Mindfulness and Anxietycaution and anxiety
Junie Myerson: How mindfulness treatment made a difference in my lifestyle.
Has anyone really been amazed by the discoveries of this week's reports that mindfulness is cognitive therapy (MBCT) setup efficient in dealing depressed and anxiety? Nearly four years ago I went to my family doctor, Jonty Heaversedge, because the fear that had haunted me all my lifelong had become alarming.
It was Jonty - who accidentally wrote a mindfulness notebook - who got me a place in a six-week NHS-funded MBCT course at Maudsley Hospitol in St-London. And, there is no less clichéd way of saying it, this course and the meditative practices I have been doing every morning since then have transformed my world.
I' ve always been an afraid kid who ran from one terrorism to another. that my mother wanted me to put on a gown that would choke me when it was put over my fucking skull. Normal childhood anxiety, maybe, but I've given them some serious work. When Johanna von Orléan's funeral was shown at the pyre, a notebook had to be put on a high rack - although I still had to work on not looking at the one.
To have a wild and (for me anyway) amusing fantasy, a feeling of humor (which I was never ridiculed about) and a good drop of openness means that I would have said I was lucky. Going through college, working in the theater, loving and eventually having my baby and even realizing my dreams of becoming a novelist - all these were active and fortunate moments that reassured me in a way.
"If you' re so light and content, why are your books so dark?" sometimes they asked me. Saving me from being a neuotic, fearful backbone ache. Right? When I wrote my third novel, with three small kids, a supporting spouse and a mostly quiet and joyful lifestyle, I awoke in the midnight and gasped for breath.
In a few month I had several intermittent tachycardic events (an unusually rapid heartbeat) that once ended in A&E because my cardiac would not soothe. Some years of intensive stressful experiences about the use of drugs in our families, followed by an ongoing media assault on the textbook, which I had thought was an open debate on the topic.
Tried to get rid of it, but it kept happening - once, frightening, creating a little prance on a highway (to the nice man in the Volvo with the labrador in the background: despite your protests it was my bad and I'm sorry). I began to prevent all dangerous feeling in the classical modus of chronic fear.
We were on the ground doing a 45-minute long bodyscaneditation. His first sedentary contemplation was unbearable. When we were in our circles sharing the reason that had taken us all there, my recollection is that I was the only one who suffered from anxiety (as distinct from depression), and also that I definitely came across as the "craziest" - there was no one in this room who had difficulty remaining on a schoolbus.
A few in the group divided extensively, others less. I also began to recall why I had been resisting the concept of mediation for so many years: it was hard, boring and comfy. Somehow, somewhere, in these six wards, something was happening inside me - in my mind, in my mind, in my body, in my souls?
The present time, right here and now, began to be a very convenient (and comforting) place, without fear and full of the opportunity of rest and tranquility. Anyone who has ever experienced fear, whether it' s chronical or paralyzing, will know how intoxicating it was. Yet it felt strangely easy as if something in my mind had been diverted delicately.
There is no "bad" contemplation, as our instructors said in a memorable way, except that which is not done. Attentiveness does not mean changing things, but rather to accept them as they are, without judgement, with as much friendliness and meekness as possible.