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Help please.

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by kelouba, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. kelouba

    kelouba Member

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    Hi all. I suffer from prolonged periods of anxiety and worry. Sometimes it can last for days. I am having a particularly bad time at the moment and have had it for a week. I am not sleeping well and seem to be scared all the time.

    I wanted to ask everyone is lifeflow suitable for me. I am scared that it is going to mess up my head and make things even worse.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Bhavya

    Bhavya Member

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  3. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    Ditto

    gus
     
  4. kelouba

    kelouba Member

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    Thanks both for your comments. Any more input would be appreciated. :)

    Does anyone have any views on traditional meditation methods to cure anxiety and fear problems?
     
  5. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    Let me put it this way. I think nearly any problem someone has that could be psychological in nature could eventually be helped by a program of conventional meditation. It ceretainly can't hurt. I was able to over come cluster headaches I suffered for nearly 20 years with a conventional meditation program. I suggest you down load Michaels "Discover Meditation " course and try it. It is a very conventional program. You'll find it in the upper left corner on nearly every page of this web site.

    gus
     
  6. unicorn71

    unicorn71 New Member

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    Hi Kelouba

    I too have anxiety, panic and agoraphobia. I understand what you are going through. I don't have the Lifeflow program as I can't afford it at this time. However, I have downloaded the sample and I find that if I listen to just a little bit at a time it seems to help. I have tried to listen to the whole thing but so far I can't. So I would suggest starting small like I have and see how it goes. I've struggled with anxiety and panic attacks for several years and have only started meditating in the last couple of weeks. I am finding it helps but I'm using it in small doses. I wish you the best of luck.
    :)
     
  7. Bhavya

    Bhavya Member

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    Hi Kelouba
    I was thinking about your post this morning, reflecting on how I originally got into meditation. Like you, I was experiencing uncomfortable states of being ...general anxiety and unhappiness, the effects of a difficult childhood. I can definitely say that meditation has made a huge difference in helping me with that.

    I've found that meditation helps us to discover that we're actually more than OK and that the Universe is actually a friendly place because when we find the love in our heart center, we also find it surrounding us. :):)

    If you choose a mantra that touches your heart - that reminds you of safety and warmth, you will do just fine with Lifeflow which is such a great help in discovering the peace and love inside yourself. Just take it slowly and ease yourself into a meditation routine.

    In the Course in Miracle's Introduction, it says that we all have to come back to our true essence at some point. We can decide how quickly or slowly that journey will take, but the journey (which they call "The Course" ) is everyone's path. It may take many forms but eventually we'll arrive at knowing our true Selves which is Love (or you can call it Presence, God, or Truth).

    To quote the intro:

    The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught.
    It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence which is your natural inheritance.
    The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.
    This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:

    Nothing real can be threatened.
    Nothing unreal exists.
    Herein lies the peace of God.


    In peace
    Bhavya
     
  8. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Some anxiety and panic relief methods

    Kelouba,

    Two of the quickest and most effective techniques I know of to relieve anxiety and panic attacks are to use a combination of breathing techniques and acupressure. You can learn techniques for breathing and acupressure for free online. By focusing attention on your breathing it literally changes your body chemistry and moves it into a more peaceful state. And it also diverts your thoughts away from the symptoms of anxiety and panic. All by itself this helps to prevent them from spiraling down into a vicious, self-perpetuating cycle. Let me share a couple of my favorite breathing techniques and then give you links to a couple of websites that give organized instructions for using acupressure along with incredibly detailed pictures and instructions for precisely locating the points to apply pressure on along the meridians.

    Dr. Andrew Weil recommends a pranayama technique that has you breathe in through your nose to a count of 4 seconds, hold the breath lightly for a count of 7 seconds, and exhale slowly to a count of 8 seconds. That constitutes one cycle then you begin again. You don't need to be exact as far as the count being measured in seconds. It is the ratio of the breath to the holding of the breath to the exhale of the breath that is important, not that you measure the count exactly in units of seconds. So, in to a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, exhale completely to a count of 8 and repeat. Dr. Weil suggests that you first try 3 cycles of this. You can add more cycles as you become comfortable with the breathing rhythm. Ten cycles should be plenty to get a little relief from anxiety and panic.

    The next technique is one that has been demonstrated to have a very positive effect on slowing the heart rate down and reducing blood pressure and it is even more simple than the first technique. Simply breathe in through the nose for 5 seconds then out through the nose for a count of 5 seonds (and yes, in this case you do want exact units of seconds, not just to a count of 5, so it might be helpful to look at a clock or timer at first until you get the pace down.) There is no holding of the breath in this technique. Five seconds in, 5 seconds out. You can practice this for as long as you like. After only a minute or two, especially if you are focusing intently on the breath you should feel the anxiety and panic substantially reduced.

    Another technique known to calm the nervous system down is very similar. Breathe in through the nose for 6 seconds and out through the nose for 6 seconds, and units of seconds are also important in this technique. This rhythm helps to increase heart rate variability which is coming to be recognized by medical science as one of the key indicators to overall health of the body. The greater the variability the greater the health of the individual. In this technique it is also important to take the breath fairly deep down into the diaphragm and not just shallow into the top part of the lungs. This is another technique you can practice for as long as you like.

    As far as acupressure, one of the best points to press on that I know is right on your breast bone about an inch and a half up from the bottom of the rib cage where it ends. It will probably feel like there is a slight depression in that spot when you feel for it. This one point is so good for relieving anxiety, panic and fear that its nickname in Chinese is something like "the well of tranquility." There are many other good points as well. You don't need to hit all of them. One or two or a few of them will probably be sufficient to produce near immediate relief. And you can press them or tap on them as often as you like. You really can't overdose like you can with pills and chemicals. Here are those sites that give all the great instructions:

    PointFinder: The Online Acupressure Guide

    Acupuncture . acuxo

    If you combine the breathing with some acupressure, especially while listening to Lifeflow (even the free sample would help) you will have some very powerful tools to help you not just manage the symptoms but in time overcome the root causes of anxiety and panic.

    Best wishes. I'm sure 2009 will be the year you put the issues with panic and anxiety behind you!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  9. kelouba

    kelouba Member

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    Thanks everyone for your posts.

    I have just listened to the 14 min free trial. I dont feel any different at this stage, should I keep listening to it? or will something just happen?
     
  10. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    What you do makes a difference

    Kelouba,

    What are you doing while listening to the LF sample?
     
  11. kelouba

    kelouba Member

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    Just sitting in a chair with my eyes closed.
     
  12. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    A proactive process

    Kelouba,

    I think entrainment is sort of like a "permanent pressed" shirt. It may have fewer wrinkles than an ordinary shirt but if you only wash it, throw it on a pile of clean laundry and then take it off the pile and put it on whenever you want to wear it you'll find it still has wrinkles, just not so many as a normal shirt. But if you were to iron it you would see that it becomes wrinkle-free much quicker and with less work than a typical shirt.

    That same seems to me to be true of entrainment. Just passively sitting and listening to it might be a little relaxing but it would be a much stronger tool if you were to listen to it while using some kind of technique(s) that are known to reduce stress and anxiety, like meditation or the breathing techniques I related earlier.

    If you were a person who had no particularly challenging health issues and you felt basically fine most of the time and were just looking for a little light relaxation, perhaps "just sitting" and listening would be enough to get the result you were looking for. But in your case you do have some challenges in the form of anxiety and panic issues so you will want to use the entrainment technology as a tool to augment your stress/anxiety reducing techniques. All alone just sitting and listening to an entrainment track probably won't deliver the relief you're searching for. But by using entrainment to enhance stress/anxiety reduction techniques you should get very substantial results.

    One thing I've learned from reading Michael's comments and the comments of others on this forum is that the greatest progress comes when you are proactive in a systematic way and working towards the improvements you desire rather than sitting back and wishing the entrainment could do everything for you. Having all the ingredients to bake a cake doesn't produce a cake unless you make the effort to put those ingredients together in the correct way and then bake the thing.

    Try listening to the LF sample and as you are listening get a timer or a watch and try that breathing technique of 6 seconds in through the nose, 6 seconds out through the nose, paying attention to take the breath deep down into the diaphragm (not so deep that it feels uncomfortable though. You should still feel physically relaxed on the inhale.)

    Set yourself a goal to do this for just one minute. Certainly you can maintain at least a reasonable degree of focus on your breath for 60 short seconds. Before you begin mentally give yourself permission to disregard and forget all about anxiety and panic for those 60 seconds. For one minute they are not going to be important to you. In fact before you start, form a picture in your mind that you are in an old wooden sailing ship at sea and you are at anchor looking back at the shore. And the shore is a representation of your current issues of fear, panic and anxiety, in all the physical and non-physical forms they take. You can never get away from that shore and travel to new and more pleasant shores unless and until you pull up your anchor. Pulling up your anchor is you, giving yourself permission for just those 60 seconds to disregard and forget all about anxiety, fear and panic. The shore will still be there in 60 seconds if you want it to be, but for that brief one minute of time you do not care whether it remains or not; whether you can still see it or not. Just agree that for 60 seconds you can leave it to itself and not be concerned with it. Picture pulling up that anchor and as you see this in your mind let that voice inside your head say the words, "For 1 minute I have permission to leave behind thoughts and feelings about everything except my peaceful, calm breathing." Repeat this phrase throughout the time you visualize raising up that anchor. See it in your mind as vividly as you can and when the anchor is raised allow the breeze to fill the sails of your ship and begin to draw you out to sea and away from the shore.

    Alright, in your mind you've given yourself permission to disregard the shore for 60 seconds and you visualize the wind in your sails moving you gently out to the open sea and away from those all too familiar shores.

    Now forget all about ships, shores and anchors, and fully focus on feeling the breath enter and go deep down into your diaphragm while watching your timer for 6 seconds. As you inhale pay attention to the sensation of your breath as it enters and flows past your nostrils. It might feel slightly cool or maybe just a little warm. It does not matter, just be aware of whatever sensations are produced. Feel the breath travel down and follow it as it moves past the throat area, past the upper chest, the middle of your abdomen and then down all the way to the lower part where your diaphragm is. Note the feeling of the breath all along the path it travels and don't let yourself become distracted from paying attention to it by anything else. It's just you, the sensation of the breath coming in and those six brief seconds on your watch or timer.

    At the end of the 6 seconds of the inhale there will be the slightest pause as the breath comes to a stop and turns around to exhale. Don't try to make a pause there but notice there is a natural pause, very short, just a fraction of a second. It is short but important because for this fraction of a second your body and mind are capable of feeling nothing except peace and calm. Only positive, relaxed and peaceful feelings are possible during this pause.

    Now follow your breath for 6 seconds as you exhale. Note how it feels all along the path it travels just as you did while inhaling except now the breath moves in the opposite direction. Let nothing interrupt your focus on the sensation of that exhale of breath. Remember, the exhale is only 6 seconds long. Surely you can focus for a mere 6 seconds. There is nothing to pay attention to except your breath, the feel of the exhale, and the 6 seconds ticking off on your watch or timer.

    At the end of the exhale there will be another fraction of a second pause as the exhale ends and prepares to become another inhale. During this turn around pause your body and mind are capable of experiencing only peace and calm. Don't try to create the pause. It will occur naturally on its own. Just notice it and allow yourself to relax into it, both body and mind.

    You have just completed one complete breath that took a total of 12 seconds. Remember, you gave yourself permission to breathe like this for one full minute. In 60 seconds you will complete 5 full cycles of this breath. So as you note the pause at the turn around of your first breath you will almost immediately begin to inhale your second breath. You're only going to do this for 1 minute. It's almost no time at all. Just 60 seconds of breathing in this way, 6 seconds inhale, 6 seconds exhale. Surely you can give yourself one small minute like this.

    When your minute is complete you might decide that it was fairly easy and pleasant to be with your breath in this way for 60 seconds, and perhaps you would like to take a second minute and do it once more. You've already given yourself permission to leave all feelings of stress/anxiety behind for a bit, and you've already pulled up the anchor and allowed the breeze to softly carry your sailing vessel away from the shore and out to the open sea towards new shores. So feel free to take a second minute and just follow your breath, 6 seconds in through the nose, note the pause, 6 seconds out through the nose, note the pause, and so on for 5 more breath cycles.

    All this time that LF entrainment track is working for you in the background, quietly tuning your brainwaves and the natural rhythms of your body to a slower, more peaceful pace. When you finish with the second minute you may feel noticeably more relaxed and at ease. You might be satisfied to just sit now in this calm and relaxed way and let the LF track play on to its conclusion while you slip deeper and deeper into a more tranquil state. Or perhaps you would like to do another 60 second cycle of breathing. You can do as many as you like for as long as you like and end when it feels right to do so.

    This sort of breathing exercise is what I mean when I say you can be "proactive" in the process of reducing stress, panic and anxiety. You are the one choosing what is happening and the LF entrainment track is there in the background supporting and helping you to more fully experience the benefits of the relaxation and stress/anxiety relief process.

    As you take time to do this kind of exercise more and more often the benefits begin to become longer lasting and in time, permanent. At first you might find that the relief you experience lasts for a short while and then your stress/anxiety symptoms begin to show themselves again. That's fine. Now you have tools to let them go any time they start to arise. But as you continue this practice your symptoms will show themselves less and less frequently and their intensity will be diminished if they do appear.

    At first you will be using your practice like you would an aspirin for a headache, controlling only the symptoms of the problem as they come up. But eventually, with time and consistent practice the symptoms will fade away altogether. You won't need an aspirin because you won't be getting the headaches. You won't do your relaxation exercises just to stop anxiety or panic because the anxiety and panic will rarely if ever come up again.

    But unlike taking an aspirin only when symptoms come up, your stress/anxiety reduction practice is more like eating a sensible diet. You eat right all the time as a way of life to promote health all the time. You continue to practice your stress/anxiety reduction exercises regularly because in becoming familiar with this relaxed and calm state it becomes your natural way of relating to your life and to the world around you. In this new way of relating, stress, anxiety and panic are not things that occur as they once did. You will have emptied out the reservoirs where all the pent up stress was stored that has been the trigger for anxiety and panic. When those reservoirs are empty there is nothing left for them to manufacture anxiety and panic out of.

    Is the process a little more clear to you now? Do you think you would like to try it out? If so, do it right now. Don't wait for a "better" time. The best time to start this new way of experiencing your life is right this moment because really, this moment is the only one there is.

    Remember, this is just a 60 second experiment. The first breath only costs 12 seconds of your time. Certainly you have 12 seconds or 60 seconds to invest in your own health and welfare?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  13. kelouba

    kelouba Member

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    Wow what a great post. Thank you very much. I will try and follow what you say.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009
  14. Bhavya

    Bhavya Member

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    Great Description of Mindful Breathing

    Beautiful, Ta-tsu-wa! That's a really clear description of mindful breathing.

    The only thing is that this post is in the wrong thread so many people might miss it. (This is the technical question thread.) If any of you moderators see this, maybe this should be moved?
     
  15. Grey

    Grey Member

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    ta-tsu-wa probably needed to put this here because it is where the question was asked. replying on a different thread might have caused Kelouba to miss the reply. this was a very interesting post. it seemed to go beyond typical mindful breathing. it would make a nice guided exercise track.
     
  16. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    I agree, perhaps it can be moved now

    Yes, sorry, I was just posting here as a response to Kelouba's request for help, but I think Bhavya has a good point. Now that Kelouba has read the post maybe it would be better suited being moved to a more intuitively appropriate container.

    Grey, the breathing technique I outlined for Kelouba is adapted from a technique known as "coherent breathing". Googling that term will bring up a number of very informative sites. You are correct in that this is a little more involved than just breathing mindfully although clearly that is a part of the technique. That particular cadence of 6 in, 6 out, breathing deep into the diaphragm, has a profound effect on the heart and the nervous system. It balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems in the body.

    I've read studies about heart rate variability (HRV) that show it is emerging as one of the absolute best indicators of overall health. Unlike some other indicators, you cannot just "will" or "trick" your heart to beat with greater variability. It will only do so in response to the body shifting into a more balanced neurological state, so high HRV is a very accurate reflection of underlying health and well being.

    You can use this particular breathing technique to induce greater HRV, and the HRV itself has a direct effect on your health, causing you to feel and function better both physically and emotionally. The more you practice the technique the greater the HRV results become. I have biofeedback equipment at home and have been able to measure my own progress and improvements using just this simple breathing technique.

    So on the one hand knowing your current HRV is a tool to assess your existing levels of well being, and on the other hand using this breathing technique to boost up HRV is a tool to increase well being. It's a win/win situation. Couple this with the effects of the LF entrainment tracks that are helping to synchronize and balance brain function and you have an incredibly powerful tool for improving your quality of life.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009
  17. purplevibe

    purplevibe Member

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    Thank you, from all of us, for taking the time to type this out, meditation is all about the breath, it helps us let go and focus on what is important, i.e. this moment. Giving ourselves 'permission' is important too, i could not have put it so well, do we have time to meditate, yes, we have time, we just need to do it! Do it now, as Ta-tsu-wa says, now is the time. This is a really good meditation practice, thank you :) Be mindful of the breath, NAMASTE X

    PS Bhavya is right, as usual, this needs to be posted where everyone sees it, it is gold!
     
  18. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    Ta-tsu-wa,
    This was a great post and as Grey mentioned would make an excellent guided exercise.

    gus
     
  19. filly33

    filly33 Member

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    I am the same way as you. I knew there was something else out there, something grand and amazing, I experienced it when I was a child and it was easy and incredible. Somehow, through the many experiences I had growing up, I developed into a very paranoid person. It was when I thought there was no other way out that I turned to meditation.

    At first, I watched Eckhart Tolle videos. They confused me, but only because I didn't understand them, but somehow I just knew they spoke truth. It was during this video:

    YouTube - The Deepest Truth of Human Existence - www.eckharttolle.com

    ...that I finally had a glimpse into what he was talking about. The simplicity of now.

    At that moment I thought I had it. Finally, the end to my suffering. But still, paranoia got the better of me and I went on living the same way I had been all along. I didn't realize that the reasons I couldn't stay in the now was because I had some sort of internal resistance to the now, to the truth of myself. Something in my head didn't want me to step through the mirror and embrace myself for all that I am. I didn't realize this was the problem for a long time, but since figuring it out, it has been a long and scary journey, I'm probably not the only one to say this. And it's not over yet:O.

    There is nothing more important that finding all those layers of yourself and peeling them away until all that is left is you. I recommend the Sedona Method for that (I started it, and have yet to complete it, but I have shed many layers of myself in the short amount of time I have spent listening to the Sedona tapes).

    Lately I'm trying to be a more truthful person. Truthful with myself, truthful with others, and not just the truth society creates based on what is right and wrong, but the real truth, what my actual feelings are. I just began trying to do this, but so far it has been rewarding.

    All you can do right now is take this journey. If you don't take it now you will at some other point in your life and it will be much much harder then. As much as meditation scared me, I'm glad I started because the benefits have been endless. It opened up a world of ideas that I never thought of before, and a community that has been helpful every step of the way.

    Hope this helps.

    Mitch
     
  20. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Thankyou Ta-tsu-wa, I totally agree as I'm sure Michael will also. I will make sure this is posted so everyone can benefit. I wish you an abundance of peace and joy :) :) :)
     

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