Depression and Anxiety are prevalent in this stressful, and difficult world we live in. Millions of people deal with these disorders daily. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Therapy have been implemented to help with these disorders. Mindfulness in therapy is fairly new, but studies have shown they have helped reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. There still needs to be more research, since it is still new to the world of therapy.
I will say from my experience, mindfulness has been a helpful tool for my symptoms. We are all different, so I won’t say it works for everyone, but I do think my five points of mindfulness can help guide an individual to help manage the symptoms of these disorders. I have discussed my five points of mindfulness before. I like to discuss how I think these points can be helpful. Depression and anxiety can’t be cured, but the symptoms can be alleviated, so they don’t control your life.
Mindfulness Five Points:
This is about being present minded. I have consistently mentioned if you stay stuck in the past, it can lead to sadness, guilt, shame, which can lead to depression. And if you are looking forward, it can lead to apprehension, tension, stress, which can lead to anxiety. Being in the moment can pull you away from these negative thoughts and feelings. It reduces the tension and sadness by just being present. If one stays stuck in the past and keeps looking forward. The negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions will grow and intensify. This is why focusing on the moment is important for our peace of mind.
Awareness is very important in the world of mindfulness. Awareness of your anxiety, and depression symptoms can go a long way. Acknowledging how you are feeling opens up the door to the other 3 steps. It is a relief to acknowledge the feelings and emotions that one has. “I feel anxious.”” I feel sad.” “I feel lonely.” “I feel shame.” “I feel tense.”I feel fear.” Acknowledge how you are feeling. Now remember to put emphasis on “I feel,” instead of “I am.” Saying “I am,” you are defining yourself as these emotions. “I feel” is just defining how you feel at the moment. There is a bit of separation between you and the emotion. I think that is important to distinguish. It also helps not to be critical of oneself when having these feelings.
Here you get to dig in, and figure out why you are feeling the way you do. Why am I fearful? Why do I feel lonely? Why am I tense? Why am I sad? It is important to ask these questions. It is important to ask the right type of questions. “Why me” questions, or “why is life unfair” questions don’t really answer anything, and it creates more negative thoughts, emotions, and feelings. It is better to ask questions you can find answers to. Questions that can help improve your self and your situation. You need questions you can learn from. Learning why you feel the way you do, and why you have these thoughts can create some relief. You now start to realize the reasoning behind these thoughts and feelings.
Here you start to realize that most of your thoughts are negative. When it comes to depression and anxiety, thoughts are mostly negative. There isn’t much realistic, or positive thoughts flowing around. This is where you challenge your negative thoughts. Depression and anxiety come from a place of negativity. Here you flip that switch, and try to see things from a more realistic, or even positive point of view. Maybe this is teaching me a lesson? Maybe this is showing how strong I am? Maybe this is helping me to become a better person? Am I really as lonely as I think? Is my life really over? Is there nothing I can really do? It is all about perspective. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy really puts this step into use with their treatment.
We try to push away the symptoms, but acceptance of the symptoms and the disorder is important for one to get through the difficult time. Normalizing it allows the individual to focus on figuring out how to cope and manage the disorder, instead of trying to fight it, and create a world of negative self-talk, and negative thoughts in general. Learning that it is okay, and human to have these feelings, and thoughts can help aid the healing process. Remind yourself, it is okay to feel sad, lonely, lazy, tense, depressed, anxious etc,. can go a long way to a smoother healing process.
The important thing is to confront the disorder, and all the keys will fall into place. Pushing yourself to be happy, and perfect can cause more distress. One should allow these feeling to just be. Now mastering these steps takes time. It won’t happen overnight, but every little step to recovery helps.