On top of that, I've been reading up on meditation and mindfulness and all of the conflict and debate in the communities about how people should be doing things and how they shouldn't and secularizing religious practice and Western appropriation of things, etc. It's been helpful because the app tries to keep things as simple and as low key as possible, and so it exists as the sort of tip of the iceberg of mindfulness practice. And it's always beneficial to have differing points of view on the same thing.
Right now, I'm doing about 10-20 minutes of meditation (two of the guided meditations from the app) at the beginning and ends of the day, and since I walk a lot, I've also been trying to do mindful walking when I'm on the street.
Overall, I think it's been helping. I've been having work stress in general and work stress around annual reviews on top of that. While it's important not to think of meditation as a sort fix-it or a means of escaping from stress and feelings of uneasiness, I now have tools for how to handle it when my brain is trying to spiral, and so far they've worked. Just the simple act of re-focusing on my breathing helps right myself and my brain when I'm feeling unbalanced. It doesn't always work. I've had some bad patches over the last couple of days, but they'd probably have been worse if I hadn't had access to that technique.
It's tough to tell if I'm doing things 'right' at this stage. One of the big things in mindfulness training/meditation is allowing yourself to feel and think things but in a state where you're aware of what you're thinking and feeling, pulling your brain back to focusing on your breathing when you drift off, but that sort of refocusing feels like a hard yank still. My brain will wander off without me being aware of it. Sometimes, I get restless and impatient when trying to meditate and want get it over with it as fast as possible. I worry that I'm just going to end up stopping for whatever reason because I have a hard time maintaining consistent healthy habits.
But overall, I've been enjoying the process of learning how to do it, and hopefully writing this post will guilt me into continuing until it becomes a part of my life + processes.
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