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September 19, 2016

Monday Moron Medical Monitoring

Well, I at least broke my stall, a little. I had been at 182-183 for a full month. Last few days, I'm between 179.6 and 180.6.

Not in ketosis, though. Might be water loss, as I'm exercising a lot and stupidly not drinking a lot of water.

I might spaz out in the street like Hillary.

I've been meditating a little lately.

I don't do it for long, and I don't do it often. But i'm doing it more. I try to do it when I'm doing some kind of endurance-testing exercise that causes pain.

The basics, as far as I understand them, are:

1. Don't overthink it. Meditation is not some kind of Astral Projection. Your perception is not going to change as if you're on some drug. It's a subtle thing -- don't be expecting a major Consciousness-Shift as evidence you've successfully meditated. It's really just about bringing yourself to a calm, relaxed state of low brain activity. If you've entered a period of relative mental calmness, congratulations, you just meditated.

2. You don't have to be in the lotus position. You don't have to be in any particular position or stance, so long as it's comfortable. Standing is fine. Just adopt a loose, comfortable posture and let your head fall slightly.

3. You do have to close your eyes. Most stimulation usually comes through your eyes; you want to reduce stimulation to the extent possible. You're trying to get your brain to stop pulsing with high-alertness, high-stimulation alpha waves to lower-alertness, low-stimulation theta waves. That's just a complicated way to say you want your brain to rest. Again, don't overthink it.

4. Often people say to breath deeply and slowly with your diaphragm (this results in your belly, not chest, expanding the most upon intake of breath), and exhaling for about the same period of time as you inhaled. This helps slow your metabolism down. I also think (Think!) that this helps your brain rest by focusing on something kind of boring rather than all the things you have to do yet today.

I find it easier to sleep when I'm watching something just boring enough to keep my brain from finding something more interesting to think about, yet not so interesting as to keep me up wondering what's going to happen next.

I think the "listen to yourself breathing, feel the breath slowly drawing in, filling your belly, feel the air whistling out as you slowly release it" thing is like that: Just active enough to keep your brain occupied (barely), thus keeping you from thinking about other things, yet not so demanding on your brain as to be any kind of exertion for it.

5. Try to do it for longer and longer periods -- thirty seconds, one minute, two minutes, five minutes, ten minutes. Twenty minutes is probably all most people could do in a day, and probably, when you can meditate for twenty minutes, you can meditate for hours if you have the time and feel like doing it.

The point of it is to calm your body and mind. Slow the heart rate down, cycle the brain down from alpha waves to theta waves. The point is to have a sort of waking nap where your brain is given a little break from high-stimulation, high-demand functions to just recharge and refresh.

You can, if you like, observe the interior feelings of your body, the signals your muscles and joints are sending, or even your heartbeat.

I've heard it said that the point of meditation is "being without doing." You're just trying to do nothing, or do the minimum required to keep your brain from getting so bored it starts daydreaming or thinking about tasks.

As I only do it for a minute or so, I can't tell you it works wonders. I think you really have to do it for at least five or ten minutes before you can really feel refreshed.

However, it is actually useful for ignoring pain in an endurance-oriented exercise (planks, sitting in a squat position for a long period, etc.)

It doesn't make the pain go away, but it crowds the pain signals out of the brain with something else.

So: Tell me about your



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posted by Ace at 06:03 PM

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