Practicing Mindfulness Can Heal Depression
Mindfulness has been the topic of many new books and studies. Simply defined, mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to your thoughts and feelings, as they are occurring, and accepting them, without judgement.
A recent article written by Andrew S. Seaman (Reuters) looked at the benefits of mindfulness meditation with depression in people suffering with Alzheimer's.
Mindfulness therapy and recurrent depression
- Mindfulness therapy works for recurrent depression| Reuters
For people with recurring depression, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may be more helpful than other treatments, according to a new analysis.
The simplest definition of mindfulness is "living in the moment".
Living in the moment is something, unfortunately, that too many people seem incapable of doing. But why is this? Surely we live each moment, concentrate on what is happening to us at any given moment in our day?
In fact, most of us dwell in the past, or day dream about the future instead of truly living, and experiencing, the moment at hand. When we do this we are actually contributing to a process that can either cause, or enhance depression.
Mindfulness means objectively experiencing and being part of one particular moment, or situation, that is happening to you and around you. Being objective simply means observing what is happening without taking it personally. This moment at hand will play out, it will pass, and your life will continue on to something else, to another moment to be experienced.
What is Depression?
Depression is ultimately a state of mind where you are feeling great sadness, unworthy, lost, unnoticed, underappreciated, helpless, and you feel so overwhelmed as if you were drowning in these emotions and unable to come up for air.
The depth of emotion felt by those suffering from depression can seem bottomless and indeed it is not necessarily an easy task to step out of and away from this state of mind. We know this because so may people every year are hospitalized, and even medicated, to help them deal with the emotions. Others are not as lucky and end up taking their own lives.
If you have never suffered from depression it may be difficult to understand. If you have ever experienced loss of a loved one, a pet, or even a job, try taking that feeling and multiplying it by 1,000 times; That may help give you a better idea of how it feels for those who have suffered with, or are experiencing now, the realities of depression.
What strategies have you used to deal with depression?
Mindfulness can Lift Depression
Practicing mindfulness will not take away that which caused the depression but it will help you focus and stay "in the moment". In so doing you will be able to get clearer insight to what is real, what is not real, and what truly matters.
When people are experiencing a state of depression they feel as though they are floating away in some other realm, where the doors have closed behind them, leaving them feeling forever lost and alone. No way out!
Practicing being mindful is the door that will let you back in to the life you want, desire, and that which you deserve.
Meditation is a more formal way to practice mindfulness. Where being mindful allows you to continue in the moment with the task at hand meditation requires that you take time away from any tasks to be alone, in a quiet atmosphere, relaxed, and focusing your mind on nothing but breathing and positive visualization.
Note: Meditation can be done "alone" with others and the quiet atmosphere can be filled with calming music
Some helpful Resources
If you would like more information on how to practice mindfulness through meditation follow this link to the article written for Psychology Today.
Points to Ponder
Here are some quick points to help you understand the links between depression and the ability for mindfulness practices to heal and rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul:
- ANYONE can suffer from depression
- Too many people suffer alone, in silence, and it's ongoing
- Depression causes REAL physical symptoms
- Depression in the mind causes physical illness that can last a lifetime
- Depression keeps people living in the past
- MINDFULNESS helps people to live in the present moment
- Being mindful helps the body to release healthy hormones and chemicals, and STOP releasing the ones that are causing physical damage
- Mindfulness will bring you back to reality
- Being mindful will help you let go of what was, and embrace what is and what truly matters
- Meditation is one form of mindfulness that corporate business is using to help their employees be more productive
- Meditation is being used in some schools to help children cope with stress