3 Ways Mindfulness Can Help Treat Depression

3 Ways Mindfulness Can Help Treat Depression

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Depression is a mood disorder that affects nearly 6% of the U.S. population – about 18.8 million people ages 12 and older. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression is characterized by persistent feelings of discouragement, sadness, hopelessness, and disinterest in life. Need info on how to treat depression?

We know all too well the “recommended” methods to treat depression, including therapy and expensive prescription medications. If you ask most people, they would probably list one of these two “recommendations” on how a person should treat depression if they think they’re depressed.

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But there is another way to help treat depression: being mindful.

What exactly does “mindfulness” mean? More importantly, how does it work?

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Contrary to popular belief, being mindful is not simply meditation; although meditation can certainly be one aspect of the practice. Two words can describe mindfulness quite well: being present.

Mindfulness means being present within your mind, your body, and your relationships. Not only can practicing mindfulness help treat depression by reducing the symptoms, it’s a good practice in general.positive-thinking

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Let’s delve into each one.

Being present within your mind

Negative and depressive thoughts are often continuous – one negative thought breeds another, then another. In other words, human beings’ brains are often on auto pilot. This means that it’s very easy to allow negative thoughts to permeate and, as a consequence, the afflicted person is caught up on a cycle of negative thinking.

When we consciously turn our autopilot off and direct our thoughts onto something positive and productive – a task, work, or other activity – we redirect our thinking and, in effect, change our moods!

Being present within your body

Tension, shortness of breath, sweaty palms, a tight stomach – these are all physical symptoms of depressive and negative thoughts. Through evolution, our bodies have adapted to threatening situations by heightening our awareness of them. This is also known as “fight or flight.”

happy-brain-treat-depressionBy monitoring and controlling your breath, stretching your body, or using another activity such as mindful walking or yoga, you focus your body and mind on the activity and off of your autopilot.

A brief, three-minute breathing activity has been found to be remarkably effective in helping treat depression and negative thoughts. The reason is that people who experience troubling thoughts are often unmotivated and pessimistic. It’s as simple as focusing on your breath, and only your breath, for three minutes.

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So find a quiet spot, set a timer, and breathe!

Being present within relationships

We live in a world with a lot of people – I know, revolutionary stuff here, right?

Inspiration to your Inbox

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Well, mindfulness can help strengthen our good relationships and bring healing to our bad relationships – or just a bad situation. That

mindful-relationships-treat-depression
concept may indeed be revolutionary for some of us.

By bringing more attention to relationships, we can more deeply appreciate the precious time with the people we love and care for – in every situation, every time, everywhere.

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For instance, when eating a meal with your significant other – just absorb them. Look them in the eyes and talk. Forget everything else – this is the opportunity to create small memories.

When disputing with someone, subdue your impulse to argue and just listen. Empathize and understand them, and then come to a solution. This will improve the situation, and you may just make a new friend.

The take away is this: just be present. Something amazing may happen.

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28 thoughts on “3 Ways Mindfulness Can Help Treat Depression

  1. Sometimes the brain can not solve the problem and so you spiral downwards and dont know why. Tell your self the reason why this is happening is because its unsolvable hence the continuous downer and understanding that should perk you back up as it did for me. Best wishes.

  2. "I have had a lot of depression in my life, it was hard to accept medication, terapy, but when I went to the meditation I started to find myself
    I have always in mind I'm somewhere out there, it's a great pleasure to
    could keep track of these thoughts and more to more, I was fond of me.
    and bring back the joy to live with me and my tanker.med much help trapy
    still I have somewhere to go to ..

  3. Although external influences like therapy classes, or medication, may help in the short term, lasting changes begin from within. The place to start is living in the present where one doesn't worry about the past or the future, but lives in the moment when one can learn to be mindful of one's true self, honest and open. Then when external conditions, like dark, depressing weather or any negativity begins to take over, one is better able to maintain hope that it's only a temporary state, for it won't last. We all have the power within to make our own positive choices. 🙂

  4. I disagree, they are offering a simple set of tools to help in the battle with depress ion. As as sufferer for many years, I have found these exercises to be hugely helpful in my battle to overcome my bouts of severe depression. They are not the only tools, drugs and councelling/therapy as well as many other things may also be necessary. But then the article doesn't say anywhere that by doing this 'you'll just snap out of it'.

  5. Debra Dunham – have you tried counselling, as well as the Mindful meditations is what got me through. Maybe have a chat with your physician regarding your Lexapro, I started on 10mg and then went onto 20mg which I am still on now – it does the trick. I do hope you get the balance in your life as it is very much worth it. <3

  6. Patrica, I suffer from depression also.. my husband says I need to increase my Lexopro , so My doctor did… It's still not working…Now it's getting worse, I'm sleeping most all day, when I'm up don't want to leave my house..I hope this site will help me. Cause the places I'm going now in my head scares me.. Thank you

  7. You're treating depression a if it's just negative thinking and a person should just stop thinking that way. Very dangerous in so many ways! Get a little exercise, breath more, and stop thinking negative thoughts and you'll be able to snap out of it. Wrong.

  8. I have suffered from depression and anxiety for a few years and have recently participated in the "Mindfulness course" I highly recommend this for any one that is going through any depression, anxiety or pain – it worked for me, thanks to this workshop and also counselling I am in a good space now – just try for you!!!

  9. Positive info. Does help my mood. People who think it doesn't help our not being open minded. Positive thinking turned around my outlook on life and eased a lot of stress

  10. As a man thinketh is He, Wisdom from The Scriptures is being positive in trusting God's word no matter how you feel,its by Faith not by sight.

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