Author Topic: Really Bad Day  (Read 10308 times)

Mindfullness

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Really Bad Day
« on: April 18, 2011, 09:49:10 PM »
I'm not even sure if this should be a vipassana forum post, but for some reason, I feel like this is the best place to go for help right now. For about six years now, since I became an undergraduate at my university(I am now a non-degree graduate student at the same university), I have become highly aware of my issues of deep insecurity regarding my self-esteem in the areas of education and work. I did not end up doing well in my undergrad. From the moment I stepped onto my college campus, for reasons I cannot explain, I felt burned out, like this wasn't for me. I think I might have taken too many A.P. classes in high school and become fed up with trying so hard and getting little in return(in terms of high grades). Those issues have not gone away. Last week, I took a Calculus 3 test and I ended up getting a D in it after studying for a week. On the first test, I got a B, and way above the average, and so I felt really dissapointed this time. I always have this feeling, though. I always have this feeling that no matter how hard I try, it doesn't matter in the end, because I will only get a B or a C, and to me, that is not acceptable, especially since I want to go to graduate school. Now, I feel useless. I don't know what to do. These feelings of inadequacy never go away. In terms of work, I did not do an internship, so now, it is hard for me to find a full-time job. I feel like I'm not doing something is not right. Maybe I'm trying too hard, which is, conversely, why I did not do as well as I wanted to in undergrad(as well as now). Maybe I have conditioned myself to just believe the fact that I'm not smart and am always doomed to mediocrity? I guess all this ties into vipassana because it made me see how much of self-doubt I am filled with, in regards to everything, including my posture. I am always feeling unsure or angry or frustrated at myself or at life. I don't know if it would be a good idea to go to graduate school in a year, because I feel so damn frustrated with myself. If I went to graduate school, I would always have feelings of self-defeat and would probably get bogged down. I don't know what to do.

Morning Dew

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Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 10:09:03 PM »
You maybe seeing how much doubt you have and how much insecurity but you are seeing this intelectualy and not actualy.
I am not sure what you practice but whatever it is let go of it and try to simply do Calm-abiding. I get a feeli g that many belive they are practicing Vipassana yet faim to see that their anxiousness is worsening.

Get into building a calm foundation. Even with a calm foundation this ride can be one hell of a one, without it just a big anxious confusion.

You cant sort this one out intelectualy! No matter how hard you try. Keep doing what you are doing and engage into relaxing your body. This is where all the energy is stuck in form of fragmented mind. Body must become trully relaxed before it can release the tension.

You can not do Vipassana intelectualy in my opinion but let it come out on its own accord when the body-mind is ready. Keep a steady daily practice in calm abiding.

Also find a way to vent like in writing a journal in here. It sure helps me.

Friendly Dusko

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 12:10:01 AM »
Equanimity dude.

Lou Reed - Perfect Day
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Mindfullness

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Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 01:09:38 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I am just curious how calm-abiding meditation will help me deal with my negative thoughts? I feel like when I do calm abiding meditation, even when I feel like my body is completely relaxed, I still have many thoughts in my head. Is that normal? Also, I'm sure this has been asked many times before, but when I breath in and out, do I have to feel what is going on in my entire body? Or just areas where I feel specific sensations?

someguy

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Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2011, 03:22:03 AM »
I don't know what to do.

Whatever you decide to do, just keep reminding yourself that self-doubt and unkindness toward yourself will never benefit you.

I know, I know that's easier said than done. That's what the practice is about. Somewhere along the line you have to break the chain. With each "episode" of self doubt, you're pouring water on the roots that cause such thoughts. Be with those thoughts. Notice them without judging. Eventually you'll come to understand that they are optional and not helpful. Then you will come to believe this truth to such an extent that the mind will no longer bother thinking thoughts of self-doubt, for even it knows they are just stories.

Hang in there.

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2011, 07:11:06 AM »
Hi nliyan25.

+1 on all the advice so far. Read it over many times for maximum benefit.

I did a little looking up on your previous posts. How are you close friends? You mentioned you generally like to be alone, does that 'alone' mean you are not in a romantic relationship? I ask this as sexual energy is a motivating force behind many of our activities including study. You may have a lot of crossover feelings about this issue which is causing the general feeling of hopelessness with study.

If you are not in a relationship, and want too, I would suggest that resolving this will ease alot of angst regarding the other pieces of your life including study. Life is to be lived Now, living it in your mind 'once I get good grades' will keep it from you as your grades will not be good enough for you. 

If you are in a relationship, then make sure you are giving your all to it. Don't hold back loving truly and deeply.

Just some thoughts for you, I'm not clairvoyant or anything!!

Oh and yes, from what I understand so far, calm-abiding is just gently returning your attention to the breath over and over again no matter how many thoughts go wandering around!. The magic goes on behind the scenes and without fireworks most of the time. There is no such thing as a bad session if you were a) breathing b) being aware of said breathing. Rise after wards and say "well, that is what it is" and do it twice a day.

love

andy
getting it done

Morning Dew

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Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2011, 07:25:47 AM »
Quote
I am just curious how calm-abiding meditation will help me deal with my negative thoughts? I feel like when I do calm abiding meditation, even when I feel like my body is completely relaxed, I still have many thoughts in my head. Is that normal?

This is a fundamental question and thank you for asking it my friend :)
At the moment you feel overwhelmed with thoughts because you strongly identify yourself with them. In other words you cling to them.
Shamatha will ACTUALY calm into the body and this very calmness will trigger a production of Dopamine and Serotonin AKA happy hormones or relaxing hormones which then will counteract the stress hormones your body-mind is used to like Cortisol and Adrenaline (fight flight).

This is why I practice everyday in the morning so to have a great supply of Dopamine/Serotonin which lasts throughout the day slowing down my REACTION TO ALWAYS PRESENT thoughts.

You ask if it is normal to still have many thoughts and I will say YES IT IS :) not necessarily normal vs abnormal but yes it is expected to have MILLION thoughts running wild here and there :)
So no worries here, I still after a year of meditating have thoughts jumping all over this mind circus BUT it is NOT ABOUT silencing the thoughts but about how YOU RELATE TO THOSE VERY THOUGHTS :)

One can observe the thoughts from a distance by being AWARE of them, disengaging from the yet they still run wild :) Actualy you are aware of the in and out breath (gently here, do not focus or concentrate just be aware of the breath) and seeing the thoughts through the presence of breath. Like this you make sure not to engage into thinking but seeing that thoughts happen on their own accord without you being able to control them yet there is this different you, the observer being able to see all this from a distance realising that these thoughts are an illusion running our actual lives. Therefor we start to become more and more mindful of our reactions, stopping them for a moment, contemplating them and then responding instead.

By the way your body is not ACTUALY truly relaxed as you say :) I know this because a truly relaxed body will release blissful and joyful hormones like Dopamine and Serotonin into the body-mind and you can feel this clearly when off the cushion :)

The most important part is the off the cushion life any way. The meditation is just a petrol station to top up the car, not the journey itself.

So once again yes it is "normal" (it is just your life as it is) to have thoughts running, practice to get used to be aware of them and all will be just fine and dandy :)

Keep sitting and calming into the body. If you get lost in thoughts get back to calming the body with each in and out breath. If thoughts are overwhelming observe this very self relating to those thoughts as overwhelming and go back to calming into the body :)

If you feel like falling over the edge shorten your daily session but please do keep them daily and above 20 minutes at least. You will know how much you can take. for me at the moment 40 is plenty :)
Be gentle with your self. Sometimes less is more.

Your friend Dusko

Vivek

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Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2011, 07:26:07 AM »
Hello nliyan, meditation will surely help you, but, I think you need to also see a qualified mental health professional to deal with your issues. Right now, you need professional help to look into your problems properly and come up with workable solutions that will help you achieve your outcomes. Depending on meditation alone to deal with your life problems, at this stage of your practice, may not be the most effective solution, and may even prove detrimental in the long-term. Just sharing my 2c worth.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

rideforever

  • Guest
Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2011, 07:55:44 AM »
Hello

These days I wonder if I have anything to say, anyway of doing anything.

I have realised recently the terrible aloneness people feel in this era is such a major reason for people's unhappiness.  So many feel this aloneness and I think it hurts so very very much. 

Please don't be alone, all of you.

And don't hold the tears, that hurts too.

All my love

Sacha

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2011, 09:03:45 AM »
Hi Sacha,

It's real good to hear from you.

love

andy
getting it done

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2011, 09:24:13 AM »
...
These days I wonder if I have anything to say, anyway of doing anything.

I have realised recently the terrible aloneness people feel in this era is such a major reason for people's unhappiness.  So many feel this aloneness and I think it hurts so very very much. 
...

Hello Sacha,

This is very true, and you do have something to say. People are surrounded by others and yet many feel so deeply alone. We have lost our connection with ourselves (programmed or kicked out of us), with each other, and we have lost our connection with the earth on which we live.

Yet one by one people make a choice to regain all that. And each one who does so and works on themselves starts to influence those around them, even if it is only in some small way at first. And the momentum builds. Modern life for all it's kicks is missing some basic tricks. But they are still there and available, such as looking someone in the eyes and listening deeply and letting them experience a moment of not being alone, but being seen.

We all have a part to play.

Warmly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2011, 09:33:03 AM »
nliyan,

There is no "right" answer to many of the dilemmas you face. The answer is the journey you take in life and this will have it's ups and downs. Try to get some perspective on things. There is a really heavy  sense of you being weighed down by all this, but your education will not define your life. It might make some things easier, some things harder .. but it is not the end of all things.

Half way through University I took a year off, became a stockbroker then investment banker working in mergers and acquisitions. I went on to publish books about developing economies and financial markets, run conferences, manage ski resorts  ... then I became a full time Buddhist.

Life is a journey and how you travel matters perhaps much more than where you get to. Most people are always thinking of the goal, the destination - they miss the great beauty of the journey which feels like hard work because it is goal oriented - and these goals, where did they come from? From your conditioned mind, your ego, your subconscious. Drilled into you by school, parents, society....

It's your life, your journey. Choosing how you travel and where you go is something we don't get taught except in the context of societal values because that's what suits society.

Does it suit you?

Thanks for the replies. I am just curious how calm-abiding meditation will help me deal with my negative thoughts? I feel like when I do calm abiding meditation, even when I feel like my body is completely relaxed, I still have many thoughts in my head. Is that normal? Also, I'm sure this has been asked many times before, but when I breath in and out, do I have to feel what is going on in my entire body? Or just areas where I feel specific sensations?

Totally normal - takes time for the mind to follow the body into calm serenity. Have as open awareness of the body as you can without your attention getting pulled all over the place. Try and take it all in. If that doesn't work, doesn't calm but confuses, then start with a single place for a while to establish a little calm, then start opening it up.

Warmly,

Matthew
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 09:38:30 AM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Stefan

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  • love is the key
    • Vipassana (Goenka), Freestyle, Family, God
Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2011, 07:21:15 PM »
Hei man! I think you try to be or become something that is not you.
An Elephant who tries to be a lion (and not just any lion but a real good lion) will end up disappointed no matter how hard he tries. He will feel useless because he cannot perform ordinary lion stuff.
But imagine what a fantastic elephant he could be!

Metta, Stefan
anicca

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2011, 07:27:10 PM »
stefan This reminds me of one story  ;D

The story of the hippo

:)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 09:02:29 PM by Dusko »

Renze

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    • Ungrounded
    • No hope
Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2011, 07:45:14 PM »
Hello nliyan, meditation will surely help you, but, I think you need to also see a qualified mental health professional to deal with your issues. Right now, you need professional help to look into your problems properly and come up with workable solutions that will help you achieve your outcomes. Depending on meditation alone to deal with your life problems, at this stage of your practice, may not be the most effective solution, and may even prove detrimental in the long-term. Just sharing my 2c worth.

I wholeheartedly agree with this advice. I'm currently following Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for some of my issues. It sounds to me that you could benefit from this, too.
My therapist told me that a lot of these negative thought patterns, that can be very disabling, originate from our childhood. You're asking yourself: 'Maybe I have conditioned myself to just believe the fact that I'm not smart and am always doomed to mediocrity?'. It is quite possible that at some moment in your childhood, you came to the (perhaps erroneous) conclusion that you're not smart. Usually this happens when someone in power, often an adult, makes you feel this way.
I'm currently doing this program, and the first step is to take real-life situations that didn't go right (negative thoughts, moods, behaviour), and write them down along with all the negative thoughts you had during that situation. You literally write them down on a piece of paper. Then, you write down the emotions that were triggered by the thoughts. Finally, you write down your own behaviour during this situation. This will give you insight in your negative thought patterns. The final result will be that you'll be able to identify negative thought patterns more easily and let them go.

Regards,

Renze

Mindfullness

  • Member
Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2011, 10:51:26 PM »
Thanks for all the advice, again. I have considered for the past few months whether I should see a psychotherapist, and I am pretty sure I will see one in the near future. I think calm-abiding meditation will greatly help me if I just stick with it.

Vivek

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Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2011, 05:25:12 AM »
Quote
I'm currently following Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for some of my issues. It sounds to me that you could benefit from this, too.
CBT is indeed, pretty cool stuff. Has even been proven effective through scientific testing methods. I like the idea of working directly on our beliefs and thus, helping us change the emotional patterns as well as behaviours. However, it has to be stressed to make sure that the therapist is fully qualified and thoroughly competent to give professional help. Otherwise, it is just throwing money down the drain, like so many people do consulting psychotherapists or psychologists.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Stefan

  • The Marvellous Omannobazong!!!
  • Member
  • love is the key
    • Vipassana (Goenka), Freestyle, Family, God
Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2011, 06:47:58 AM »
stefan This reminds me of one story  ;D

The story of the hippo

:)

 :D another Video Zen Koan!
anicca

wildfox7

  • Guest
Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2011, 07:45:36 AM »
Nliyan,
You sound just me, 40 years ago!  University life is terribly isolating, I recognized, so I bailed out of that.  My own choice was the Army, but anything other than university, to get more social contact and distract me from my preoccupations.  The source of my miasma was being raised in a family that was completely unsupportive from the beginning of my life.  What we are talking about here is a pervasive social problem, so you are far from alone in this stripe.

I will say that 'talk therapy' is a joke, an expensive and disappointing joke.  CBT ala Kabat-Zinn is effective for preventing recurrence of depression.  It is done in groups to lessen the cost, and you are given a long course of detailed exercises with a view to learning to recognize your habits of thought and cutting them short.

In the long term, the upside is the development of a robust independence.  The downside is learning to avoid relationships that tread on your vulnerabilities.  But relationships is where it's at, not the excavation of your mythology of failure.  No facile answers here.  This is not a drill.  This is it!



Morning Dew

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Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2011, 07:59:12 AM »
Quote
I will say that 'talk therapy' is a joke, an expensive and disappointing joke.

In my experience, i agree :) i was better off giving all that therapy money to hungry kids of our world.

Keep calming into the body. Our body has the capacity to heal it self. When you cut yourself the body repares it :)
Just send to the body the right message , a calming one so right hormones find the way into the body-mind. Find time to slow down this crazy modern world in you :)

I am doing it so it is possible. You can do it too :)
Start a Journal in here and write in it every second day about your practice. This can help too.

Your friend (more than you know) Dusko

Mindfullness

  • Member
Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2011, 05:54:38 PM »
I've never really known much about CBT. At first, when you guys started mentioning it, I thought you were referring to traditional psychoanalysis. Now, after reading about it more, it seems like it might be even better than psychoanalysis, since they assume that your thoughts are irrational from the beginning of therapy. I was wondering if you guys have any research/proof that shows that CBT is more helpful than traditional psychoanalysis, though?

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2011, 09:59:53 PM »
CBT and mindfulness practice work well with each other. Use the CBT techniques and concepts for a while (and remember they are just more thoughts). Eventually you'll end up a more accomplished practitioner and happier person. There is quite a bit of scientific literature on this.

Try it and see what you think.

Be well,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

someguy

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Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2011, 03:03:14 AM »
CBT and mindfulness practice work well with each other.

Indeed! In fact, some have even explicitly combined the two as part of therapy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness-based_cognitive_therapy

Vivek

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Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2011, 08:52:08 AM »
Quote
I was wondering if you guys have any research/proof that shows that CBT is more helpful than traditional psychoanalysis, though?
As I said in my first post, benefits of using CBT has been validated through scientific methods. I am not able to quote the exact references though.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Really Bad Day
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2011, 03:30:18 PM »
J Health Care Chaplain. 2009;16(1-2):53-7.
Support from neurobiology for spiritual techniques for anxiety: a brief review.
Mayo KR.
Source

Department of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Kelley.RaabMayo@rohcg.on.ca
Abstract

Research in neurobiology supports use of spiritual techniques as a beneficial treatment for anxiety. Psychotherapy, including mindfulness CBT and meditation, has been shown to change brain structure. The amygdala-the brain structure responsible for processing emotion and anxiety-demonstrates plasticity, and the purpose of therapy may be to allow the cortex to establish more effective and efficient synaptic links with the amygdala. A main feature of spiritual approaches is changing one's focus of attention. Instead of worry, one focuses on peaceful thoughts, thoughts of helping others, etc. Research demonstrates that thought, meditation, and other manifestations of mind can alter the brain, sometimes in an enduring way. Few studies have addressed the neurobiological underpinnings of meditation. Limited evidence, however, suggests that brain changes occur during prolonged meditation and that meditation activates neural structures involved in attention and control of the autonomic nervous system.

PMID:
    20183113
    [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



Behav Ther. 2008 Jun;39(2):171-82. Epub 2007 Nov 14.
Combining mindfulness meditation with cognitive-behavior therapy for insomnia: a treatment-development study.
Ong JC, Shapiro SL, Manber R.
Source

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA 94305-5730, USA. jcong@stanford.edu
Abstract

This treatment-development study is a Stage I evaluation of an intervention that combines mindfulness meditation with cognitive-behavior therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). Thirty adults who met research diagnostic criteria for Psychophysiological Insomnia (Edinger et al., 2004) participated in a 6-week, multi-component group intervention using mindfulness meditation, sleep restriction, stimulus control, sleep education, and sleep hygiene. Sleep diaries and self-reported pre-sleep arousal were assessed weekly while secondary measures of insomnia severity, arousal, mindfulness skills, and daytime functioning were assessed at pre-treatment and post-treatment. Data collected on recruitment, retention, compliance, and satisfaction indicate that the treatment protocol is feasible to deliver and is acceptable for individuals seeking treatment for insomnia. The overall patterns of change with treatment demonstrated statistically and clinically significant improvements in several nighttime symptoms of insomnia as well as statistically significant reductions in pre-sleep arousal, sleep effort, and dysfunctional sleep-related cognitions. In addition, a significant correlation was found between the number of meditation sessions and changes on a trait measure of arousal. Together, the findings indicate that mindfulness meditation can be combined with CBT-I and this integrated intervention is associated with reductions in both sleep and sleep-related arousal. Further testing of this intervention using randomized controlled trials is warranted to evaluate the efficacy of the intervention for this population and the specific effects of each component on sleep and both psychological and physiological arousal.

PMID:
    18502250
    [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID: PMC3052789




There's a couple ... I haven't got the time to delve through all the scientific literature and find the most relevant .. just google CBT and meditation or mindfulness and you'll find a lot of useful stuff. This one is nice in it's simplicity:  http://www.paniccure.com/approaches/meditation/meditation_and_cbt.htm
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

 

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