So I’ve been meditating fairly regularly each morning for awhile, on the recommendation of contemplative traditions across multiple continents and thousands of years. The idea of meditation is very appealing to my introspective personality. I’ve had a couple of interesting, semi-hallucinatory experiences, which I’m sure mean I’ve been doing it wrong, such as the time my dream spirit animal, a polar bear, stood in front of me as I waited tremulously for revelation and commanded me to “Get to WORK!”
Meditation/mindfulness/relaxation – whatever you want to call it – has the immediate effect on me of a minor sedative without the dopey feeling. Not a huge effect, but not negligible either, for a person with a lifelong anxiety problem.
I wish I could make all of my patients practice daily mindfulness meditation, just as I wish I could make them (and myself) exercise daily, eat right, and get enough sleep. You can read about it all you want, but there’s no knowing it without experiencing it. It’s the doing that makes the difference.
Here are a few sites about meditating that are fun to explore.
Stop, Breathe & Think is an app that can be used on computer or on a mobile.
The mobile app for Headspace is free, although they also have a paid subscription with more content.
This page on instant mindfulness from patient-created self-help site DBT Central is older, and has some fun video meditations as well as more standard audio guided relaxations. As I check I see that not all the content is still available, but there’s enough to try.
This is a site from Organic Living with several interesting articles on meditation – the site is sadly afflicted with ads, but the articles themselves are pretty mainstream.