I wrote in my last blog that I received a recommendation to try out meditation sessions.
I guess, I just needed someone to tell me to go and participate (in a sense, not giving me a choice, because now there's someone else that's expecting me to do something – it's sadly the way I roll.)
I went on Wedneysday evening. We were about six people, sitting in a closed circle around a candlelight. At first, aspects of the technigue was explained. In a nutshell, they key to getting any benefit out of it for an inexperienced individual like myself, lies in just trying to relax, while trying to do as guided. It's important not to view it as a sort of competition or a matter of performance.
Sometimes, they played relaxing, ambient music before or after the sessions, but it was used rather sparingly.
Each session started out with finding a relaxing breathing rythm; slowly breathe in, pause, then breathe out slowly, pause. Repeat. After a while, you'd fall into your preferred rythm and then you'd be guided gradually through a "mental journey" through your individual body parts, the goal being to try to imagine yourself being inside your own body (preferably without any gross mental images, please).
After taking the "body tour", the focus would then be moved to certain "sensation areas", linked to emotions like love (further split into love of specific things), and grief (also related to love).
Finally, a session involves imagining a cleansing "light" travelling up through your body with each inhale, and then travelling down through your body again with every exhale. All the while, keeping the earlier sections of the session in mind, which can be a bit difficult for a beginner like me.
After each concluded session, we'd talk about how we experienced aspects of the meditation (some visualized the "light" differently, and then there was me who only felt it faintly – I was assured that this was a very difficult part to succeed at, unless having enough practice).
We had two such meditation sessions, with a tea/coffee break in-between (after having our little in-depth chat about how the meditation was experienced).
When it was time to go home, I walked away from the clinic with an unusually positive mindset. I felt so relaxed that I could essentially go straight to bed and fall asleep within a minute, but at the same time, I felt re-energized and kind of eager to do stuff.
Too bad that it was too late in the evening to start a massive cleaning of my home… I think the neighbors would have complained 😛
I intend to participate in every session from here on out (it ends in December – afterwards, I might consider finding some other place that offers meditation sessions, unless they start over again that same place), because it is very helpful against depression, but it's also very useful against anxiety (you get some practice talking to strangers, and it's a positive experience, because the people participating in this kind of stuff are decent people).
Unfortunately, all is not roses and sunshine. Today, I was again reminded about how much anxiety sucks. I'm prohibited from talking about specifics about job related experiences, but I can say that it's a nasty surprise after a couple years without incident and only routine boredom to be a bother, to suddenly hit a snag where anxiety makes you lose concentration, causing you to make idiotic mistakes you wouldn't otherwise make.
So as the headline says: Meditation is highly recommended for anyone with depression and/or anxiety, bad days at work, however, are definitely not!
I need to get better at those meditation technigues…