The Value of Mindfulness in Treating Depression
Depression is a mental state where people often feel like they lose control of their lives. Something goes wrong and they need it to feel right again. It does not mean that something is wrong with the person, but just their perspective of the situation has changed.
That is why often depression happens after specific events occur in life, or when brain chemistry is changed.
It is also one of the main reasons why mindfulness is a powerful antidote in the treatment of depression. With mindfulness, you are forcing your mind to stay in the present and just be.
You focus on the joy of the moment, and learn how to transform into a current state of joy. The information below helps you understand the benefits of mindfulness, and how you can use it to treat depression.
Understanding Mindfulness and Treating Depression
Before we go into how to use mindfulness, it is powerful if we discussed its origins. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) originates in Buddhist practices.
Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn created the modern version of MBSR at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Over the past few decades therapists have worked to evolve the idea into a complementary medical therapy to address a number of health problems.
How does Mindfulness work?
MBSR is a combination of meditation and yoga. Because these pursuits help keep you centered, they are great tools when dealing with adverse life events and genetic challenges we mentioned earlier.
Mindfulness usually works best in combination with other therapeutic methods. That is why in 2003, Kabat-Zinn, Zindel Segal, and Mark Williams combined the effectiveness of Mindfulness with Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Cognitive therapy helps patients have a better awareness of their thoughts, feelings, and body. It only makes sense to use mindfulness exercises to ensure further awareness of the moment.
For a long time now, doctors have known that peopleâ€™s brain determines the focus of their emotions. They either include or inhibit some emotions while processing the various stimuli of their life.
MBCT helps determine what stimuli the brain should focus on to help emotionally manage their feelings more effectively.
That is because therapists discovered, â€œmindfulness meditation is essentially training oneâ€™s attention to maintain focus and avoid mind wandering. Strengthening oneâ€™s ability to focus attention can help with concentration and memory.â€
MBCT is therefore a way of accepting the present moment. Ruminating and mind wandering, which are the opposite of MBCT practices have been known to lead to depression.
For those new to mindfulness meditation, the best approach is to set aside ten to fifteen minutes every day to meditate. This provides the mind with a daily break from our usual state.
Instead, this time allows you to refocus on whatâ€™s important in your life. The great thing is that as you become more adept, you can practice mindfulness during your daily routines.
The beauty of using mindfulness in treating depression is you now have a powerful tool to refocus your mind on the good that is in your life presently.
Without being mindful of the moment, we get lost in the details and ruminations of our mind. Instead, when we understand exactly what we are thinking of currently, we have the ability to shift that focus to something positive.
If you are looking to use mindfulness to treat your depression, understand that you do not have to this alone.
Smith Psychotherapy can help you with the best methods to improve the value of this treatment. Call us at 847-824-8366, and ask how you can use mindfulness to improve the quality of your life.