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Old 08-29-2009, 01:51 AM   #21
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Thanks everyone!

I'm not a type a person....I really don't don't know what type I am...most people think I'm really calm but I do feel stress at times.

ERD50

You are right it could be that he is just calm!


I just can't seem to "turn my mind off" at times it's just always thinking and thinking and thinking.

Walt

That is hilarious!

I'm going to try some of the suggestions in this thread.

Thanks

Jim
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:24 AM   #22
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Jim, I can relate to what you are saying, so much. Sometimes I get really stressed out at work (other times I just get a little stressed out! ). When that happens, my mind just races. Then I can't get to sleep and end up sleep-deprived, since the evil alarm clock is always there.

One of the things I am looking forward to most in ER is catching up on lost sleep.

Coping with stress is very difficult for me, and the best I am able to do presently is to keep it at bay. Meditation is something that I do to know myself and the universe better, but it is not something that I can do effectively when overly stressed. Better for me to just do something mindless, peaceful, and quiet while the thoughts fly about in my mind, and then when I am in a more placid state of mind I might want to meditate.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:18 AM   #23
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I've mediated on and off for the past few years, and find that its effectiveness is directly related to how consistent I am about doing it. Every day is best, even if only for 5 minutes (I do set a timer).

Your mind won't just instantly clear, but with practice you get better at noticing the thoughts that come in and letting them go rather than fixating. That's why the breathing is also important - gives your brain something to fixate besides your thoughts.

The other thing that is even better at clearing my mind (which I ususally do before I meditate, or instead) is to use a writing exercise. I got it off an anti-stress CD that the military handed out the last time DH was deployed.

For however much time you have (ideally 15-20 minutes or more, but less is still worthwhile), you sit and write about how you're feeling. Each sentence should start with "I feel _____."

For example:

"I feel worried about whether I'll be able to get my work done on time. I feel afraid that I won't be able to get it done and my client will be angry and disappointed. I feel angry at my partner because she didn't get her part finished. I feel frustrated that she is so bad at managing her time and angry that I have to work on Saturday to make up for it. I feel annoyed at myself for getting into this situation."

Or it could be positive feelings as well, where you're just really excited about something to the point of being over-fixated and distracted from whatever else you're supposed to be doing.

Notice that this is NOT about making a list of things that you need to get done, or "venting" by complaining about how inconsiderate the co-worker is. The important thing is repeating over and over how you feel. I personally also enjoy putting the paper in the shredder when I'm done for extra emphasis on getting rid of that excess energy.

Ideally, I use this to clear my head and then meditate to get more calm. But if I only have time for one, I do the writing - it makes me sleep better, especially if I do it every day.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:23 AM   #24
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Ideally, I use this to clear my head and then meditate to get more calm. But if I only have time for one, I do the writing - it makes me sleep better, especially if I do it every day.
Hmmm! Couldn't hurt to try. Thanks.
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:37 PM   #25
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Hmmm! Couldn't hurt to try. Thanks.

Leave yourself extra time at the beginning if you can - I could easily spend 30 minutes when I first started it. Now I judge how bad things are partly by how many pages I fill in the 15 minutes I normally spend

Also, for the most sleep benefit, consistency is important - it takes a few days for me to see an effect if I've been really stressed and haven't been doing this.
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Old 08-29-2009, 03:57 PM   #26
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I've meditated daily for about 7 years and it is the best thing I've every done for both physical and mental health. It can be simply a relaxation technique, or it can have a deep spiritual dimension. My sleep and many other aspects of life improved noticeably, though it is not necessarily a quick fix. As others have explained well, it's more about observing your mind than attempting to clear or control it. A familiar metaphor would be that it is like letting muddy water sit, so the dirt can sink to the bottom. A wonderful introductory book is Mindfulness in Plain English.
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Old 08-30-2009, 03:56 AM   #27
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Thanks want2retire, WM and headingout.

Want2retire

That is another reason I like to minimize my exposure to the "news". Aside from it being almost always upsetting I end up thinking about these awful stories or the bias reporting job they did on them!

This does not help if you are trying to sleep!

Jim
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:31 AM   #28
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I have tried various meditation and relaxation techniques in the past and, like WM, found them very beneficial when I would practice them daily. Maybe I will consider implementing a strategy similar to Walt34's to find the solitude for this practice again. Until then, I will continue with my current program of exercise, wine, beer, and whiskey (depending on my level of stress).

In all seriousness, I did find a site (Free Learn to Meditate, online meditation - Meditation Australia.) several years ago which offers classes (text is free, pay for audio downloads) in various meditation techniques so you can try different things and see what works best for you.
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