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Thread: Caffeine, anxiety's no.1 evil potion.

  1. #21
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    Re: Caffeine, anxiety's no.1 evil potion.

    Quote Originally Posted by DustingMyselfOff View Post
    Ugh, give me a suggestion for anything other than "focus on your breathing". I hate that statement and it's so over-used in so many aspects of life. I get very irritated when I try to focus on my breathing - I don't hear myself breathing, I don't "feel" the air moving through my nose, there is nothing about breathing that I can focus on. What if I tap my fingers or something? Can I focus on something more tangible?
    Sue
    There's a reason it's used a lot, but for meditation it's because it requires no effort to do. Finger tapping is more of a distraction exercise used to intercept anxiety in CBT, and not suitable for meditation.

    There are many other things you could try and focus on though. Visually you could use something like a candle (focus on the flame), a water feature etc. I think it's easier at the start to focus on something audible though so maybe try and find something you like using like white noise, the hum of a fan, running water or a constant tone. I don't believe music is meditative at all. The point is to have something benign to focus on, something that you can move your awareness back to when your mind wanders. Not something that in itself can provide stimulation (music, tapping etc).

  2. #22
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    Re: Caffeine, anxiety's no.1 evil potion.

    Wow, you're really helping me to get the drift of what meditation is supposed to be, and I'm learning a lot. I'm still thinking it's going to be a real struggle for me but as you've said, PRACTICE. And it makes sense that someone who's life has been full of anxiety would find it a struggle to meditate. My most prevalent thought when reading your reply was: "How long can I possibly focus on a white noise or the flicker of a candle? I'll hear it (or see it) and then think, OK, I saw the flicker or heard the repetitive sound, now what? How much can I focus on something mundane and repetitive?"

    I guess that's the whole point, and it seems I have a LOT of practice to do.
    Sue

  3. #23
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    Re: Caffeine, anxiety's no.1 evil potion.

    Quote Originally Posted by DustingMyselfOff View Post
    Wow, you're really helping me to get the drift of what meditation is supposed to be, and I'm learning a lot. I'm still thinking it's going to be a real struggle for me but as you've said, PRACTICE. And it makes sense that someone who's life has been full of anxiety would find it a struggle to meditate. My most prevalent thought when reading your reply was: "How long can I possibly focus on a white noise or the flicker of a candle? I'll hear it (or see it) and then think, OK, I saw the flicker or heard the repetitive sound, now what? How much can I focus on something mundane and repetitive?"

    I guess that's the whole point, and it seems I have a LOT of practice to do.
    Sue
    This 'and now what' attitude is quite common. There's an expectation that you meditate a couple of times and a dramatic transformation is going to happen. Meditation literally changes your brain physically, it rewires it. This has been scientifically proven. Now, the rewiring that happens is undoing 10, 20, 30 years or more of bad habits. It would be unusual to see any profound changes in the short term. What I found was that after several weeks I had an experience or intuition that something was happening. It was a period of profound depression, and after the meditation session it lifted considerably because all of a sudden I realised that one day it would go, so therefore it 'was cool'.

    I think in some respects there's a goal driven attitude in the USA that on one hand 'gets shit done', but on the other hand places immense pressure on the mind. Without contrast to that ideal, without rest and awareness there can only be anxiety. It's very similar here in the UK now.

    As you are realising, there is no 'and now what'. The what..is now. Does that make sense? That moment of awareness and focus IS the point. So...when you start your meditation and you think 'how long can I focus on this', that's the trigger for you to re-focus on the subject of your meditation without judgement. Don't question the time or the success of your meditation, simply re-focus.

    You may also find mindfulness complements your meditation practice too. The book by Mark Williams is worth a read as it instructs in the technique of mindfully going about daily tasks. For example, if you sit down and eat an apple you focus your attention only on eating the apple. You focus on the texture, taste, temperature etc etc. It sounds benign, but it's powerful (over time). You are basically doing the opposite of everything you've done your whole life. Multi tasking is overrated, and your anxiety kinda proves that. Just because you can, doesn't necessarily mean you should.

  4. #24
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    Re: Caffeine, anxiety's no.1 evil potion.

    Sue, just to chime in with Joe mentioning Mark Williams, if you check out the signature on my post the first post in that thread that will take you to his website where the guided meditations from his first book are free to download. There are a couple not in the book too. There are more exercises in the book. In the book they start with breathing thypes because they are seen as the foundation but there are others.

    The first exercise in the first book is an example of how Mindfulness is applied to an everyday activity such as eating.

    Here is an example starter meditation practice from Professor Mark Williams book:

    The Raisin Meditation

    1. Holding
    Hold it in the palm of your hand or between fingers, etc, approach it like it's the first time you've seen on, consider weight, does it throw a shadow.

    2. Seeing
    Really see it, use full attention, find it's highlights where the light shines, the darker hollows, folds, ridges.

    3. Touching
    Explore it, turn it over, feel the texture, how does it feel between thumb & forefinger on the other hand.

    4. Smelling
    Put it under your nose. With each inbreath consider scent, consider no scent, lit it fill your awareness.

    5. Placing
    Put it to your mouth noticing how your hand & arm does knows where to go automatically. Place it gently in your mouth, noticing how your tongue receives it. Without chewing, explore the sensations of having on your tongue for 30 seconds or more if you choose.

    WARNING: Step 5 not advised with a Rowntrees Fruit Pastel (thats all mine
    )

    6. Chewing
    Take a conscious bite, notice how it affects the object and your mouth, notice taste, feel the texture whilst biting, chew slowly but don't swallow, noticewhat happens to your mouth.

    7. Swallowing
    See if you can detect the first intention to swallow as it enters your mind, experiencing it with full awareness before swallowing. Notice what how the tongue prepares it for swallowing. Try to follow the sensations of swallowing it and if you can, consciously sense it as it moves down into your stomach. Repeat if any more in your mouth. After each swallow, notice what your tongue does.

    8. After-effects
    Register any after-effects, is there any aftertaste, what does does the absence of the raisin feel like, is there an automatic tendency to find another?

    Spend 20-30 seconds on each of these steps.

    Now spend a few minutes writing down your thoughts.
    __________________
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For free Mindfulness resources, please see this thread I have created to compile many sources together http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/showthread.php?t=168689

  5. #25
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    Re: Caffeine, anxiety's no.1 evil potion.

    Thanks, Terry, on my way to the fridge to get a grape (don't have any raisins) and then off to the link in your signature.
    Sue

  6. #26
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    Re: Caffeine, anxiety's no.1 evil potion.

    Today my partner made me a coffee. We had ran out of t-bags. She drinks decaffeinated. I drank it, and then shortly after started sweating. I remember Google "why causes butt sweating". I also started to feel anxious. Immediately I asked if the coffee was caffeinated. Positive. It's really not good at all.
    __________________
    Software Developer. HA. Ex window fitter. I record podcasts: https://anxietyjames.podbean.com/e/a...ty-affects-me/

  7. #27
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    Re: Caffeine, anxiety's no.1 evil potion.

    To come back to this thread, I just wanted to say that I'm back on proper coffee on a daily basis now with no ill effects, so don't think it's gone for good if you enjoy it. I limit myself to two cups (fairly strong) in the mornings otherwise it makes me feel jittery, but that's normal. I have zero anxiety from coffee any more, but about 18 months ago it would have knocked me on my ass for a day if I had any.

    It's about letting your mind and body come back down to where it used to be, then it can better handle the stresses you are exposed to on a daily basis again. Coffee being a source of stress.

  8. #28
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    Re: Caffeine, anxiety's no.1 evil potion.

    I've been on decaf for several months now.
    The first week or so I didn't notice any change in the calm of my anxiety, but I do now.
    I've noticed a massive improvement and with the help of an occasional chamomile tea, no fizzy drinks, just water, I would say it's helped my lightheadedness and blurry eyesight by incredible amounts.
    I wouldn't go back to normal tea and only have a weak latte very occasionally. That's half a teaspoon of coffee.
    It's just not worth losing your life over a cup of coffee or strong tea!

  9. #29
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    Re: Caffeine, anxiety's no.1 evil potion.

    I honestly can say coffee doesn’t effects me,never has am I wrong?

  10. #30
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    Re: Caffeine, anxiety's no.1 evil potion.

    No, you are not wrong, it depends on the person and their constitution. But it is known for its adrenalin rush.

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