12 Mar 2018

Using Mindfulness to Help with Depression

How to use this time trusted skill

12 Mar 2018

How to use this time trusted skill to ease your depression from within.

Daily life tends to get overwhelming.Incredible demands of your time coupled with the knowledge that you should be doing more makes it easy to feel overwhelmed. If you’re dealing with depression, the stressors of daily life can quickly become too much. How do you find balance in a crazy world? How do you calm mind in a way that can help you deal with your depression? The practice of mindfulness may be the key to helping you handle it all.

The practice of mindfulness-based stress reduction can help you learn how to calm your mind and body to help you cope depression and all of the frustrating symptoms that accompany it. When learning how to use mindfulness to help treat depression, it’s important to first understand what mindfulness is and isn’t. Being mindful isn’t “zoning out” or “turning off” but rather the act of being present in the moment. Being mindful is being able to be aware of what’s going on around you without letting your mind wander to that fact that your house is a mess or your teenager is stressing you out. Mindfulness enables you to experience the present without regretting the past or worrying about the future; actions that contribute to your overall levels of stress, anxiety and ultimately depression. Most importantly, mindfulness is intentional and active. Despite it sounding so simple, it isn’t particularly easy to achieve. It’s human nature always to be thinking ahead and planning for your next step. However, the process of mindfulness gives you the ability to live in the moment. Ultimately, you need to ensure that you’re controlling your mind, and your mind isn’t controlling you. This skill lets you handle stress better so when something is overwhelming, you’re able to process it quickly and easily.

This practice is particularly helpful as a way to help treat depression as it trains your brain to be more resilient and focused at the most important times. Another incredible benefit of mindfulness is the fact that its effects are cumulative. The same way that running gets easier the more that you do it, practicing mindfulness get easier the more you do it as well.

Not sure how to begin your mindfulness practice? Start with your next meal. Turn off the television, put your phone away and just eat. Notice how the dish looks, the way the food is placed on the plate. Note the smell of the food, the colors and the textures of what you’re eating. Pay attention to the tastes and how they change throughout the meal. Finally, notice the way the meal makes you feel. Satiated? Nostalgic? Full? Happy? Practicing mindfulness in simple ways can help you learn how to use it when you’re feeling overwhelmed or clouded by depressive thoughts.

Mindfulness is most useful when it’s being coupled with other depression mitigation techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and anti-depressant medication. Adding mindfulness to your treatment plan can help you feel in control in the most chaotic moments.

Mollie Busino, LCSW, Director of Mindful Power, Counseling Hoboken. Mollie has had extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, and Mindfulness. Her work focuses on Anxiety, Depression, Anger Management, Career Changes, OCD, Relationship, Dating Challenges, Insomnia, & Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.

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