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It isn't exactly DP, but it's something many of us have felt and it can intensify that feeling of emptiness and disconnection.

I haven't had trouble with DP or anxiety, but I've noticed myself falling into a slump lately. I couldn't think again, felt disconnected, and empty in general. I remembered that being more outwardly focused (accomplishing goals, mindfulness, meaningful socialising) cured me of that feeling before.

So, I started with the simplest first, and in between washing the dishes, eating lunch, and taking out the trash (you personally don't need to constantly do it this often/long) I tried focusing on my surroundings, especially sound and touch, and observing my thoughts while letting them float.

Within only an hour or so I had extremely noticeable differences in thought and clarity. I felt more myself. It was like forgetting to eat for a long time and then eating a hearty steak dinner. I was reminded how nourshing it was, but mostly how essential mindfulness is in my life. It's only been a couple days and I'm not 100%, but that's alright with me because I know exactly how my mind will react in the days following.

To a fault I'm introverted, and if I give into it, perpetual inward thinking consumes me. It seriously negatively affects my relationships, my ability to study/work, and to deeply enjoy and be present in life. It isn't something to just help me unwind after a stress, it's something I need to use on a regular basis to function correctly.

I used to read about mindfulness like an obese person reading about the benefits of diet and excercise, thinks it's something they ought to get around to doing sometime, and who later in the day visits McDonald's and eats a 4,000 calorie meal. I knew it was very good for me, but I'd give into habit. I love analysing life, and it's very tempting to just spend the whole day contemplating or at least withdrawn, but constant analysis breaks down over time.

I'm not saying I have a cure for anyone; this is just a personal experience that I'd like to share.


Here's some added benefits to entice you - Just the highlights:

It lowers stress -- literally. Research published just last month in the journal Health Psychology shows that mindfulness is not only associated with feeling less stressed, it's also linked with decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

It can make your grades better. Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that college students who were trained in mindfulness performed better on the verbal reasoning section of the GRE, and also experienced improvements in their working memory. "Our results suggest that cultivating mindfulness is an effective and efficient technique for improving cognitive function, with widereaching consequences," the researchers wrote in the Psychological Science study.

It changes the brain in a protective way. University of Oregon researchers found that integrative body-mind training -- which is a meditation technique -- can actually result in brain changes that may be protective against mental illness. The meditation practice was linked with increased signaling connections in the brain, something called axonal density, as well as increased protective tissue (myelin) around the axons in the anterior cingulate brain region.

It helps us even when we're not actively practicing it. You don't have to actually be meditating for it to still benefit your brain's emotional processing. That's the finding of a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, which shows that the amygdala brain region's response to emotional stimuli is changed by meditation, and this effect occurs even when a person isn't actively meditating.

It makes you a better person. Sure, we love all the things meditation does for us. But it could also benefit people we interact with, by making us more compassionate, according to a study in the journal Psychological Science. Researchers from Northeastern and Harvard universities found that meditation is linked with more virtuous, "do-good" behavior.

It helps you sleep better. We saved the best for last! A University of Utah study found that mindfulness training can not only help us better control our emotions and moods, but it can also help us sleep better at night. "People who reported higher levels of mindfulness described better control over their emotions and behaviors during the day. In addition, higher mindfulness was associated with lower activation at bedtime, which could have benefits for sleep quality and future ability to manage stress," study researcher Holly Rau said in a statement.
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