36: Meditation

I’ve just been thinking that maybe I should go and do some meditation to relax my back muscles and refresh my brain a little… and it’s occurred to me that I could also make a quick post about the subject as well!

Until about a year ago, I was very sceptical about both meditation and hypnosis – I particularly didn’t like the idea of giving up control, which is how it felt to me it would be.  I suppose I associate that with the horrible out of control feeling I get when mania goes past the getting everything done productive creativity stage, and into the point where I obsess and over-spend and can’t concentrate or control my behaviour. (Mind you, when I’m in the creative manic state I can’t really control my behaviour either, it’s just not destructive: I’m still functional.)  Anyhow, the point here is, last year I was having some trouble getting any rest because I was manic, or possibly rapid-cycling (going up up up then crashing, then back up a day later for a few days, slightly higher this time, then crashing… and so on).  I had rapid thoughts, I couldn’t stop thinking long enough to sleep or even stay still to rest my body.  The guy who was my ‘link person’ at the Hastings Wellbeing Centre suggested meditation.  I was doubtful at first, but I was really at the end of my tether.  So in the end I dug out a meditation tape that Mum had given me a few years previously.  I dug around further and found my walkman(!) and I gave it a try.  It took me a couple of goes to stop giggling at some of the imagery used (‘imagine the warm sun is moving nearer, compressing into small ball of light’ made me either imagine I’d been immolated, or that the compression of the sun caused the creation of a black hole into which all life was painfully sucked!  I may have been too literal) and get accustomed to letting the words take me along.  To calm down enough to make best use of the meditation practice, I guess.

Once I did, it became an enormous help.  I got hold of some other meditations, on CD this time, some guided and some just music.  I also came across some hypnotherapy recordings, and I gave those a try as well.  They’ve been invaluable tools to me ever since, when I need to relax and let go.  Sometimes I need them to get to sleep, sometimes I use them if I get tense or jittery in the middle of the day.  Sometimes I am still too jittery to be able to concentrate on them, but mostly, they’re a big help.  I generally do need the guided ones if I’m a bit manic, as I can’t stop thinking a mile a minute with just music.

I doubt I’m going to need one to get to sleep after the blogathon today, but the one I am planning to use in just a minute is a ‘wake up’ one.  Let’s see if it helps!

ETA – I also have a couple for when I’m down: those are hypnotherapy recordings.  I’ve found those really useful too.

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2 Responses to 36: Meditation

  1. Jul says:

    I know this is a really old post, but I wanted to say I’m enjoying your archives.

    Meditation has been suggested to me by a couple different people recently, and I think I should give it a try.

    • Lou says:

      Thank you – it’s nice to know that people go back and have a read sometimes :-) I’m glad you commented to let me know.

      I think it would be worth giving meditation a try – after all, it’s a non-invasive thing, and if it doesn’t work for you, then you haven’t lost anything. And even if the actual meditation techniques aren’t your thing in the long run, then I’ve come to think that just taking the time to sit quietly by yourself, for yourself, for a short period every day or few days, is a useful and positive thing.

      Hope it goes well for you :-)

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