Meditation - I Would Like People's Feedback

Velve921

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In the last few months I've taken on my first anxiety attacks after the death of my father.

During these moments of intense discomfort, I found my way into a meditation practice. In previous years I tried meditation but never really understood it.

By desperation I finally understand how it can be beneficial.

So here's where I would like people's thoughts:

The more I do it, the more focused and less stressed I become in ways I could never thought was possible.

I also move through life way faster as I do not overthink situations the way I used to.

Now here's the most interesting observation; as of lately I've really amped up the frequency of my practice and as a result, the framework in how I look at my life is changing fast. As a result, I find myself completely exhausted 1-2x a week as I'm learning this practice.

Can anyone else share any thoughts on their experiences in meditation?
 
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jzeno

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My thoughts are reflected by what they found in this study: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001691817301336?dgcid=raven_sd_via_email

Brief aerobic exercise immediately enhances visual attentional control and perceptual speed. Testing the mediating role of feelings of energy

Highlights
•Acute exercise is thought to facilitate cognitive processes by replenishing energy levels.

Various cognitive performances were measured before and following 15 min of exercise vs. relaxation/concentration.

•Pre- to post-intervention changes in feelings of energy were also assessed in each group.

•Significantly differences were found for cognitive processing speed.

•These differences were fully mediated by changes in feelings of energy.


Abstract
While the effects of acute exercise on mood and cognitive functions have been separately documented over the last decade, recent findings have pointed to a possible connection between affective responses to exercise and cognitive performance. The main objective of this study was to test whether the effects of acute exercise on cognition were mediated by changes in feelings of energy. One-hundred-and-one undergraduate students were randomized into one of two experimental conditions: 15 min of jogging at “moderate” intensity, or 15 min of relaxation/concentration (control condition). Perceptual speed, visual attentional control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility were assessed pre- and post-intervention in both groups via the Trail Making Test. Self-rated feelings of energy were also recorded pre- and post-intervention. Only completion time for the TMT-A significantly improved from pre- to post-intervention in participants who exercised compared with participants who practiced relaxation/concentration. No Group × Time interaction was found with regard to the other TMT variables. Finally, changes in feelings of energy were found to fully mediate the relationship between exercise and perceptual speed/visual attentional control. Taken together, our data suggest that a brief bout of moderate intensity exercise can improve the efficiency of certain cognitive processes through increases in feelings of energy, but further research is required to evaluate the duration of benefits and to determine whether these apply to other populations.

***

I don't want to derail the conversation but personally I think there are better uses of time than meditating. That's just me. I'd rather exercise than meditate personally.
 
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lampofred

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I think meditation the way it is commonly taught with visualizations, affirmations, etc. can raise serotonin and induce a bad type of detachment. Traditional meditation is just thoughtlessness, and the purpose is to non-forcibly and naturally lower the respiratory rate. Rapid breathing in Eastern cultures is thought to be related to short life, low intelligence, anxiety, etc.
 

Summer

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Now here's the most interesting observation; as of lately I've really amped up the frequency of my practice and as a result, the framework in how I look at my life is changing fast. As a result, I find myself completely exhausted 1-2x a week as I'm learning this practice.

Are you saying that meditation is causing you to have revelations that reveal certain aspects of your life as exhausting or that the meditation itself is exhausting you due to the amped up frequency?

For me, meditation is something that should feel natural. It is focusing on nothing but the present moment and enjoying it. Anytime I tried doing things like focusing on my breathing, for example, it would feel like an exercise, which I saw as counterintuitive.

Somewhat related, a few months ago I was close to achieving what some people call "astral projection" completely on accident. After waking up in the morning (around 10AM) I decided to go back to sleep out of sheer depression, despite not being tired. A few minutes later, my body fell asleep but my mind did not. While in a state of sleep paralysis, I felt an intense vibration all over and I felt myself being dragged off the end of my bed. I got bad vibes from it and shook myself back to a fully awake state. Some people say that gain intense peace from astral projecting, although it's not an easy feat to accomplish. Like I said, it wasn't intentional and I got bad vibes from the experience, perhaps because I was in a terrible place mentally (depression and anxiety) so now I stick to technique mention in the prior paragraph.
 

morgan#1

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I don't want to derail the conversation but personally I think there are better uses of time than meditating. That's just me. I'd rather exercise than meditate personally.
I’m with Mr trump! (Jk, I just had to say that, never thought I would think that)

I honestly believe that we should go through all of life “meditating”...just listening, 5 senses aware. Not zombified, just aware of others, and not being filtered through the mind.

Meditation is a mainstream $ cash cow these days; the right kind of exercise is the way to go.
 
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morgan#1

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Now here's the most interesting observation; as of lately I've really amped up the frequency of my practice and as a result, the framework in how I look at my life is changing fast. As a result, I find myself completely exhausted 1-2x a week as I'm learning this practice.
I think that intense learning is exhausting, especially with what you’ve been through. I don’t think it’s going to last; being taxed. I think it’s your body releasing things, (optimistically) I think it’s a normal thing. You’ll get more energy when the time is right...?

“I also move through life way faster as I do not overthink situations the way I used to.” that’s a good thing. Time issue, I wouldn’t think it would be faster or slower, I would think “easier” and less-anxious. That’s what it is for me when I’m not overthinking.
 

Velve921

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I think that intense learning is exhausting, especially with what you’ve been through. I don’t think it’s going to last; being taxed. I think it’s your body releasing things, (optimistically) I think it’s a normal thing. You’ll get more energy when the time is right...?

“I also move through life way faster as I do not overthink situations the way I used to.” that’s a good thing. Time issue, I wouldn’t think it would be faster or slower, I would think “easier” and less-anxious. That’s what it is for me when I’m not overthinking.

Really good thoughts and very insightful! There's a lot I've been learning and I'm feeling that could be a key point of why I get a little tired at the end of the week.
 

morgan#1

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Really good thoughts and very insightful! There's a lot I've been learning and I'm feeling that could be a key point of why I get a little tired at the end of the week.
Also I found that I lost weight with heavy stress and learning. So you might want to bulk up on your eating...
 

Lejeboca

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I think meditation the way it is commonly taught with visualizations, affirmations, etc. can raise serotonin

Can you please elaborate about those raising serotonin? Or maybe point to some studies? Thanks much in advance.
 

Philomath

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According to Hans Selye, stress can be broadly defined as “the gap between demand and capacity”. Exercise increases metabolism and combats the physical part of stress. Meditation (in its many forms) reduces anxiety and decreases metal stress/strain. Along with nutrition, they all serve to increase our overall “capacity”.
Both have a part in combating the stressors that we are continually inundated with. Everyone has a unique way of handling both types of strain/stress. It’s when we lose our ability to manage either, or both, that we succumb physically and our body fails (adrenal hyperactivity, lymphatic atrophy and peptic ulcers - followed by degenerative diseases, cancer and death). www.stress.org
 

Whataboutbob

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“If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.”


― Wittgenstein Ludwig
 

boris

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I had a rather negative experience with meditation. In my opinion meditation is for healthy people and not suited for someone depressed or anxious, even though it gets marketed to them.

I repost it from the „spirituality wrecked me“ thread:

I had similar experiences as OP. Although not as dramatic.
Only later I found out I was not alone. The deeper I went into this new age idea of spirituality, the more I experienced disassociation from my body. My body felt like a burden and made me depressed instead of feeling as a unity with it and being thankful.

Is mindfulness making us ill?
Why mindfulness is bad for you

"Farias looked at the research into unexpected side-effects. A 1992 study by David Shapiro, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, found that 63% of the group studied, who had varying degrees of experience in meditation and had each tried mindfulness, had suffered at least one negative effect from meditation retreats, while 7% reported profoundly adverse effects including panic, depression, pain and anxiety. Shapiro’s study was small-scale; several research papers, including a 2011 study by Duke University in North Carolina, have raised concerns at the lack of quality research on the impact of mindfulness, specifically the lack of controlled studies.

Farias feels that media coverage inflates the moderate positive effects of mindfulness, and either doesn’t report or underplays the downsides. “Mindfulness can have negative effects for some people, even if you’re doing it for only 20 minutes a day,” Farias says. “It’s difficult to tell how common [negative] experiences are, because mindfulness researchers have failed to measure them, and may even have discouraged participants from reporting them by attributing the blame to them.”"
...

"The second, Williams says, is more severe and disconcerting: “Experiences can be quite extreme, to the extent of inducing paranoia, delusions, confusion, mania or depression.”After years of training, research and practice, her own personal meditation has included some of these negative experiences. “Longer periods of meditation have at times led me to feel a loss of identity and left me feeling extremely vulnerable, almost like an open wound,”Williams says. As an experienced mindfulness teacher, however, she says she is able to deal with these negative experiences without lasting effect."
...

"After a few months of following guided meditations, and feeling increasingly anxious, Rachel had what she describes as a “meltdown” immediately after practising some of the techniques she’d learned; the relationship she was in broke down. “That’s the horrible hangover I have from this: instead of having a sense of calm, I overanalyse and scrutinise everything. Things would run round in my mind, and suddenly I’d be doing things that were totally out of character, acting very, very erratically. Having panic attacks that would restrict my breathing and, once, sent me into a blackout seizure on the studio floor that involved an ambulance trip to accident and emergency.”"
 

Lejeboca

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Interesting that meditation reinforces self-beliefs of being independence and interdependence on other people

Minding your own business? Mindfulness decreases prosocial behavior for those with independent self-construals



Abstract
Mindfulness appears to promote individual well-being, but its interpersonal effects are
less clear. Two studies in adult populations tested whether the effects of mindfulness on
prosocial behavior differ by self-construals. In Study 1 (N = 366), a brief mindfulness induction,
compared to a meditation control, led to decreased prosocial behavior among people with
relatively independent self-construals, but had the opposite effect among those with relatively
interdependent self-construals. In Study 2 (N = 325),
a mindfulness induction led to decreased
prosocial behavior among those primed with independence, but had the opposite effect among
those primed with interdependence. The effects of mindfulness on prosocial behavior appear to

depend on individuals' broader social goal This may have implications for the increasing

popularity of mindfulness training around the world.

From Methods: Mindfulness meditation.
Participants in the mindfulness meditation condition listened to
instructions to induce mindfulness via mindful breathing (Kiken & Shook, 2011). The
mindfulness meditation procedures draw from existing conceptualizations of mindfulness,
involving a focus and regulation of attention and awareness toward experiences in the present
moment (Brown & Ryan, 2003). These procedures focus on developing mindful breathing to
induce state mindfulness (originally adapted from Arch & Craske, 2006). This condition
included prompts such as “Start by bringing your attention to your belly and chest – wherever
you feel your breath moving in your torso – feel this area rise or expand gently as you breathe in,
and then feel it fall or draw back as you breathe out. Then continue to observe the feelings of
each breath in and out, without trying to control your breathing if you can
 

Regina

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Location
Chicago
In the last few months I've taken on my first anxiety attacks after the death of my father.

During these moments of intense discomfort, I found my way into a meditation practice. In previous years I tried meditation but never really understood it.

By desperation I finally understand how it can be beneficial.

So here's where I would like people's thoughts:

The more I do it, the more focused and less stressed I become in ways I could never thought was possible.

I also move through life way faster as I do not overthink situations the way I used to.

Now here's the most interesting observation; as of lately I've really amped up the frequency of my practice and as a result, the framework in how I look at my life is changing fast. As a result, I find myself completely exhausted 1-2x a week as I'm learning this practice.

Can anyone else share any thoughts on their experiences in meditation?
I think the Heart Sutra is very important.

Even in zen, it is called penetrating the Heart Sutra.

I don't know what would work for you. But you could try reading the Heart Attack Sutra.

I do believe that the greatest benefit in meditation is this "penetrating" of the heart sutra.
Cut through!
No bumper sticker "Teach Compassion" will do it.
 

Ben.

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Meditation as in trying to accomplish a higher state of mind or specific breathing excercises to accomplish specific feelings/thoughts didn't realy provide much success for me. As the op explained its kinda exhausting.
Many Gurus also have these paradox of philosophys and mental lessons that only leave people confused. As in: "If you desire not to desire, you are still in desire"

Trough a couple of books, but especially the one called "Autopilot" by Andrew Smart i found an approach that seemed to help from a parasympathetic point like no other. To summarize of what the book says: doing nothing is the only other option the brain has to induce healing besides sleeping.

Basicly doing nothing staring into space, watching the grass grow, birds sing, going into observation mode and the only thoughts are thoose of commenting what is observed in that moment and letting myself just "float" calmed me way down in times of stress almost instantly, inducing calmness and happiness. I realy should do it more often ...

No specific breathing, no spirituality, no excercise ... just nothing ... feels like a primal animalistic state.
 
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