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Mindfulness Therapy to Treat Depression

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What is Mindfulness Therapy?

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, also known as Mindfulness Therapy, is a method of treating depression by combining the principles of mindfulness with cognitive behavioural therapy in order to keep you from suffering a relapse.

It helps people who suffer through chronic unhappiness and bouts of depression overcome it by merging the cognitive therapy method with meditational practices and the cultivation of mindfulness along with its principles.

Mindfulness, put together in simpler words, is living in the present moment. Experiencing emotions and thoughts without evaluating or getting consumed by them.

During a practice session, your mind way wander. You simply let it wander, see where it goes, observe this and return to your present moment through breathing exercises or yoga.

History of mindfulness therapy:

Mindfulness therapy was initially developed by therapists Zindel Segal, John Teasdale, and Mark Williams. This form of therapy was brought about in the 1960s and popularly known as cognitive therapy. It was found that integrating cognitive therapy with the mindfulness-based stress reduction program could be more operational than other therapy techniques.

What is cognitive therapy?

Cognitive therapy runs on the primary assumption that thoughts pave the way for moods and that can lead to false self-beliefs which bring about negative emotions like depression. The objective of cognitive therapy is to help patients recognize and reassess the negative thought patterns, and replace them with positive thoughts that reflect closer to their reality.

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When Is Mindfulness Therapy Used And How Does It Work?

Results have shown that Mindfulness Therapy is most effective in people that are more vulnerable to relapse and have had earlier episodes.

Mindfulness encourages people to stand back and observe their thoughts and emotions rather than trying to control or correct them.

While you are depressed, you most commonly have self-deprecating thoughts or negative thoughts about certain situations at present or situations that might occur in the future. Mindfulness Therapy trains you to observe and acknowledge these feelings rather than training you to drive these emotions away from your train of thought.

How does MBCT build on cognitive therapy?

Mindfulness-Based Therapy or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy is built on the foundation of cognitive therapy; which means that it uses techniques like mindfulness meditation to demonstrate how to consciously pay attention to your thoughts and feelings without judging them, or without overthinking the past or the future.

As mentioned before, mindfulness relaxation will allow you to experience clarity of thought and provide you with tools that will help you let go of negative thoughts that feed your depression.

The combination of cognitive therapy and mindfulness makes MBCT quite effective. Mindfulness-based therapy will help you observe and process your feelings while cognitive therapy will teach you to interrupt any automatic thought development and it helps the patient work through their feelings in a healthy way.

Mindfulness exercises for depression & Group MBCT Sessions

It has also been found that group Mindfulness Therapy sessions can help greatly in breaking down the walls of shame and guilt that depression builds within its victims.

It helps you see that these negative thoughts and emotions are not just yours, everybody has them. And these are just thoughts, not facts to be dwelled upon. This itself can help a great deal in overcoming depression.

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Mindfulness treatment for Depression

When it comes to mindfulness meditation, the goal is to help patients (suffering from chronic depression) to learn how to avoid relapses by not getting involved in automatic negative thought patterns that can trigger depression episodes, and make a situation worse.

Recent studies have shown that MBCT has helped prevent recurrent depressive episodes effectively, and this form of therapy is as effective as antidepressant medications. Studies have also shown that MBCT can help reduce the craving for addictive substances like alcohol and drugs.

The MBCT, also known as the mindfulness therapy program, is a group intervention program that will last for eight weeks. During the eight weeks, the program will include weekly courses (which will last for two hours), and a one day-long class after the fifth week. During the program, the patients will be taught about the three-minute breathing space plan that emphasizes the three major steps’ each step has a one-minute duration and it includes:

  1. Observing your experience- this includes checking up on how you’re doing right now
  2. Focusing on your breathing pattern
  3. Paying attention to the physical sensations

Some of the other major mindfulness treatments for depression include body scan exercises, walking, sitting, meditations, yoga, mindful stretching, and so on.

However, much of the mindfulness exercise practices are done outside the class. The participants are asked to do some homework, and it includes listening to guided meditations that are pre-recorded; these recordings will help create a sense of mindfulness in your daily routines like brushing your teeth, washing dishes, showering, working out, and so on.

When you apply mindfulness exercises to your daily activities then it will result in the following:

  • The ability to pay close attention to your surroundings
  • Participating in social gatherings without being self-conscious
  • Taking a stance without the fear of being judged
  • Focusing on the present moment without any distractions, ideas, or events (including ones that can lead to procrastination)
  • Going with your first instinct, instead of second-guessing yourself.

Depression can be treated. If you or anyone you know or care about is going through depression, urge them to seek help and get better.

Don’t fight depression alone. Speak Your Mind. Visit Cadabam’s or call us at +91 – 9611194949 to learn more about Mindfulness Therapy for depression.

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