• TDS Moderators: mafioso | mal3volent | Xorkoth

⫸STICKY⫷ Post Your Best Mindfulness Resources and Experiences

buffalobillygoat

Bluelighter
Joined
Jul 21, 2013
Messages
141
This is such a great thread, and that video of Mark Williams mindfulness lecture is awesome, thank you herbavore. There's an excellent truism in it: 'There is nothing in this world that is bad enough that the way we think about it can't make it even worse'. He's a great speaker too.

Does anyone else find that the biggest obstacle with this is doing it without goals, or the hope of 'achieving' something? For me anyway, I became aware of this practice/way of life as a tool for achieving and sustaining sobriety and in general to be well so not having those concerns in mind when you're setting out to address them is difficult.
buffalo
 
Last edited:

herbavore

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
14,922
Location
in a dream
^ for me the goal is to step outside of the anxiety that has been a fact of life for me my whole life. Learning to see anxiety as projecting fear into the future and simply missing the present altogether has been very powerful for me. I remember someone telling my son that his problem wasn't so much drugs as it was the need he was trying to fill with the drugs. This man suggested meditation for him and it was amazingly transformational.

The most wonderful thing about mindfulness to me is how it applies to everything from simply breathing to eating to making love to sitting in traffic. Most of us are taught to live in a frenzy of thoughts superimposed on feelings so that the world of feeling actually scares us--it is less familiar. It is amazing to think about the fact that we regularly scare the shit out of ourselves with our anxious thoughts all in the mistaken belief that the emotions are too scary to deal with!
 

catching fish

Bluelighter
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
280
Anyone have any mindfulness or meditation tips to help with falling asleep? I'm 10 days off opiates and while most of the physical symptoms are gone I'm getting absolutely tortured by insomnia. Since I stopped just after new years I'm only getting 2 or 3 hours sleep each night without fail. It is awful.

Cheers.

CF
 

spork

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
14,195
Location
the present
Hey CF :) Mindful breathing really helps me with sleep. I take a deeeeeeep breath in and let it out and just notice my breath. If my mind wanders I just bring it back to my breathing and don't judge myself or my wandering thoughts. Body scans help with sleep too. I start with my feet and tense them up and relax them and move my way up to other parts of my body.
 

Zwanya

Bluelighter
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
382
Location
Bay Area
For anyone interested in the science behind meditation and mindfulness, I just finished a great book called "Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom" by Rick Hanson.

I would also recommend any talk or text by Jack Kornfield (he happened to write the preface to the book above.)
 

ad lib

Ex-Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Messages
4,324

Maya

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
7,314
If I haven't mentioned this, I swear by yoga when it comes to acquiring emotional and mental discipline amongst other mindfulness techniques apart from a great workout it contributes to my body.
 

neversickanymore

Moderator: DS
Staff member
Joined
Jan 23, 2013
Messages
23,808
Location
babysitting the argument in my head
Mindfulness Reverses Effects Of Opioid Drug Dependence, Patients Find Happiness In Healthy Pleasures
Dec 7, 2014

The power of mindfulness is incredible. The simple meditation technique has the power to ease pain in arthritis and asthma patients, reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression, and improve heart health. It so powerful that it works better than conventional methods (medication, psychotherapy) for many of these conditions. And now, a new study finds that it can bring back happiness in people falling down the rabbit hole of opioid drug addiction.

Mindfulness involves taking a moment to relax, to become aware of the present moment — sounds, smells, and the surrounding environment — and to think calmly about our emotions and thoughts. By considering thoughts in this context, we’re better able to achieve wellness, as mindfulness requires that we approach them without judgment, and without thinking what’s right and what’s wrong. It helps us find happiness in the present moment. And that’s exactly what people in the habit of taking opioid drugs need, according to the study.

“These findings are scientifically important because one of the major theories about how and why addiction occurs asserts that over time drug abusers become dulled to the experience of joy in everyday life, and this pushes them to use higher and higher doses of drugs to feel happiness,” said Eric Garland, an associate professor at the University of Utah College of Social Work, in a press release.

He says that the desensitization opioid drug users experience can be reversed through mindfulness, and that it may even be able to keep them off the drugs. Indeed, opioid drug users, whether they’re abusing heroin, oxycodone or some other morphine-derived drug, experience a rush of the neurotransmitter dopamine, as the drug binds to opioid-sensitive receptors in the brain. This causes a high full of pleasure, and the brain encodes that pleasure with the environment it occurs in. Thus, the brain comes to crave those feelings again, with each subsequent use inducing a weaker effect. These drug users typically search for higher doses after that, and it’s easy to see how it can become a vicious cycle of addition.

Garland and his team, however, found that the intervention program Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) was able to reduce patients’ cravings for opioid drugs. Chronic pain patients taking these drugs underwent the eight-week intervention, during which time they were taught a “mindful savoring practice” that encouraged them to focus attention on beautiful scenes of nature, a sunset, or a connection with a love one, all of which are considered pleasant experiences. During meditation, they were asked to focus and appreciate the present moment, which involved taking in the smells, textures, and colors of a bouquet of flowers.

By pushing patients to find happiness in their day-to-day activities, the researchers found, through EEG scans, that their brains activated at a higher rate to such events. And the more activity they showed, the less likely they were to crave opioids.

Roughly two million Americans abuse prescription opioids — it’s an epidemic — and overdose deaths have more than quadrupled in the last 15 years. It’s extremely important for opioid users to find a way out before it’s too late. After all, dependency is one thing, but addiction is a whole other beast.

Source: Garland E, Froeliger B, Howard M. Neurophysiological evidence for remediation of reward processing deficits in chronic pain and opioid misuse following treatment with Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement: exploratory ERP findings from a pilot RCT. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2014.

http://www.medicaldaily.com/mindfulness-reverses-effects-opioid-drug-dependence-patients-find-happiness-healthy-313402
 

anonymousmama

Greenlighter
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
43
Location
here and now
Yes, vaya, for me this was the key to changing a lot of negative patterns. Not running away from, or trying to anesthetize myself from, the scary emotions (anxiety, despair, anger) but letting them come full force without denying them, paradoxically lessens their power.
Yup yup yup! this has been key for me over the last year. Loads and loads of meds, therapists, groups, modalities, addictions, recoveries, injuries etc etc etc led me finally to a book by Connie Zweig called Romancing the Shadow http://conniezweig.com/booksvideos/romancing-the-shadow/. It's ALL about turning around to face the beast, and "taking tea with it" (Pema Chodron quote) inviting feeling. It's uncomfortable but it really really does work. The more I try to run, the stronger the shadow/beast/saboteur gets. Once I face it, I can actually get in touch with the true nature of this piece of myself. Its function - its only desire - is to protect me. And it can't do that if I hide from it. Also, all the best stuff is in there: the juice, creativity, sexuality, LIFE. I am an alchemist, and my body is the alembic where shit transforms to gold, where garbage becomes flowers (Tich Nat Hanh). It sounds kinda nuts, but in my experience the very best ideas often do. ;)
 

Valkyria

Greenlighter
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Messages
16
Location
Southern Hell, USA
Thank you to the OP of this thread and to everyone else who contributed :) This is really what I needed to find today!


"Many people think excitement is happiness.... But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace."

-Thích Nhất Hạnh
 

Erikmen

Bluelight Crew
Joined
May 3, 2014
Messages
20,805
“Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects with "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar." I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever."


 
Top