Thursday, 31 January 2008

Mindfulness

Semi-random comments, sparked off by various conversations I have had recently and by another interesting post at Lake Cocytus.

The Mindful Way Through Depression is one of the most helpful books I have read. I read it when anxiety, rather than depression, was uppermost in my own mental (ill) health, and keep returning to it. I wish I did so more often than I am doing.

DBT (which seems to incorporate a lot which is based on mindfulness) may be (don't quote me!) largely aimed at people with Borderline Personality Disorder, but has a lot in it for "the rest of us" too.

I'm working (slowly!) on being more mindful in everyday things, to try to incorporate it into what I am already doing rather than tacking it on as an afterthought or addition. That's helping me to be more grounded. That in turn helps me to look at (and cope better with) what is currently happening rather than what has happened in the past or might happen in the future.

I'm a work in progress and the above statement may become temporarily inaccurate at various points.

Accepting where I am now (in whatever state I am in) and what is going on now helps me to be more accepting of myself as a person.

I wish there were more mindfulness stress reduction courses available, particularly for those of us with mental health issues. My local Day Resource Centre is running one soon - but unfortunately it is in the day, while I am at work. Much as I wish he would, I think it highly improbable that my boss will give me time off to attend it - and as a teacher I can't just ask for it as holiday!

5 comments:

The Shrink said...

I wish there were more mindfulness stress reduction courses available

Ain't that the truth!

What makes such courses particularly appealing is that the approach isn't illness based. Whether having psychiatric problems, or mild psychological problems (a bit of pressure at work, frazzled looking after the kids, stressed doing the weekly shop) the principles and application of mindfulness are invariably useful.

mandy lifeboats appeal said...

"Mindfulness"

That is an interesting word. I know what my view of mindfulness is but would be also interested to find out what the concensus view on it is. If there is one.

Em did something called PSE at school. When I first read it I thought it was to do with para pscyhology. That which we ponder about....but could all be bolony.
It was actually some kind of social studies linked to 'how to be a decent human being'. I can dig that. I think that sort of stuff is essential to an otherwise over academic and non therapeutic curriculum. Well essential if it isn't like Big Brother mind manipulation.

Have Kraftwerk's 'The Robots' going round in my head here. Obvious link.

Yeah. I think everyone could do with something about mindfulness in their lives. Not dictated to them but as a way of helping them feel worthy in their own lives and learning or re-learning about kindness and responsibility without it becoming another Mount Everest to climb.

Mind you if I go to another lesson on the importance of 5 fruit and veg a day, I might just scream.

I have ordered myself a peanut ball. It is inflatable and comes with instructions on how it can help me tone muscles and live a more fulfilling life. Actually, I ordered it because it looks like it could be alot of fun.

FUN. Hows about some classes on the importance of fun in life?

Disillusioned said...

Shrink, yes, I agree. The mindfulness I have so far managed to develop are very applicable to many aspects of my life. Indeed, I would argue they are most easily accessible if they can be developed in a period of relative stability. It's harder to access them (though definitely possible!) in more troubled times. I've been hunting for local courses for about a year now; the closest I have found held in an evening are 30 miles away.

Mandy, Mindfulness as a mental health strategy focuses on living in the present, as far as I can understand. There are some great resources online, and some excellent books too (sucha s the one I mentioned). It's becoming a more recognised strategy in managing mental health, I believe, with studies being published illustrating its usefulness. And fun / self nurturing / self care / self awarenes all seem to be important in the widest sense of Mindfulness.

mandy lifeboats appeal said...

Hi again Disillusioned

What you wrote about being 'stable' enough for input is very important.

I cancelled this week's counselling session because I wasn't stable enough to get to the session let alone contribute in any constructive way. Granted, I could have gone and bawled me eyes out but what is one to do when one comes out, all unravelled and open and raw, to then try and make way back home.

Nah, for the present is best to stay mostly at home and venture to places that I can get back from in minutes or with the assistance of friends who understand my illness and foibles.

And that is no slur on the counsellor. He is a good egg. But time and place for everything and some things have to give right now.

Hope your weekend has some gentle and other things that help you feel good as well as you feeling good for yourself in there.

:>)

Disillusioned said...

Thank you Mandy

I wish the same for you.

Sometimes going and crying is needed though... don't deny yourself that, if it will be helpful.

I had a gym session tonight - very helpful, very positive, very grounding (yoga) - but at the end I struggled to hold it together. I felt bad for a while, but I know for me it was a good thing overall.

Have a relaxed weekend. Am about to catch up on some overdue blog reading and responding now.