Mindfulness for Depression
Depression strikes millions each year, often with debilitating consequences. This psychological disorder is so common that it is sometimes referred to as the “common cold” of mental health, with nearly 10% of the population suffering from a depressive disorder at any given time. (source: National Institute of Mental Health).
Mindfulness is especially relevant to depression, – when people get depressed they churn negative thoughts over and over in their minds, a pattern which actually perpetuates low mood. By learning how to pay attention to the present moment experience, rather than getting tied up in negative thinking about the past or future, you can learn to create more space in your mind from which new, more effective decision-making can emerge.
“Seeing clearly” may well be the greatest gift that mindful awareness has to offer. With so many experiences happening in your lives, mindfulness can help by giving you the skills to regulate your responses to these experiences. This means that you can learn how to measure your actions and ways of thinking in response to whatever experiences you may encounter, helping you to keep things in proportion.
Mindful awareness can help you to better understand what’s happening in, to and around you, allowing you to notice both mental and physical discomfort. It provides you with the skills to better distance and analyze your thoughts and feelings and allows you to ask the question: is there a connection between the things I do or say and how I feel?
This connection is important. By not fearing or trying to avoid your depression, you are able to understand it a little more and you can ask yourself why you are feeling depressed and what you need. Depression never springs out of a vacuum. It is a result of how a person respond to events that can trigger the depression Mindfulness will allow you to understand how depression might work in your life, how it started, and also how it is maintained.