Friday, 21 April 2017

Headspace

Alcohol addicts often talk about having 'monkey minds'. I like to think that we are particularly interested and interesting people, whose minds just won't stay still. (Or maybe we're just slightly more crazy than the average person).

Sometimes we just want a little peace. An escape from all the endless thinking, analysing, worrying, predicting. And that's what the booze does for us. It stills the mind and allows us to relax, to change gear, to de-stress.

That's what I missed most when I first quit drinking - the ability to transport myself to a little oasis of calm with just a few sips (glugs) of wine.

Buddhists believe that one of the keys to happiness is learning how to still the mind. But, predictably, Buddhists are very anti-booze, advocating meditation instead.

Back in the early days of being sober I tried meditation. I was a complete failure. I downloaded a meditation and tried to sit still for ten minutes concentrating on my breathing. Ten minutes had never felt so long.

The more I tried to ignore random thoughts the more they jumped up and down demanding attention like errant toddlers. Then the dog jumped on my lap and started licking my face, the sort of thing I'm sure never happens to Gwyneth Paltrow.

I didn't try that one again. Until a few days ago.

I've finally downloaded an App that several readers have recommended - Headspace, and I've been doing a ten minute meditation every morning. I'm a convert.

Not only does Headspace give you ten minutes of calm in your day, it also teaches you how to deal with negative and unhelpful thoughts (without diving for a bottle).

So, next time you really, really want a glass of wine, try a Headspace meditation instead. Once you've got over feeling like a bit of an idiot, it really does work.

Namaste!

SM x


21 comments:

  1. Hi SM, I downloaded that app and then deleted it a while ago for much the same reason as you. Will give it another go! Enjoy your day! x

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  2. Yes! I need to do this. Wine was one of the fastest ways to slow the mind I know of. Meditation would be a much better way of doing this. I've tried a couple of times, but I struggled and became impatient. I'm glad you are finding it's working for you. I'm going to give it another go.

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  3. Meditation isnt easy but its so worth it. It feels weird and you want to keep following your thoughts around but just by bringing your attantion back to the breath/mantra halps train the mind. I love Headspace, Smiling mind is also another really good app for mindfulnes and meditation. xxx

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  4. Thanks for the reminder. I have had it on my list to download that app for months. I need to give it a go!

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  5. I am going to try!!! I don't think I can sit still long enough! Does 10 seconds count as meditating??? hahaha. Here's to hoping it works!! xo

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  6. I am going to try again with this as I still find I have a busy brain. Although its not such a problem as when I was drinking. I think the wine made it worse when the effects wore off. Must also say that today is my Soberversary! 1 whole year so I have done all the first time things like holidays, Christmas and birthdays. I couldn't be more happy. hardly think about alcohol anymore it just isn't an issue. The relief is enormous. Thank you SM for all your virtual support x

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    1. Good for you Sharon! Congratulations!! x

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    2. That's fab!!!! Congratulations!! Xxx

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    3. Huge congrats, Sharon! Hope you had a great day celebrating! Massive hugs xxx

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  7. Hi SM. I just wanted to say that I love your blog. I've been reading it for a couple of years now but never commented before. I was sober for over 3 months last year and never felt better, but Christmas came and I gave in, convinced I was 'missing out'. Well, I've come to realise that by drinking a bottle of wine a night I am well and truly missing out on life and feeling great, so I have quit for good. This post really resonates with me. Wine has been my escape for too long, taking me away from the usual worries about work and children. I have downloaded the app and I am giving it a go today. It's early days for me - day 2, but the fact that I am writing a comment on a blog for the first time ever tells me I am really serious about this!

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    1. Huge congrats on day 2, and GOOD LUCK! I know you'll do it this time - you sound totally determined! Go girl!

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  8. Hi sm, my mind definitely doesn't have an off switch but I find running or just any exercise helps! I enjoy a quiet brew in peace every morning too!

    Just off to Liverpool for a school mums 40th at the shankley hotel, Iast time I was there was for a best friends 40th last year and I was so drunk I didn't leave the hotel (couldn't walk!) and was in bed at 11pm, can't remember any of it! :-( Not this time though, I'm happily driving and feeling fab in a new dress!!! Happy Saturday everyone :-) xxxx

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    1. Whoop whoop! Hope it was great! ❤️

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  9. Oh lord, SM! Your second paragraph...! You're spookily inside my head with that one.
    I've given a go, here and there, at 'quieting the mind.' And I know it has a good effect....perhaps it's time to ratchet up to the app.

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  10. Hi SM I've been doing Headspace for 408 days now , with a subscription, and I can honestly say it's been a life saver. I'm on my last pack now and will just redo some if no new ones are added. Its made such a difference to my mental and physical health and has got me through some very dark patches. So glad you are finding it helpful!

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  11. Hi SM. I'm starting out (again) and would love to have your post on Police and Cashiers to hand - it's one of my faves. Could you send me a shortcut to it please? I'm reading through Wordpress and can never navigate blog spot on my phone! https://youboozeyoulooze.wordpress.com. Thank you. Oh, and congrats on the book! : )x

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  12. Like so many others I have also downloaded the app but haven't yet had the time to try it out!!! Coming up to the 2 year mark and there have been so many changes in my life that I feel like I'm on a roundabout at times. Am going to try to find the time to give the app a go....

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  13. Yep - you've nailed it again as ever SM. Analysing worrying predicting.... that's me. Being sober - helps calm my mind soooo much - and so does mindfulness. Love love love headspace app. Hope you had a super Easter lovely lady. Xxx

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