List of best things to do instead of meditation...

Discussion in 'Self Improvement' started by Deleted Account, Nov 26, 2019.



  1. I will list activities that I found work best for me against withdrawal symptoms, and help my nervous system to recalibrate, so i do not have to rewrite these in seperated posts for people.



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    My goal to offer valuable activities, and tecniques to anyone who whish to help their recovery, without meditation. I will mainly list activities that you can do while sitting.


    1. Reading aloud.

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    Pros:
    • if you use this forum, I got a feeling you know how to read already, do not need to learn anything extra to do that
    • stimulates those brain parts that tend to be "weak" in addictions
    • calms you down, meanwhile same time teach you how to focus
    • you can read aloud for other people, can be social activity
    • you can learn many things by reading, or read enjoyable stories
    • may help you fall in sleep faster when insomnia chasing you
    Cons:
    • May cause neck, or eye strain

    Studies/sources:
    Reading aloud and arithmetic calculation improve frontal function of people with dementia.


    Cortical activation during reading aloud of long sentences: fMRI study

    Reading Aloud Is Good for the Brain


    2.Doing jigsaw puzzles

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    Pros:

    • one of best brain exercise in my experience:

    "Based on a cognitive task analysis, jigsaw puzzling may demand multiple cognitive abilities including visual perception (e.g., recognizing objects, patterns, and orientation of lines), constructional praxis (e.g., integrating visual and motor information to assemble pieces), mental rotation (e.g., mentally rotating piece’s orientation to fit them to other pieces), cognitive speed and visual scanning (e.g., sorting puzzle pieces), cognitive flexibility (e.g., switching attention between different strategies, between different puzzle pieces, and between puzzle shape, image, and color), perceptual reasoning (e.g., integrating different perceptual information to develop strategies and plans how to solve the puzzle), and working and episodic memory (e.g., keeping the association between spatial location and visual patterns/images of puzzle pieces in working memory and long-term memory)."
    • they cheap enough, and takes days to put together one
    • you can play together with friends, family members
    • you can decorate your rooms with them
    • will exercise your mind, and same time helps to calm down
    Cons:
    • you can loose track of time while doing them, can be addictive too
    Sources:

    Six surprising health benefits of doing jigsaw

    Jigsaw Puzzling Taps Multiple Cognitive Abilities and Is a Potential Protective Factor for Cognitive Aging


    3.Sudoku, crosswords:

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    Pros:
    -they keep your brain young, and sharp
    -can do them anytime you feel bored, or alone
    -sudoku exercise your logic, that we addicts kinda missing, crosswords exercise your left brain, wich will result in less fantasies

    Cons:
    -can cause headache if overdo them

    Source:
    https://www.nhs.uk/news/neurology/can-doing-daily-crossword-or-sudoku-puzzle-keep-your-brain-young/

    4. "No more fantasies techniques"

    I would like to call these my own, but I'm sure someone else already found these. What I noticed when I start to play fantasies in my head I lose tracking what happens in real world around me, my eyes just stare forward.
    I got the Aha moment, when I said so if i keep moving my eyes in concious way maybe my brain will pop up less fantasies?

    And it worked for me, but I can not promise will work for others too, here are the basic rules if you find yourself in the fantasies pool:

    1.Move your eyes from one object, to the next object around you. You may turn your neck too.
    2.Watch an object for few seconds, watch the details,
    3.Say in your mind, or aloud the object you just watching.
    4.Then move to the next object.

    (5. extra step)Choose a 2-3 objects, and do back and forth the above steps between them. +Think about that the difference between these objects.


    Other technique:
    1.Slowly with your eye focus follow the edges, or contoures of objects around you, watching the details carefulfy. Can do while watching yourself in a mirror too.

    6. Cerebellum exercises

    I bet in future studies will highlight big role of cerebellum in addictions. Cerebellum is the more ancient part of our brains, in past we thougt it's role more about movement, and balance, posture, coordination, but studies show much bigger importance of that brain part. Even those techniques I wrote in 4. got impact on the cerebellum. I read more posts about those who recovered from pmo addiction often report feeling like they got better posture, coordination etc. Just coincidence?

    a.Found this exercise for cerebellum, was kinda challenging at first:




    Sources:
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/...may-play-unforeseen-role-in-driving-addiction



    7.Smell training/olfactory training

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    I read many recovering stories saying "my nose much better, food taste much better", and so on. If my thinking is right, then those brain parts responsibble for olfactory function are also working wrongly somehow thanks to our addict brain.

    Here is the idea, if you training your nose, you stimulating those brain regions also that need to change, so you will maybe help your recovery with that, but I can not prove that with any publications. Please do your research too before you decide to start olfactory training. Maybe I do not know about some bad sife effects!

    It is possible to improve your nose by training:

    "We found a significant, positive effect of olfactory training for all olfactory abilities, with large effects of training on identification, discrimination and TDI-score and small-to-moderate effect in the case of threshold for odor detection."
    https://europepmc.org/article/med/28040824

    It can even improve general cognitive functions according to this study:
    "We devised an odor memory intervention to investigate “asymmetric”
    transfer effects such that odor-based memory training would transfer to a visual-based memory gain, but not vice versa. Participants were randomly assigned to daily memory training for 40 days with either the odor task or a visual control task with a similar difficulty level. Results showed that while visual training did not produce transfer, olfactory training produced transfer to the untrained visual memory task."
    https://psyarxiv.com/fx3jn/download

    All you need to buy some nontoxic to the nose aroma filled bottles, and smell them with closed eyes, and recognizes them by name, and think about what emotions they may evoke in you about your past. Practise more times a day, but take few days off in a week from the training too. It can become your habit also to smell your food before you eat, or eat with closed eyes.

    Pros:
    -food will taste better, so you will be happier just from eating
    -your visual memory will be improved
    -stimulating brain regions that got important role feeling your emotions
    -you can apply to the job of your life, and become a wine-taster

    Cons:
    -need commitment, may need take few months to achieve any effects

    (Updates sometimes.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2020
  2. Son of Midgaard

    Son of Midgaard Fapstronaut

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    I've been trying to use meditation for calm and inner peace for about 1 and a half years. What is the cost benefit analysis you provide on this phenomenon?
     
  3. I try and keep myself busy by collecting things
     
    Deleted Account likes this.
  4. Lets see, 1 and half years is = 548 days, but probably you were not meditating on all days, you maybe meditated 4 days of a week, for 30 minutes. Thats 313 days with 30 minutes meditation, so you meditated 157 hours in last 1,5 years. According to this site it takes 600 hours to learn a category 1 language for a English speaker. That is ~1/4 of a foreign language in that time.
    http://www.openculture.com/2017/11/...oreign-languages-from-easiest-to-hardest.html

    Only you can tell if meditation worked for you, do you feel calm and inner peace on most days, or only when meditating, what happens if you stop meditating etc...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2019
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  5. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

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    I don't meditate, but I do try to spend a few minutes everyday focusing my attention on specific things. Some small some large, but by increasing my ability to focus my attention, I am able to observe unwanted or unhelpful thoughts often as they appear. So much evidence out there supporting this technique.
    I don't recommend meditation as a means to avoid uncomfortable feelings though.
     
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  6. Finalito

    Finalito Fapstronaut

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    Hey @TantusJulius many thanks for your post. I really like it and had a lot of fun reading through your pros and cons lists. However, only two items on the list. What a pity. I hope you'll let us know if you find any more items.
    Also, I wouldn't title it "instead of" but rather "as well as" :) But none of my business. Meditation works for me and I'm happy with that, but I will definitely give your suggestions a try :)
     
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  7. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

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    Steven Hayes, who is one of the top clinical psychologists in the world at the moment who co developed acceptance and commitment therapy has something to say on the matter. His team conducted hundreds of studies into the effectiveness of mindfulness based meditation. The evidence supported the theory that it is helps people develop their ability to focus attention, and if you can focus attention you are able to look at the thoughts feelings and beliefs which are causing you to behave in a way which you would like to change, and can support you in not reacting to thoughts and feelings in an unhelpful way.
    He does warn against using mindfulness as an avoidance technique, for example "I can't talk now I need to go meditate!". Or using it to try to avoid uncomfortable feelings, for example " I really want to PMO now, I better go meditate". The evidence does not support that mindfulness is effective in this way.
     
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  8. Minsc

    Minsc Fapstronaut

    In my understanding of mindfulness it can not be used as a form of avoidance as the whole point of mindfulness seems to be to become aware of ones thoughts. From what I've read, it is purposely bringing attention to specific thoughts with out judgement. While it may benefit by displacing certain thoughts, the who point is not to to actively displace. Mindfulness sounds like the perfect tool to bring attention to the thoughts we want to avoid and learn to accept, deal with and move on from them.
     
  9. Good so we can say he agrees with me too, because nearly anyone who stops pmo will face withdrawals like depression, anxiety, low motivations, cravings etc. nearly all the time, so it is not suggested for them to meditate because they will only try to avoid these feelings. Better leave meditation for the monks!
     
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  10. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

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    Mindfulness is an evidence based intervention to help with all sorts of affective disorders. If it is done correctly. Mindfulness is not a way to avoid things, it is a way in which to become aware of things. Thoughts feelings and behaviours. It is at the heart of dialectical behavioural therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy, two types of therapy delivered by the NHS in the uk , which is only allowed to used evidenced based interventions.
     
    SirWanksalot likes this.
  11. Cool, so you say generally what I suggested, staying away from meditation if someone is a recovering addict who can not find therapist same time, because it needs to be done correctly. Only a therapist can tell if someone using meditation the right way, and not just avoiding depression, anxiety, etc. Am I right?
     
  12. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

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    I would say that anyone can learn meditation through reading or watching videos, or listening to guided meditations. I think as long as people understand the purpose is to raise awareness and not avoid, meditation can be very effective.
     
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  13. SirWanksalot

    SirWanksalot Fapstronaut

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    This.
    Meditation is THE BEST foundation to break free from porn if done correctly.
    It CAN be used to avoid as well unfortunately. For example if your only meditation techniques are relaxation techniques and positive visualisation. Then it can be an avoidance strategy as well.

    And as @Nicko Stretch mentioned, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in combination with the right meditation techniques is the most powerful way to break free as far as I know.
    Going free for 6 years at this point and this is how I did it. Started with meditations that made me face, accept and deal with all the stuff I was running from and later on combined it with ACT. Happiest I've ever been in my life. Can wholeheartedly recommend it.
     
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  14. I do not think anyone can "learn how to done that correctly at home" from some videos. What is your opinion about kundalini syndrome induced by meditation, and other eastern techniques?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2020
  15. I've been meditating for over 8 years...
    Meditation is actually a good thing, concentration, deep relaxation,vivid imagination(which is a trigger to porn! if you fail controlling it) ,more self-consciousness and many more...
    I'm not concerned of time since I have my own sleep habit, which provides more time and freedom to do more things.
    Just listen to meditation music everyday and try to relax and it's done at no much cost.
     
  16. Meditation can be good and ALSO can have detrimental effects too. I mean I've been doing meditation(deep meditation) for years and I feel kinda disconnected from society.
    Basically I'm not biased toward its good, so I think I'm open to any arguments here.
    Let's talk more about it. I think I need to change some of my habits.Btw, I'd like to say thank you for this topic and the idea of leaving mediation.
    I think I'm in a state of over-mediating already lol.
    And two days prior to this post, I was thinking of removing all my relaxtion-new age musics from my library.
    I feel overloaded with kind of negative energy impeding my progress toward sanity and I feel alienated, that's a bad thing man!

    I'll try to add ideas that I can do instead of listening to meditation music and meditating.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2020
  17. Yw. My opinion is meditation can be dangerous for the avarage addict brain! Just as you wrote it can cause "disconnected from society" feeling. My view is this, an addict need to be connected with reality, and society.
     
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  18. SirWanksalot

    SirWanksalot Fapstronaut

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    I think you quoted the wrong guy there^^ The guy above me said that you could learn meditaiton simply by watching some videos.

    As I said, IF DONE CORRECTLY meditation is the most powerful tool for breaking free. And it also does not disconnect you from society nor reality. Rather, it let's you connect with it on a deeper level even. You are actually MORE in reality than most people who are constantly lost in their thoughts and not present with the situation and people around them.

    Sounds to me like some people's idea of meditation is what I mentioned in my earlier post about only visualisation and relaxation techniques. That can indeed be used to further avoidance and enforce the root problem of it all.

    But meditation is WAY more than that.
    Saying that it's dangerous and bad in general because it disconnects you from society is like saying sport is bad and dangerous in general because you can break your wrists with skateboarding.
    It's too narrowly focused and does not look at the context and skill level included.

    Certain meditation techniques that actually make you face reality as it is (instead of avoiding what is happening right now through visualisation for example) and combine it with becoming clear about your values and commitments in life don't make you passive but give you focus and energy to take life by the balls and build a life for yourself. Moving forward with clarity instead of going about it wishy-washy.

    Hope that clarifies some things.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
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  19. I asked you, but you forgot to answer my question about kundalini syndrome that can be induced by any meditation practise. What is your opinion about that? Do you think those meditation promoting websites give enough warning about possible kundalini syndrome?
    Cause I feel like those websites selling meditation just as silent, as P websites who forget to warn people about PIED, and withdrawal effects! I know those websites often offer these things for "free", but do not forget they often generating money by viewers, ads, or by just collecting data about you, and selling that. :/

    How do you mean "breaking free from my experience?" Why is that good for anyone, especially for an addict? How you do that?

    Thank you for the good example you said! Skateboarding. Lets say an addict is like a guy with a current knee injury, with some ankle problem, but he never tried skateboarding before! For this guy learning skateboarding not the smartest move, because his current injuries! It is not being narrow focused thinking, it is simply logic. It better to be safe for him, until he recovers. An addict needs people, friends, a supporting social enviroment!


    You say certain meditation techniques make you face reality as it is. Following those lines you mean people who do not meditate experience a false reality, meanwhile those who meditate experience "the real reality"? Cmon man, there is one reality. It's like if I would drink alcohol, become drunk and I tell everyone "you live in a false reality, but i see everything so clear now, i have wisdom!". Would I be right? Hell no, i'm just drunk, and im in an altered state of mind thanks to alcohol...
     

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