my attention so acutely on something that I become trapped by it. Last night, for example, I found myself entering a 'thought spiral' of very bad thoughts. So, I used one of the mindfulness strategies I know - bringing my attention to my surroundings.
I became so transfixed that I could see the air circulating around my room, and the alternating current running through the lights. It was not good.My Support Forums is the online community that was originally begun on Psych Central in John Grohol.
Remember Me? Site Navigation. Just a gentle reminder No suicidal posts, please. What does this mean? Thank you. Welcome to My Support Forums! You are currently viewing our community as a guest -- which gives you limited access to view most discussions and our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members, respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today! If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. Have you thought about online therapy?
Give BetterHelp online counseling a try Sponsor. Does anyone else hate 'mindfulness'? My therapist is WAY into "mindfulness" and seems to think it is the cure for everything--basically it's just the practice of focusing on the present. I can't stay present for more than a few seconds tops, but it's what he goes to every single session when I talk about my anxiety and depression.
He keeps reminding me that there's no danger in the present and for me to look around and take stock of my surroundings and see that there's nothing presently in front of me that can hurt me. I keep telling him--I'm not afraid of getting eaten by a lion or shot or stabbed.
I'm afraid of everything else--of going through the rest of my life in extreme pain and suffering. I'm afraid of the emptiness I feel in my own life and the dread that overcomes me every day. He just says keep focusing on the present, and when I tell him that I can only do that for a couple of seconds, he keeps saying that "you can build on a couple of seconds. To gain relief for 2 seconds only to go back into suffering doesn't comfort me--it just reminds me of how much pain I'm in.
He says: "Well, just keep doing it and eventually you'll be able to sustain it for longer. Maybe it works for some people but it sure hasn't worked for me, and it doesn't bring me relief.
He just keeps saying: "focus on the present, focus on the present--you're safe here in my office right now with someone listening to you"--then I remind him that I'm going to have to leave in a few minutes and go back out into the terrifying world so focusing on the fact that I have the next few minutes safe with him is of very little comfort. I feel like he's not getting it. Am I explaining it to him wrong?Mindfulness meditation for people with ADHD? It may seem like a stretch, since difficulty with mindfulness is the very challenge for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
And yet recent research shows that mindfulness training can be adapted for this condition and that it can improve concentration.
Various clinicians and educators are already teaching mindfulness to people with ADHD as well as to overly stressed school children. Scientists have been trying for several decades to understand how attention works. Recent studies on mindfulness and attention have demonstrated that with a little work, participants can develop greater ability to focus and self-regulate.
Lidia Zylowska, M. Eighteen adults and seven adolescents finished the program. Participants started meditating for just five minutes at a time and increased slowly to 20 minutes. If they found it too difficult to sit, they could choose to do mindful walking instead.
For example, the trainers used the picture of the blue sky to explain what mindful awareness is. The blue sky represents the space of awareness, and the clouds represent all the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that pass by. The participants learn to observe their inner experience from a witnessing and nonjudgmental stance. In addition, the educational component of the program addresses some of the self-esteem issues of people with ADHD.
It emphasizes observing negative emotional states without identifying with them and with practicing positive emotions. At the heart of training are two steps:. These two steps are practiced during meditation and throughout the day. In this way, students of mindfulness learn to pay attention to patterns and to subtle changes that happen moment to moment. For example, says Zylowska, a person might notice they interrupt a lot when they are talking with someone.
Once they have become more aware of their urge to interrupt, they may choose not to do it the next time the impulse arises. The majority of participants in the MARC study rated the training highly and reported improvement in attention and hyperactivity.
These initial findings are encouraging, she says, but the pilot study focused on program development and feasibility outcomes and did not have a control group.
More research is needed to validate these initial findings in a controlled study. Because of her previous research at MARC and current clinical work with adults with ADHD in her private practice, Zylowska often serves as a consultant to other researchers. Nirbhay N. The mothers underwent mindfulness training.
Their behavior toward their children subsequently changed, resulting in better compliance from their children.
When the children were given similar training, compliance increased, and it was maintained during followup. The mothers reported increases in satisfaction with the interactions with their children and happiness with parenting.
D, research scientist at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, examined an InnerKids program on mindfulness and effects on behavior and executive function in elementary school children. Executive function is the ability to organize behavior, plan things sequentially, hold attention on a task and follow it. The study, published in the Journal of Applied School Psychologyshowed that mindfulness improved executive function in the children, particularly those who started out with lower executive functioning.
These studies show that the field of mindfulness research in ADHD and the effects of mindfulness practice on attention is growing. It is also true that research on applications of mindfulness for other mental health conditions is underway. It explains the science of mindfulness and its affects on attention, ADHD, and a range of applications such as coping with pain, negative emotions, and enhancing happiness.
As the research on mindfulness and attention proliferates, clinicians and educators are seeking ways to apply it in practice. In addition, mindful awareness training often is conducted in education centers and yoga studios.There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy.
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase. If so, then the following article details 71 mindfulness activities that can be added to any busy day. Trying to do so would cause you to neglect important tasks related to your career, relationships, and lifestyle. So instead, we suggest you start small by building a single routine at a specific time each day that includes a maximum of one to three of these activities.
Then add more as you become comfortable with the mindfulness practice. Choosing to awaken a little earlier in the morning not only allows you to begin your day with mindfulness but also extends the amount of time you have to enjoy life. Give it a try for a week or so.
You may be surprised at how much more you enjoy your mornings with just a few extra minutes. When we begin the day with gratitudewe train our minds to look for the positive rather than focusing on the challenges, frustrations, and slights we have encountered throughout the week. The key to making this habit effective is not the number of things you feel grateful for or even the amount of time you spend in gratitude, but rather the intensity of focus and feeling you have around the effort.
A mindful gratitude practice means immersing yourself in the emotion so that you feel deeply and profoundly blessed. A body scan is a meditative practice in which you focus on each part of every area, often beginning at the toes and moving to the head. The key here is to train your attention on each specific part for a moment and pay close attention to how you feel.
Do you pay much attention to your breathing? Practicing mindful, focused breathing, even for ten minutes a day reduces stress and promotes relaxation. Slow, deep, rhythmic breathing causes a reflex stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which results in a reduction in the heart rate and relaxation of the muscles.
71 Mindfulness Exercises for Living in the Present Moment
Learn to improve your breathing and lung capacity. If you allow negative thoughts to run rampant first thing in the morning, you lose the best time for creativity and productivity.
Many people wake up feeling anxious and filled with dread, as the cycle of rumination and negative thinking begins the minute their feet hit the floor. When you separate yourself from your thoughts and simply notice them with detachment, you remove some of the power they have over your emotions. Do you make your bed every morning? It may seem like a waste of time on a rushed morning, but there are many great reasons to adopt this simple habit.
Making your bed in the morning is correlated to more productivity, a sense of well-being, and even better budgeting skills. It sets the tone for accomplishment throughout your day when you complete this one task the moment you get out of bed. Doubt the importance of making your bed n your daily life.
View the steps you take to get ready in the morning as an attentive ritual rather than just a means to get out the door. By paying more attention to the actions you take, you return to the present moment with focus and gratitude, rather than allowing your random thoughts to set the tone for the day.
For most people, a shower is already part of their morning routine. But when you add a quick meditation session to this ritual, you can focus on practicing deep thinking and creating positive thoughts for the day. Sure, shower meditation might sound hokey, but look it this way: You know how you often get your best thoughts in the shower? Well, the same principle applies here. The calming effect of warm water puts your mind on autopilot, which frees it up to come up with inspirational ideas.
Shower meditation is one of the mindfulness exercises that are great because it doesn't require you to do anything new, just do the same stuff differently.
In a more thoughtful and mindful manner. Drinking water is another habit like the mindfulness exercise above.Not from a psychiatrist or another mental health care provider but from the cardiologist that administered my ECG and stress test. I was referred by the doctor in charge of my physical for my Canadian student visa after he heard a heart murmur during my exam.
There was never any medication prescribed or a referral was given to see a mental health doctor. He simply told me to stop worrying so much and sent me on my way. Years went by and my symptoms were far worse at times when life was particularly stressful. My symptoms ranged from burning in my chest with a sharp pain that extended down my left arm accompanied by the feeling that death was imminent.
Then there were was the shortness of breath or feelings of being smothered. These symptoms would oscillate. Still, I went through it without any coping mechanism besides binge drinking which made some of the symptoms appear the next day.
I began to self medicate with cannabis but if I had too much, the symptoms would be intensified and paranoia would accompany it. I had no relief. But beyond that I had internalized so much stigma about seeking help for my mental health I instead, choose to suffer in silence. In January, I was diagnosed with major depression and panic disorder.
Getting that diagnosis left me feeling vindicated and free. Last year I began implementing mindfulness into my daily life and it was a game-changer for the symptoms I felt daily. Mindfulness is the antithesis where you pull yourself into the present.
You only consider the here and now. It can calm the feelings of dread and hold anxiety at bay. I read them on Psych Central and have begun adopting them whenever I feel a little frazzled by panic. Yawn and stretch for 10 seconds every hour. Do a fake yawn if you have to. That will trigger real ones. Notice how a yawn interrupts your thoughts and feelings. This brings you into the present. Then stretch slowly for at least 10 seconds.
Take another 20 seconds to notice and then get back to what you were doing. Three hugs, three big breaths exercise. Hug someone tight and take 3 big breaths together. Stroke your hands. Lower or close your eyes.
Use Mindfulness to Manage ADHD
Take the index finger of your right hand and slowly move it up and down on the outside of your fingers. Once you have mindfully stroked your left hand, swap and let your left hand stroke the fingers of your right hand.
Mindfully eat a raisin. Take a raisin or a piece of chocolate and mindfully eat it. Slow down, sense it, savor it and smile between bites. Purposefully slow down. Use all your senses to see it, touch it, smell it, and sense it. Then gently pop it into your mouth and savor it.
Savor its texture, its taste, how it feels in your mouth. Let it linger and then swallow it.You can fit these mindfulness exercises into your life while walking, brushing your teeth and just listening. Although mindfulness meditation is all the rage nowadays, most people have little time for formal practice.
They mindfulness exercises can mostly be slotted in while you go about your everyday business, without the need for a formal sit-down meditation session.
If you do any period of undisturbed walking during the day — at least ten or fifteen minutes — then you can do a little walking mindfulness meditation.
Then you could just as easily focus on your breath or move the attention around your body, part by part. The key, though, is to develop a sort of relaxed attention. When your mind wanders away, bring it back gently, without judging yourself.
When you take the first bite of any meal, just take a moment to really pay attention to the taste. Look at the food carefully, feel the textures in your mouth, smell it and notice how your body reacts to it.
Checking email has now become, for many, what we do in between other tasks, sometimes as a kind of break. If your mind wanders off to tasks that you have to complete or starts working over things that happened yesterday, let these go. Just be wherever you are for a few moments. Or, put on some music and really listen to it for a short period: try to hear the music without thinking about it.
Try not to let your mind wander to things it reminds you of, to judgements about the music or think about the lyrics too much. Habits, like brushing your teeth, are usually performed automatically, while the mind skips off to other plans, worries or regrets. Instead, try to focus on that chore and really experience it.
Notice how the brush moves over your teeth and the taste of the toothpaste. Let your senses feed on the process and bring your mind back when it wanders off to other worries or thoughts. Focus your attention on how this feels, where you notice the air moving, how your chest and abdomen move. Of all the mindfulness exercises, this requires a little preparation: you need a candle and a darkened room. See the different types of leaves; hear the bird calls, the wind and the distant rumble of traffic; sense the air moving over your skin and sun heating your face.
Feel free to mix and match or fit them into your life anyway you can. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology. He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since Image credit: wakingphotolife. Get free email updates. A new psych study by email every day. No spam, ever.In this busy world of ours, the mind is constantly pulled from pillar to post, scattering our thoughts and emotions and leaving us feeling stressed, highly-strung and at times quite anxious.
But it is essential for our wellbeing to take a few minutes each day to cultivate mental spaciousness and achieve a positive mind-body balance.
So if you are a busy bee like me, you can use these simple mindfulness exercises to empty your mind and find some much-needed calm amidst the madness of your hectic day. I'm going to cover 6 exercises that take very little effort and can be done pretty much anywhere at anytime:. This exercise can be done standing up or sitting down, and pretty much anywhere at any time. If you can sit down in the meditation lotus position, that's great, if not, no worries. You are half way there already!
This exercise is simple but incredibly powerful because it helps you notice and appreciate seemingly simple elements of your environment in a more profound way. The exercise is designed to connect us with the beauty of the natural environment, something that is easily missed when we are rushing around in the car or hopping on and off trains on the way to work. This exercise is designed to cultivate a heightened awareness and appreciation of simple daily tasks and the results they achieve.
Think of something that happens every day more than once; something you take for granted, like opening a door, for example. At the very moment you touch the doorknob to open the door, stop for a moment and be mindful of where you are, how you feel in that moment and where the door will lead you. Similarly, the moment you open your computer to start work, take a moment to appreciate the hands that enable this process and the brain that facilitates your understanding of how to use the computer.
For example: Each time you think a negative thought, you might choose to take a moment to stop, label the thought as unhelpful and release the negativity.
Or, perhaps each time you smell food, you take a moment to stop and appreciate how lucky you are to have good food to eat and share with your family and friends. Choose a touch point that resonates with you today and, instead of going through your daily motions on autopilot, take occasional moments to stop and cultivate purposeful awareness of what you are doing and the blessings these actions brings to your life.
This exercise is designed to open your ears to sound in a non-judgmental way, and indeed to train your mind to be less swayed by the influence of past experiences and preconception. For example, we may dislike a song because it reminds of us of a breakup or another period of life when things felt negative.
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So the idea of this exercise is to listen to some music from a neutral standpoint, with a present awareness that is unhindered by preconception. You may have something in your own collection that you have never listened to, or you might choose to turn the radio dial until something catches your ear.
The idea is to listen intently, to become fully entwined with the composition without preconception or judgment of the genre, artist, lyrics or instrumentation.
Don't think, hear. The intention of this exercise is to cultivate contentment in the moment and escape the persistent striving we find ourselves caught up in on a daily basis. Rather than anxiously wanting to finish an everyday routine task in order to get on with doing something else, take that regular routine and fully experience it like never before.
Rather than treat this as a regular chore, create an entirely new experience by noticing every aspect of your actions:. Feel and become the motion when sweeping the floor, sense the muscles you use when scrubbing the dishes, develop a more efficient way of wiping the windows clean. Instead of labouring through and constantly thinking about finishing the task, become aware of every step and fully immerse yourself in the progress.
Take the activity beyond a routine by aligning yourself with it physically, mentally and spiritually. In this last exercise, all you have to do is notice 5 things in your day that usually go unappreciated. Use a notepad to check off 5 by the end of the day. The point of this exercise is to simply give thanks and appreciate the seemingly insignificant things in life, the things that support our existence but rarely get a second thought amidst our desire for bigger and better things.
For example: electricity powers your kettle, the postman delivers your mail, your clothes provide you warmth, your nose lets you smell the flowers in the park, your ears let you hear the birds in the tree by the bus stop, but…. Once you have identified your 5 things, make it your duty to find out everything you can about their creation and purpose to truly appreciate the way in which they support your life.
The cultivation of moment-by-moment awareness of our surrounding environment is a practice that helps us better cope with the difficult thoughts and feelings that cause us stress and anxiety in everyday life. In turn, we develop a fully conscious mind-set that frees us from the imprisonment of unhelpful, self-limiting thought patterns, and enables us to be fully present to focus on positive emotions that increase compassion and understanding in ourselves and others. For more advanced mindfulness exercises, and two minute meditation music mp3s to accompany your practice, you can download my book of the same name.Why Mindfulness Is a Superpower: An Animation
Sandy I also enjoyed reading this article and learning about some simple mindful exercises you can do while at your job to help assist you doing your job well. I will also consciously develop my purposeful awareness. Mindful breathing has been a life-saver for me. I can take some of those deep and glorious breaths, making sure to breath in through my nose and out through my mouth.