I finally managed to to see this ‘Mindful Body Scan’ exercise through to the end http://www.freemindfulness.org/download (Body Scan, 45 minute version).
It is very restful (which is why I kept drifting off to sleep initially) but the best thing about it is that makes you focus on your body. Now, I might think about my body if I stub my toe, or if I’m cursing my pathetic muscles at the gym, or if I have a sore throat…you get the picture – I live in my head most of the time. Getting out of my mind is good for me and this is a nice calm (not to mention legal) way to do that.
The audio on the download is a bit fuzzy, but I liked that, less clinical. There are lots of versions of this exercise out there though. There are shorter clips on the site I link to above and you can convert Youtube versions into mp3 using http://www.listentoyoutube.com/index.php as long as you are careful to dodge all the annoying ads.
Now, in my quest for meditation information I did a lot of googling, as you can imagine, and wandered around YouTube – at times lost, at times afraid. And it was during this time that I wandered upon a thing called ASMR which I had never heard of before. This article kind of sums up some of the concerns about it as a Youtube pheomenon http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30412358 There is definitely something kind of fetish-y about some of it. You can go through a whole ASMR spa experience, an ear-cleaning… No really. It’s true. For reals. With videos. And lip gloss.
And yet, although I was too timid to go near anything labelled ‘role play’, I did listen to some popular ASMR sounds and overall it put me in mind of my mum brushing my hair when I was small (without the nasty tangle ouches) ultimately a very comforting and non-fetish-y experience . And I suppose, in the midst of a depressive episode, you might struggle to find someone prepared to brush your hair whilst you pace/weep/slump attractively. Or to just chatter and eat chocolate at you without expecting any active human responses. It’s not the same thing, but it could make you feel a bit less awful. Or it might just be really creepy. Who can say. But anyway, it’s out there. So here’s a whisper-y man who’ll ask how your day went
And a whispy-voiced lady who’ll take you on a very sweet, rainy walk towards self-worth (don’t look at the pocket watch…)
You can make up your own mind. Whatever works man, whatever works.