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Mindfulness - can eliminate depression and anxiety without medication
The modern world driven by “More for Less” is in fact deep into self-inflicted pain and torture. The choices, possibilities, variability, uncertainties, comparisons, our expectations and others’ towards us, the technologies especially in the areas of communication and socializing has taken a huge toll on the innocuous minds of humans. It appears that the design of human mind is proving inadequate to face the onslaught of modern day factors and is definitely struggling when it comes to being happy, satisfied and peaceful which the natural state of mind. This gets validated when we observe kids anywhere and from any socio-economic groups, they all look happy except for brief disruption in their state due to some reasons and they again go back to their natural state which is staying happy irrespective of external factors.
We are surrounded by grim faces and most likely we ourselves are part of this group, the unhappy group population which is increasing at alarming rate. This is despite the fact that we have gone very high in the so called developmental curve. The statistics on depressed and anxious people is quite alarming. Have you noticed that some people around you are unhappy for no reason at all or may be one of your relatives is always silent and non-participative and you have wondered in a passing manner as why so. In all probability such people have some issues with their minds for sure. It is a rather challenging and intimidating task to bring such people to treatment. In all probability no one will dare to say to such guys that they have a problem and they need medical attention unless they crash at some point of time.
In developed societies Psychiatric care is easily accessible to masses and is the accepted mode of treatment of sickness of minds. It appears that Psychiatry itself is at a certain stage of learning curve. But treatment with medicine is frankly speaking the relieving of symptoms like the pain killers taken during pain due to certain cause or factor. So this mode does not cure the cause of depression and anxiety but it makes one carry on the life which gets threatened with severity of depression and anxiety.
Mindfulness based cognitive therapy and Logo therapy seems to be God sent methods to cure mental sickness in a permanent manner without visits to Doctors and taking medications. Essentially these practices can be done through self help mode though doing with expert assistance has its own value. We will discuss Logo-therapy in some other article and focus on Mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness
As defined by GET.gg ( http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk), one of the very good resource on the Web, “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally. This increases awareness, clarity and acceptance of our present-moment reality.
Kabat-Zinn, the MIT Professor who is credited with being one of the Pioneers to bring Mindfulness in the mainstream of USA, says “Mindfulness can be thought of as moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a specific way, that is, in the present moment, and as non-reactively, as non-judgmentally, and as openheartedly as possible”.
It is interesting to see how mindfulness removes depression and anxiety in definitive manner. Whenever one is depressed or anxious he or she is not in that moment. When depressed a major part of the thought process is locked up in thoughts about worthlessness of the self, unfair and insensitive society/friends/relatives and unfair world in general. Anxiety is all about anticipated catastrophe associated with future events and which do not happen. A truly mindful living will not provide any space for existence of debilitating syndromes of depression and anxiety as mindful means present whereas depression and anxiety is all rooted in past or future. Mindfulness is the ability of mind to stay in present moments, the more you are able to do this the more you are mindful and less into depressive and anxious state. As anxiety and depression relate to thoughts about future and past so if you are able to stop your mind into its habitual abode of past and future you reduce depression and anxiety.
One must read a lot of literature easily available on the Net. It is all about living in present which sounds rather easy and silly. Try this right now and observe where you are? Chances are that your thought process was divided into all the three dimension of the past, future and present. Some of the methods are described below:
- The easiest way to come back to present is observing your breath, the entire process of inhaling and exhaling. You can get deeper into this experience like observing your breath going into your body parts.
- Look around the things in greater detail, keenness, all attention on things at the moment, your work, paper, file, font size, colors on screen.
- A 100% focus on every aspect of your present activity is a great example of being mindful
- It is like converting your eyes into a microscope at least when you are not working
- Use your sensory powers of seeing, hearing, touching and smelling. It may be quite possible that these instruments are in a great deal of disuse.
- Observe the thoughts as if it is not yours and you are neutral. It may be easier said than done. But once you start trying to observe your thoughts you may see images, vague aspects of thoughts but you may gain mastery over watching your thoughts
- The key is to be neutral to the thoughts and not drowning into the same
- With the help of literature you may be able to appreciate or acquire these life enriching skills.
- Slowly get into mindful meditation which has been described in great detail on the Web.
Its simplicity is its biggest challenge. The anchor of staying in present is the breath at least in the beginning. . Observe this and you are in present. Notice the immediate peace and tranquillity even though for a fleeting moment when you become mindful. It may cure chronic anxiety and depression like nothing has done it before. Start being mindful right now.. So many agents around you are there to anchor you in present. .Just try it out and make this your habit or may be character. Depression and anxiety will start making an exit from the mindful minds as it does not provide them with any space to breed and thrive. Why are you waiting? Be mindful right now and practice to stay that way for ever. Happiness is almost guaranteed.