I had gathered this material together, it might interest you -- or not I suppose

Keywords: stroke, anxiety, distress, feasibility and acceptability, self-help, intervention, mindfulness and relaxation technique, tailored technique.

Anxiety is common following stroke.

This anxiety and distress negatively impacts on stroke survivors’ daily living, quality of life and confidence in social participation.

Among the few studied psychological interventions in people after a stroke, mindfulness and relaxation techniques have been shown as useful self-administered methods to alleviate anxiety and tension after stroke.

Mindfulness is thought to reduce distress through decreasing rumination and improving control of attention. It shifts and re-directs focus to the current moment rather than thinking about past or future worries.

Relaxation is considered to work by generating a psycho-physiological state of decreased arousal that counteracts the stress response.

Seven techniques were selected to represent the variety of commonly used forms of mindfulness and relaxation:

Breath watch;
Body relaxation;
Word repetition;
Positive emotions;
Thinking of a nice place;
and Body movement.

These techniques had been used among people with other medical conditions. I first came across them after suffering a couple of heart attacks twenty odd years ago. It was all the thing in the hippy sixties too.

Table 1

Description of the original 7 techniques used in Study 1.
(hmm there appear to be only six maybe I missed one)

Name of the technique & Description

Breath watch (mindfulness)
Focuses on breathing and noticing their breath as they breathe in and out. They were asked not to change their breathing, rather just to watch it happen.

Body relaxation (autogenic relaxation)
Focuses on different parts of the body and concentrating on relaxing that part. Participants do not need to physically move any body parts.

Counting (mindfulness- mantra meditation)
Where participants mentally count numbers (e.g., 1, 2, 3,4, 1, 2, 3, 4) in their head.

Word repetition Positive emotions (relaxation- guided imagery)
Is similar to counting but repeating a meaningless word in one’s head.

Thinking of a nice place (relaxation- guided imagery)
Ask participants to generate a positive emotion experience by imaging a ball of light filling them with rays of happiness and love. Ask participants to imagine a place where they were happy in the past. This technique and positive emotion also incorporated principles from positive psychology which involve mental exercises that cultivate positive mood states.

Body movement (Mindfulness- Kundalini Yoga)
Focus on small bodily movements (e.g., raising or lowering one’s hand or even just a finger).


The four mindfulness and relaxation techniques favoured by participants in Study 1 were modified in line with their suggestions: (1) positive emotion; (2) body relaxation; (3) thinking of a nice place; and (4) breath watch.

Each might be worth a try. You will probably find you have a favourite.

This was from a study I read some time ago. Sorry I don’t recall its source, probably American. I think it is relevant and could be of interest to those on this forum.

I suppose we could go into more depth here concerning these techniques.
We could all make good use of something like this. I could try to put something together, if there is interest.

(Well done if you managed to read all the way through that. Interesting eh?)

keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :smile: :+1:



Others could add similar (and the above could be a wiki & maybe some markup like the “[details…” tag?)

Also posting links to useful sources - some are scattered in exciting posts but there’s no retrieval paths in consistent use

We’d be best coordinaing (@JPS ?)



It might be interesting to try a session or two in order to test out whether the techniques put forward above are worth trying. I think there could be some merit in the exercise.
It might be possible to combine this with the new communication channel I mentioned.
Anything to while away a little time, to spend relaxed and content.


A very valuable post, wish that information had been around when I was in a funny place.



I got some bits together and I thought I’d experiment on you lot.
Nothing in depth just a short and quick try out this coming Friday evening.

If it shows any signs of being useful I might do a Saturday morning session every once in a while. If nothing else it would make a change from the occasional quiz.

No real reason I couldn’t work it up into a regular activity spot if it is wanted.
Early days though.

It could come to nothing and I’ll have to go back to playing with my conkers and collecting train numbers again.


Ok brain clicked into gear now. Not Green but Du Morrei , Father of the chick who wrote Rebecca, The Birds, Don’t Look Now and Jamaica Inn. Got to get my act together now. Sue left me to my own devices . So looks lunch of peanut butter on Ryvita and half a plum. Please don’t play with your Conkers on air while zooming. Twiddling thumbs is a lot more healthy. Very interesting read about Trilby and Svengali , pity I can’t spell authors name. Must have note book at hand when googling. What do I do with rest of day ? Practice my meditation for Friday . I follow the Transendental taught me by my dentist.
Hang in there Ginger One. Love P



I’ll be holding experimental sessions over the next few days

@Pds, @Bobbi, @SimonInEdinburgh I have used these methods for nearly 50 years since I had to deal with agoraphobia and panic attacks which began in my mid 20s. It was not until recently that I’d heard the term ‘mindfulness’ and I learned and always referred to them as meditation techniques. Since joining the tribe of the stroked I’ve found them very useful in helping to deal with my galloping anxiety. In fact my OT used the term ‘mindfulness’ ’ when she wrote my six-month stroke report and it was the first time I’d heard it used to describe what I do.
When I learned these methods there was no internet and I learned them from written word, but now there is a lot to be found online. I’ve searched for apps and the best one I’ve found is called ’ Insight Timer’ - Meditation App’. The basic version is free to download from Google Play and full of guided spoken meditations which are easy to follow. I recommend it to all fellow strokees.


Hi @Strings
Yeah I share some of what I’m guessing is your expression of pigeon holeing these things we do with label of mindfulness

I hadn’t heard the umbrella term and when I did it was introduced to me via my neuropsychologist* who gave me an app to listen to which was somebody speaking at about 20 words a minute telling me I was floating over the mountain in my happy space feeling how heavy my body was .
*the same lady that gave me the pdf w/ picture of anxiety symptoms that I sometimes post

As a somewhat logical person the concept of floating while being heavy occupied more brain cycles than the concentration suggested to be focused on breathing & loosening the muscles of my feet and then my calfs and then my thighs - somewhat self defeating .

Sometime later I started using the technique of a subtracting seven from a thousand as a way of bringing my focus onto a repetitive process with a non-repeating pattern of outputs and after maybe a month I have found it a fairly useful technique but not foolproof for falling asleep.

I was surprised to read above the subcategorizations such as autogenic and the form of yoga mentioned - esoteric labels that give the impression of claiming invention of something that is an observable and universally accessible practise are alienating for me - but here they were; mostly a complete list of categorisation for the floating over the mountain breathing in my happy place while relaxing different muscle groups.

I’d actually have been helped more at the beginning by being given a taxonomy! Rather than what struck me as mumbo Jumbo

I’ve also tried to focus on the mental image of a tree on a small island in the middle of a Scottish loch when I have symptoms of anxiety - I’m not sure I have feelings of anxiety but I do have the bodily reactions.

Thanks for the app recommendation :slight_smile: there are quite a lot of YouTube channels too. a pair of headphones and a darkened room can also be useful adjuncts :slight_smile:

The idea of a ‘session’ curated by someone else and conducted with others for something that seems to me to be needful of internal focus has the opposite of appeal for me . The sharing of experience about the usefulness of techniques does however strike me as useful - thanx @Bobbi



@SimonInEdinburgh the idea of guided sessions is possibly handy for anyone who needs to be told as a starting point specifically what to do. I hold the same disdain for pigeonholing especially when it comes to mental illness because we are all unique.
I never had any help from anybody and learned the techniques by myself. Your island in the loch is a good example of a happy place which is part of the technique along with the idea of a personal mantra. I have used this same technique over the years to overcome all kinds of possibly illogical or spontaneous fear situations such as stage fright or facing an unpleasant task which has to be done. It’s good particularly for dealing with phobias as well as stress and anxiety, but it was uncontrollable panic attacks which led me to learning it.



When I came across this stuff in the sixties it was just happy hippy crazy nonsense.

That was almost sixty years ago. Twenty years ago, after a heart attack I found it was being used officially sponsored as part of the NHS treatment routine.

Now at present day it has become acceptable in certain circles once again. Back in the day one wouldn’t want it to be known that one had any contact with this sort of thing.

It was for nuts, conspiracy theorists and dropouts.

Now it is the NHS that is being questioned, together with the establishment that was. I am certain that all this can roll completely around yet again given enough time.

Vive la resolution??


@Bobbi unfortunately the very word meditation attracts a lot of people who only want to appear somehow mystical and interesting in a cool hippy sort of way. These are the very people who are not going to properly understand or learn it. C’est la vie. I blame the Maharishi :joy:



I’ll have you know, the Maharishi was a great man of that period, one of a number, who managed, quite nicely to make a great deal of money from the whole thing.

It would seem that those still inclined in that direction these days still make a pretty penny.

. . . regardless, I do feel there is something of value here.

(Pound and dollar signs lighting up here and there.)

I’m a cherry picker, and have always taken away from these an itinerary that is bespoke to me. I first came across the term “Mindfulness” about twenty years ago from a friend who is a social worker. It sounded like meditation, but it is a bundled package of different techniques drawn from other resources to achieve homeostasis in people’s lives. I also partake in a pint of beer, a bath to soak in, and play video games to achieve a similar result. Obviously, I don’t do these things all at the same time, otherwise I’d be too relaxed and melt away like a cosmic wisp into the fractal of quantum physics.



I’d call it distraction therapy. Light up your joss stick and smell the . . what is that stuff??

Meanwhile there is a distraction video session happening right now

details in the online community forum.


Really useful thank you :smiling_face:

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