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Author Topic: Avoiding boredom in Mindfulness practice  (Read 1259 times)
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roger
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« on: October 03, 2016, 10:33:32 AM »

First, some who read this might not know what Mindfulness is so, briefly – it’s getting your mind into the ‘here and now’ rather than in the past or the future – when ill, thoughts of the past and future tend to be negative, and therefore unhelpful. I’m a big fan because when you reach that state for a reasonable time, you’ll achieve a true feeling of relaxation and wellbeing. Initially, that feeling will be short lived, but with practice and perseverance it will last longer and longer until, eventually, it becomes your normal state, a state that is incredibly beneficial in the treatment of ANY chronic illness. Some people who practice Mindfulness relate it to some sort of religious or spiritual belief, and that’s fine, but it’s not actually necessary.

There are two main ways that Mindfulness is taught – 1) concentrating the mind on a particular thing, like your breathing or a lit candle or a spot on the wall or whatever. This works well for some, but others need more guidance. 2) For the latter, there are numerous led Mindfulness CDs or MP3s available, most of which involve slowly and without stressing concentrating on parts of the body one at a time, either working from head to toe or vice versa.

But, at least in my experience, there’s a problem. Initially, the process is new and interesting, so it’s enjoyable, and hopefully, you WILL learn to get into the state that produces positive results. So please note, I’m NOT knocking these techniques as a starting point. However, again in my experience, the process can become boring – counting breaths, watching a candle flicker, or listening to ‘that voice’ guiding you through the ‘body scan’. I’ve spoken to several people who started Mindfulness practice and felt the initial benefits, but got bored before those benefits created a permanent, positive mind state, and drifted away from their practice sessions. And that’s a shame.

So how do you get over this problem? About five years ago, I got very interested in natural healing, and came across a website that has hundreds of hour long – some two hours long - interviews, albeit including adverts, with top American natural healers of various types, all free to download. Because of my deep interest, I became totally absorbed in these interviews. Then I realised that, at the end of each one, I was in a deep state of Mindfulness, basically because of my deep interest, the required concentration and the variety of interviewees – so no scope for boredom! More recently, I’ve started making a lot of my own supplements, and this involves filling a lot of capsules using a small machine, which requires serious concentration whilst standing at the kitchen worktop for anything between sixty and ninety minutes. Again, I find that this creates a deep state of Mindfulness and the resultant benefits. Incidentally, it’s worth mentioning, that just a couple of years ago I couldn’t stand for more than a few minutes without feeling VERY unwell.

So, if you’ve practised Mindfulness and got bored, or if you intend to start practice and avoid getting bored, once you’ve learned the basics, I’d strongly recommend that you find something, anything, that you enjoy and are seriously interested in, and which requires deep concentration. Based on my experience, I suspect that by doing so, before too long you’ll achieve the real benefits of that elusive permanent feeling of relaxation and wellbeing.
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KV_Tofu
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2018, 02:48:30 PM »

For me... I also need to make sure it's something interesting that is slow pace AND something you don't need to watch. The images are too overwhelming for me and the listening and watching process ends up making me more stressed. I may not be alone with this or I may be. I just thought I'd add my thoughts.
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roger
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2018, 03:18:38 PM »

Hi Kerry,

The vision and hearing thing is a classic CFS issue, so the problem you have is understandable. But doing pretty much ANYTHING that you enjoy and which absorbs you, pushing out those sneaky thought intrusions, is fine. About seven years ago I posted this - http://forum.chronicfatiguesyndrome.me.uk/index.php/topic,8107.0.html . At the time I didn’t know that the benefit was down to achieving Mindfulness, but it is.

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ElizaabethR
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2018, 09:11:52 PM »

I've done mindfulness Roger and I understand where you're coming from. I would say that when I originally did my mindfullness course (on the NHS) it was the piece of thejigsaw I was missing to turn my head off.

A few years on and I've had to revisit what I'd learnt as I had got back into the bad habit of worrying about things. I agree that it's not always easy to keep being "mindful" especially if there's a lot going on. I liken it to having a naughty imp on your shoulder telling you it's rubbish and pulls you down. I did find though that I  was able to pick out bits that made sense and together with other ideas I sort of adapted it to suit my needs.

I also understand about the watching andnoise issue. I've made various calm places/thi gs to do and anything I do now is sort of rotated. So a bit of colouring.  Sitting quietly listening to the silence.  I do crafts now for a sense of purpose but do them at my own pace. It's  whatever works really. Trial and error.
Eliz x
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roger
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2018, 06:35:32 AM »

'whatever works for you and trial and error' is soooo true, Eliz  smile
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