Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

Say Goodbye To Panic Attack

It has been quite a while since I last had my morning walk in Jakarta. When I opened the windows, I felt a cool breeze touching my face. So I thought this could be a good day to have my morning walk.
I was right! The weather was just perfect. The sky was bright and clear without a single cloud floating in it. And for those of you who knows Jakarta….this is like a miracle! I was savoring this pleasant Jakarta weather when I realised that if I were seeing this 14 years ago, I would have not been able to even enjoy this beautiful moment. I used to have panic attack, that’s why!
Living with PTSD (we will discuss this topic separately) doesn’t come alone. It comes with a whole bundle of all the other mental, psychological and physical issues that comes with it. And one of them is Anxiety/Panic Attack!

It really can make one handicap especially in social life. People would see me as an extrovert. But underneath the façade, I’m a total chaos inside with anxiety. And when the anxiety takes it toll, it just blows up to a terrible panic attack. When someone suffers from panic attacks, the whole life becomes a mess. Most can’t even travel from their homes in fear of having panic in a strange place. And I didn’t really want anyone to know I was suffering from it. I was too afraid that people around me would think I’m crazy. It’s already bad thinking thay way and on top of it all sometimes when the panic attack gets so bad, I thought I was having a heart attack because I couldn’t breathe and I thought I was dying.
I always dreaded going to parties. Especially to parties which I know that I have not been to familiar with the company that I would be meeting. I could not even visualise myself going to concerts, wedding parties and the likes. It would have been just too much for me and I would have developed anxiety just in no time. That is why I have always avoided going to one and always finding excuses to attend one. And if I did go, I would find me a quite corner. Everytime I used to comeback from dance clubs or pubs, I would develop an ulcer after that because I was coping with the anxiety while being there.
So even looking at beautiful sceneries would sometimes like hypnotise me to go back to my past traumatic events and then it would just give me anxieties to the point of panic attacks at times. Depressing… really!
The doctors would give me antidepressants and also sedatives. I remembered that all those medications gave me blank stares, drowsy….and basically I was a zombie, a truly the walking dead!
I was experiencing these symtomps:

  • Palpitations, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Tremble or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feeling of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded or faint
  • Feelings of unreality or being detached from oneself
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Fear of dying
  • Nausea or abdominal distress

I’m free from all that now! How? Through Ayurveda, a 5000 years old science of healing and life. Ayurvedic healings include meditation, yoga and herbs in their treatments. In Ayurveda, anxiety and panic attacks is primarily due to aggravated Vata dosha in the nervous system. Therefore the primary treatment is to balance the Vata dosha.

In an ayurvedic treatment, a regular full body massage known as Abhyanga and also Shirodhara helps to reduce ongoing set of attacks. Besides the body treatment, the use of herbs and the regular practice of meditation and yoga is part of the ayurvedic treatment. Meditation and yoga helps to regulate deep breathing so that the brain can receive the correct dose of oxygen in our brain. Therefore it can also help improve our focus and redirect our mind and thoughts in the right direction. This way we can redirect our mind and treat the panic attack.
Here are some recommendations to treating panic attacks:

  • Indian ginseng or Ashwagandha. Studies have confirmed it’s powerful anti anxiety fighting properties and also a good adaptogen to boost immune system and anti aging effect.
  • Chyawanprash. An ayurvedic number one remedy because of its mixture of many herbs which rejuvenate mind and body.
  • Gotukola or Centella Asiatica. Known also as pegagan in Indonesia and used in Indonesian cuisine such as Asinan Bogor. The Sundanese calls it dulang sontak and even eat this as raw salads aka lalapan 😅 The Balinese calls them piduh
  • Ayurvedic Vata Tea. We make our own Vata tea and mixtures of herbs such as ginger and nutmeg can help calm the Vata dosha
  • Take a bath with ginger and baking soda
  • Try an Ayurvedic Abhyanga Massage, it not only relaxes and calms you but it also rejuvenates you at the same time
  • Go for an Indian head massage, Shirodhara. The flow of warm oil will stimulate the endorphins to calm the mind
  • Use Ayurvedic Vata Oil to calm the nervous system through daily self massage each time before taking a shower. The oil will also make your skin glow :)
  • Do a Corpse Posture or Shavasana. Think about it….a corpse don’t have emotion while people with panic attack is overloaded with emotion. So it is a good counter situation.
  • Drink Almond milk with saffron, ginger and nutmeg for a good natural sedative
  • Put some Vata Churna spices on your food to neutralise the incompatible Vata dosha food
  • Most important of all….MEDITATE!

So even looking at beautiful sceneries would sometimes like hypnotise me to go back to my past traumatic events and then it would just give me anxieties to the point of panic attacks at times. Depressing… really!

Let’s get rid of panic attack with these safe methods and start living. Gone are those days of anxieties and not being able to enjoy beautiful events and surroundings. Let’s embrace a new anxiety free life and finally enjoy calm. If I did it, so can you! Namaste…

It’s All About Mind Training!

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    It’s All About Mind Training!

Have you ever awoken to the same thoughts over and over again for the course of almost everyday? And most of the thoughts that reoccur are mostly negative thought. Isn’t that horrifying?!

Well, I first did not realise it for years. Several years ago on a fine one day, I woke up with the same reoccurring thoughts about my anger towards a beloved one. The thoughts would linger even until I was having my breakfast, and worse… it would continue throughout the day if my mind was not kept busy with other things. I was so engrossed with the train of thought. Trying to rationalise, look for more faults so that the blame and anger would be justified. And if the feeling of anger subsides, I would still find excuses and reason to validate my anger towards that person.

That is how the mind works. That is what the Ego wants to hang on to. Did you know that we have circa 60000-70000 thoughts per day and 90% of the are negative thoughts? And these 90% of the negative thoughts plays in the head like a broken record player everyday! Ironically is that every thought you think and every word you say is an affirmation.

When I realised this, I knew I had to make a stop to it. Then I discovered that those negative thoughts became automatic, that is why some people would call it as Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs). I read about this is in an article which was taken from an Australian yoga magazine. If those negative thoughts appeared automatically, that means I have developed a habit for it. If it is a habit, then it could be my character. And if it became my character, that would become my destiny. Whoa….no way will I have such kind of destiny! No-uh!

So, I had to stop this bad habit by training my brain to lessen those negative thoughts. That’s where I came about to be acquainted with meditation. It is strange that at first I was not too keen on the word meditation. Because I heard from a lot of people that meditation is like a ritual for a certain religion. Yeah right! Those people who talks in that sense means that they need to open up their horizon and start reading and discovering a whole new world of the neuroscience.

Meditation is not religion! I like the explanation that meditation is not religion by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey in this interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rp1DGDaHvHg

Meditation is not about levitating or will be in conflict your religious beliefs. Because in all religions meditation exists. The monks do it, the Sufis do it, etc. I would say that meditation is actually a form of “mind training”. It is true that a lot of people are apprehensive to the word because it is something “new” in the western world of psychology which is adopted by the whole world. But I remember a quote by Carl Jung, “What the East knows about the human mind is at least 2000  years ahead of western psychology”. So, you know how it is. People are afraid of the things that they don’t know. But once they are well informed, the fear disappears.

Let’s go back to “mind training”. The habit that I have developed in thinking of the same things over and over again for everyday in my certain period of life means it is a form of a repetition that reoccurs. So the only antidote to is to train the mind to not think that way. It is quite and exhausting job If I were to try to block all those negative thoughts that comes in my mind. The thing I need to do is not to directly grab the mind and try to tame it. There is another of a more simple way, and that is through controlling the breathing. When we are able to control our breathing, automatically we control the mind! A-ha!

You see, there’s such a clear connection between the breathing and the brain – which is used to express the mind. I will talk more on that in my next article. To make the story short, when I have succeeded in training the mind, I can catch glimpses of the thoughts. And the more I control my breathing, the thoughts lessened. And then when that happens, I was able to reprogram my old pattern of thinking negative thoughts :)

Therefore, I would recommend that everyone should be thought mind training. It breaks the pattern of negative self talk too. Imagine what life could be if we rid of all those negative self talks and negative thoughts. Life would be like a breeze…

You’ll Find A Treasure If You Look Closer

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    You’ll Find A Treasure If You Look Closer

I needed to get some recharging from Nature that I decided to head for the beach. Another reason is that I wanted to capture Bali’s Sunset with my Olloclip lenses.

To my amazement, I was not the only who wanted to witness Bali’s Sunset. It was so crowded! There was a group of people who played soccer, and another group who was practising martial arts, couples, sate sellers, families, etc.

It was quite difficult to take a picture of the sun with an Iphone without capturing anyone who passes in between the sun and I.

So I decided to change strategy. I took out the macro lens from my olloclip and started to look for other objects. Since the easiest thing available was the sand, so I took a picture of it. To my awe, the result of the picture is this picture. Of course it doesn’t have the writing on it, but look at those beautiful colorful crystals!

I was so amazed to look at the close up picture of the sand that it hit me on the head….hey! This is how we miss a lot of things in this life, it’s because we don’t take time to take a closer look of what things are made off. That is why a lot of us are so depressed, unhappy and miserable!

Have we taken the time to take a closer look at ourselves? I don’t mean about looking at our physical self through the mirror. But looking at what lies inside of each one of us. We should be like the sand, we are made up off beautiful colorful crystals…a real treasure.

We have been conditioned to look at ourselves from the outside…at the outerworld. Not a lot of us look at the inside. I mean…what’s there to look at? It’s dark and no stimulation for the senses. Exactly!

We are so used to with the noises, visuals, tastes of the hustle bustle of the busy outer world that darkness and silence just scares a lot of us. I guess we forget that one can only recognize and see the light in darkness.

Why do I connect depression and unhappiness with all this? It’s because a lot of us are still disconnected with our true self. We are crying for the loss of our so called ‘treasure’ of; childhood, loved ones, relationships, jobs, wealth, memories, etc – and we seek all of that from our outer world. We forgot to look closer at ourselves of what we are really made off. We may be like the sand i described, consisted of a precious thing. We never seek within.

If we only take a closer look at ourself, we will find a treasure within. Hiw do we do that? Start by closing our eyes and limiting ourselves from any sense stimulation that excites us too much. This is the Only way to access it. People call it meditation, it is a process where we start listening to ourself….the real Self and not to our Ego.

Read more books about it, gain more knowledge about it. Start the journey within. It will take time, patience and practise. You will only be good t anything if you practise. Get to know yourself and get acquainted with yourself. Soon, you will discover a treasure within…

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