It is all right if you feel anxious or tense when we first begin to meditate. We are learning a new skill and this new skill is going to take us out of our comfort zone. Allow any feeling of unease to just be there. Dont fight it and begin to meditate. The unkown of meditation will soon become the known and your comfort zone will increase.
Two of the most common questions we are asked are :
"I am taking medication and /or I am seeing a therapist, but is there anything else I can do to help myself recover ?
And the answer is Yes ! There is.
The basis of the self help techniques we teach are:
A Mindfulness based cognitive technique
Meditation is an excellent self help technique that can be used both as a relaxation technique and a cognitive technique. Unlike most other relaxation techniques which focus on relaxing the body, meditation works in the opposite way. It focuses on relaxing our mind, and our body relaxes naturally as a result.
Many people tell us they can't relax, and/or that they have never been able to relax. Part of the reason why people can't relax is that they are too frightened to let go of their overall need to be in control. Or as people do begin to relax, they become fearful of the sensations of their body relaxing.
The meditation technique we use is specifically designed for people with an anxiety disorder and assists people in being able to learn to let go of the control and to learn to accept the sensations of their body relaxing with out fear.
Meditation was how Bronwyn recovered from panic disorder and agoraphobia. Since then, Bronwyn has taught thousands and thousands of people with an anxiety disorder to meditate. Bronwyn's book 'Power over Panic' which describes and teaches meditation and mindfulness is a best seller in Australia and her Panic Anxiety Management Workshops using meditation and mindfulness won a major Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Award.
We use meditation in a non spiritual / non religious way. And we use it in a number of different ways.
As a relaxation technique.
To teach people mindfulness /awareness skills
To learn how not to attach to, or empower thoughts which create panic and anxiety
As an exposure method to dissociative states including depersonalisation and derealisation
As an exposure method for letting go of the need to be in control
This is then transferred over into every day life as a Mindfulness based cognitive technique. People are taught to become:
Aware of their panic/anxiety producing thoughts during the day
Aware of the intimate relationship between their thoughts and their symptoms
Aware of any tendency to dissociate
This assists people to:
See how many of their fears and symptoms are being created by the way they think
See they have a choice in what they think about
Learn not to attach to or empower their thoughts
Learn how to manage and control their thoughts
Learn to let go of the need to fight their panic attacks and/or anxiety
Learn to let their panic attacks and anxiety happen without resistance
Be aware of and manage any personal tendency to dissociate