Anxiety disorder is much more than being very nervous or edgy. In anxiety, a person will report an unreasonable exaggeration of threats, repetitive negative thinking, hyperarousal, and a strong identification with fear. The fight or flight response is kicked into overdrive and physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and digestive problems often join with the cognitive challenges that anxiety disorder presents. In General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) the symptoms become so severe that normal daily functioning becomes impossible.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
I offer mindfulness meditation training to individuals and to support groups in Philadelphia, its suburbs, and South Jersey. Information can be found on the website www.practicingmentalillness.org. It is my hope to share with as many people as possible the therapies that have helped me. Contact information is on the website.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
I haven’t been mindful at all lately. I chewed up my daughter’s Elmo fork in the garbage disposal, I keep making trips to the basement for things I forgot to get the last time I was down there, and I drove off with my lunch bag containing my phone, wallet, and lunch sitting on the roof of the car. It seems I spend a half hour each day meditating and the rest of the day overlooking things. Meditating is difficult and often boring work. At times it can be very unsettling. So why do I bother?
Monday, August 6, 2012
It’s easy to say that when meditating one should focus on the breath and release thoughts as they arise, but it’s incredibly difficult to do. I’ve been a bit hypomanic lately, and ideas are flying through my head. Concentration and attention are very difficult. Acknowledging thoughts and letting them go is hard enough on a good day. What do I do now?
During mindfulness meditation you keep your attention on your breath, but you want to be fully aware in this moment. So you still take note of sounds and smells, aches and pains, all that makes up the present moment. When thoughts arise the instructions are to notice them, let them go, and return to the breath. But to just blot out thoughts without paying attention to them would not be very mindful at all. Don’t ignore your thoughts, work with them.