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    Over the past 3 or 4 years i've had tons of ongoing problems with depression, anxiety, social anxiety etc, whatever. The amount of attempts i've had to try and get rid of it is fairly depression, but i have my good and bad days so i've just got to try and beat it myself and i'm sure one day i will.

    What i'd appreciate some advice on however, if anyones experienced it before, is these aches and pains that i get. As long as i can remember i've had these horribly annoying aches that i have to twist my body into, in my hands, my left shoulder, my stomach. These past few weeks and especially today they're really making things very annoying. I think they are probably a result of stress and the anxiety that i get over work and pretty much every single thing. Anyone have any advice on things that might be able to help?
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    sorry, just realised i reposted this!
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    Are you at university? My university counselling centre provides a meditation group. Practicing this meditation and speaking to people with serious life experience in this area have really helped me. I am currently in what I would consider to be the 'recovery' phase.

    Anyway, I cannot recommend meditation highly enough. You have to stick with it because the effects are cumulative. Mindfulness meditation helps you to learn to accept your feelings and anxieties. This does not sound helpful now, I am sure. I am sure what you want someone to tell you is how to get rid of these things. However, everyone has anxiety to some extent. It's a normal function of the amygdala - it's in our biology. What you need to do is manage your emotional reaction to anxiety.

    Imagine you are standing on a street corner. All of your thoughts are floating past. Most people are irked by their anxious thoughts, but they let them move on by. Anxious people see these anxious thoughts and examine them intensely. If you examine the thought intensely, it is going to come closer and closer to you and will seem more and more like reality rather than just an anxious thought that happened to be floating by. The more this happens, the more emotion you give it. Emotion is the glue that will stick the anxious/depressive thoughts. When this happens, you fail to see any of the other thoughts floating by. It consumes you. The thought becomes the object of existence rather than the subject of the random goings on that occur in our minds.

    What you need to do is not desire these anxious thoughts go away. You need to accept their existence. You do not deny the thought. You just deny the thoughts ability to control your emotions. You must disarm your emotional response. Once you can achieve that then the persistence of the thought becomes less and less. Once your brain recognises that you are not reacting emotionally to a perceived threat, then your brain will not constantly look for such threats. It's the catch 22 of anxiety. This takes perseverance and trust in the fallacy that is overpowering anxiety. Disarming the emotional response is not simple. It will take time and is something I am still coming to terms with. It is emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting. I would strongly recommend you get someone to help you out with this. I am fortunate that just such people are here at my university counselling service.

    I would not worry about the physical affects. It seems that you are aware that these are an element or your anxiety (at least that is how you seem to have described them). Once you can let go in your mind your body won't feel nearly the same stress.

    Again, I did not do this by myself. I had significant support. Find either someone who practices Dru meditation, or find someone who teaches Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). You can find a path to clarity. In the mean time, you might like to practice some of the guided meditations here: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/uscs/what_we_offer.html (scroll down to MP3 downloads).

    If you need to clarify anything, I will do my best. I have just ordered a book from amazon that someone highly recommended to me. They really could not stress enough how good the book is. I am yet to see for myself but you may find the reviews comforting. It's called 'Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World'.

    Good luck, comrade.
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    I just realised you only asked about the physical effects. Oh well. It was rather therapeutic for me to write that all down so I suppose it doesn't matter! I hope you get some use out of it anyway.
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    No that was really very useful, thanks for taking the time to post back. It's funny you should mention meditation and mindfulness actually as last week i downloaded 'the power of now' audiobook, which i imagine is a pretty similar thing to the book you mentioned.
    Even after a few days of listening i immediatly felt some positive effects, i found it very empowering to be able to just observe my emotions, however this week and especially today i feel really bad - but mabey i just need concentrate and put these ideas into pratice abit more, its just really hard to concentrate when i'm this anxious.
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    (Original post by felx)
    No that was really very useful, thanks for taking the time to post back. It's funny you should mention meditation and mindfulness actually as last week i downloaded 'the power of now' audiobook, which i imagine is a pretty similar thing to the book you mentioned.
    Even after a few days of listening i immediatly felt some positive effects, i found it very empowering to be able to just observe my emotions, however this week and especially today i feel really bad - but mabey i just need concentrate and put these ideas into pratice abit more, its just really hard to concentrate when i'm this anxious.
    You'll have some good days, some bad days. Just don't let the bad days put you in the mind frame of 'i'm not getting better'. There is an upwards trajectory when you are in recovery but there are some downwards blips. I imagine it like the stock market (though not the stock market at the moment!)

    When you are fragile and can't face trying to address those emotions, there are some good guided meditations on that link to alleviate the physical symptoms of anxiety. Defer the worry and focus on some of those breathing and physical relaxation exercises. It is remarkable how the body affects the mind and vice versa (they are really one in the same). Hopefully you will then be able to get some decent sleep and get a fresh perspective on things.

    If you are going to try some of those meditations, make sure that you are sitting comfortably. You need to be sitting upright and not leaning against anything. This may be slightly painful for your back. Try to imagine that your spine is a tree and you are leaning against it. That is the way I usually find my most comfortable upright position. Don't meditate in bed either. The places need to be separate. A few cushions or a blanket on the floor is what I usually do. Try the 'getting grounded meditation', 'dissolving stress meditation', or the 'sitting quietly meditation'. Just explore about and see what you like. Not everything will work for you first time. You will find some easier than others.
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    Thanks for the tips, i've so far been meditating both on my bed and leaning against the wall so next time i'll try it on the floor instead. So far unaware if i'm feeling the benifits of the meditation however its early days yet and i definataly think that the mindfulness approach to living in the now and not dwelling on the past or future is a clear yet very overlooked ( by me at least ) lesson to be learnt.
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    (Original post by felx)
    Thanks for the tips, i've so far been meditating both on my bed and leaning against the wall so next time i'll try it on the floor instead. So far unaware if i'm feeling the benifits of the meditation however its early days yet and i definataly think that the mindfulness approach to living in the now and not dwelling on the past or future is a clear yet very overlooked ( by me at least ) lesson to be learnt.
    What do you do when you meditate? These practices are focused on specific things rather than only breathing so they are a very good place to begin. Before you do it you should loosen up a bit by giving your arms and legs a good shake and by getting some movement into your shoulders, spine and hips by doing some gentle figure of 8 movements with your hands in front of you, up in the air, and then down low near the ground.
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    Well usually i just sit down and start to concentrate on my breathing, so i will defiantly have to check those other techniques. One problem i do have is that i've always had a problem concentrating and so my mind often wonders and i find it very difficult to focus purely on my breathing without an image or thought popping into my head. I can imagine the more you practice at it the easier it gets though, i'd really love to be able to relax at times like these when my minds racing like this.
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    (Original post by felx)
    Well usually i just sit down and start to concentrate on my breathing, so i will defiantly have to check those other techniques. One problem i do have is that i've always had a problem concentrating and so my mind often wonders and i find it very difficult to focus purely on my breathing without an image or thought popping into my head. I can imagine the more you practice at it the easier it gets though, i'd really love to be able to relax at times like these when my minds racing like this.
    Unless you're a seasoned buddhist monk I think everyone gets that. You're not meant to be critical of yourself when it happens. You just move your thoughts back to your breathing. This, in itself, is mindful, even if you're not intending to practice mindfulness.

    How you're breathing is also important as upper body breathing is habitual for most people, yet largely inefficient. Your limbic brain (the thing that checks how you are doing) notices the stresses and strains of upper body breathing (i.e. lifting shoulders up and expanding the chest). To settle into these things you need to get a good yogic breath. A yogic breath is the swelling of the stomach rather than the chest. It requires that you try to draw the breath as far down into your abdomen as possible, thereby utilising the diaphragm rather than the chest. It is easiest to practice this lying on your back before you do it sitting upright. Some people will notice a slight swelling in their chest when they do it this way, some people don't. If you do it's not because you're doing it wrong, it's just the way it is.
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    (Original post by felx)
    Well usually i just sit down and start to concentrate on my breathing, so i will defiantly have to check those other techniques. One problem i do have is that i've always had a problem concentrating and so my mind often wonders and i find it very difficult to focus purely on my breathing without an image or thought popping into my head. I can imagine the more you practice at it the easier it gets though, i'd really love to be able to relax at times like these when my minds racing like this.
    I've just found this quote which I think sums up letting go of your anxious thoughts perfectly. It's from Shakespeare too so it certainly has some cultural stock!

    "Things without all remedy
    Should be without regard"
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    interesting quote, cheers! pretty much all my life i've worried about almost everything both in the past, present and future so i'm looking forward to seeing what effect meditation will have on my life. Certainly seeing some improvements in just observing and not going over and over my thoughts in my head. Hope its going well with you too.
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    (Original post by felx)
    interesting quote, cheers! pretty much all my life i've worried about almost everything both in the past, present and future so i'm looking forward to seeing what effect meditation will have on my life. Certainly seeing some improvements in just observing and not going over and over my thoughts in my head. Hope its going well with you too.
    I feel the exact same as you and am hoping for the same results!

    Please keep anon
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    (Original post by felx)
    interesting quote, cheers! pretty much all my life i've worried about almost everything both in the past, present and future so i'm looking forward to seeing what effect meditation will have on my life. Certainly seeing some improvements in just observing and not going over and over my thoughts in my head. Hope its going well with you too.
    Well worry is habitual, and it is a function of the brain to make habits. Luckily, all habits can be broken. But, as I am sure you are aware, it's easier said than done. I have had these worries all my life as well, without really giving them specific attention before. It's when you give them specific attention that they become very real. It is turning the subject of conscience (i.e. the thing being done) to the object (the thing doing). Really this is a logical fallacy hence the illogicality of persistent worry.

    I find I am really at peace when I am meditating and I can allow my conscience to rest within a sound. For instance, if I hear a plane flying overheard, I let the sound just 'be' whilst fully focusing on it. It is like finding room to breath. Silence amongst the persistent chatter (that everyone has). It really sets me up for getting on with my life.

    I am feel better week by week, thanks. My depression has disappeared. My anxiety also has little affect on me at the moment and anxious thoughts are becoming CONSIDERABLY less frequent. I'm just so tired at the moment. 3rd year is getting on top of my health but fortunately my mind is sharpening. Need to hold out till then end then I am going into hibernation!
 
 
 
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