The Mindful Way through Depression
When you’re depressed, you may feel anxiety, despair and hopelessness, and nothing seems to help – at least, not for long. And, once you’ve been depressed, you’re more likely to get that way again. Sometimes, we don’t understand why we feel so bad, and we feel like there’s something wrong with us. The more we blame ourselves, the worse we feel.
The authors of The Mindful Way through Depression help us understand why this happens and what we can do about it.
Through practices you can incorporate into your daily life, you can learn to avoid the habits that keep you stuck in unhappiness and help to keep your depression from coming back.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy combines modern science and forms of meditation that have been shown to be clinically effective in alleviating depression. This book teaches you different ways of knowing your mind and body to reduce negative thoughts and feelings. Anyone can benefit, even people who have not been diagnosed with clinical depression, but feel hopeless and unhappy.
Through a combination of Western and Eastern practices, you can learn to live more fully. You can implement the book’s eight-week program or go at your own pace.
Often, when we’re feeling down, the authors say, we focus on how we think we should feel. “I should be happy. What’s wrong with me?” we think. But, that thinking makes us feel worse. Our mind focuses on the sad person we are right now, the happy and peaceful person we want to be, and the person we might become if we stay unhappy. Looking at our life that way causes us to sink into depression.
With a “being mode” of mind we can experience things differently than with a “doing mind,” the authors explain, giving us a different way of living and relating to our thoughts and emotions. The book shows us how we can:
- get out of our heads and learn to experience the world without ruminating on negative thoughts
- see our thoughts as mental events that come and go, recognizing that an idea isn’t necessarily the truth
- start living in the present moment, without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
The core skill, say the authors, is mindfulness – “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to things as they are.”