What is depression?
Depression is a psychological disorder that can affect people of all ages. It’s also known as ‘Major Depressive Disorder’ or clinical depression. Depression negatively affects how a person thinks, how they feel, and how they behave. It severely impacts the person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and their state of mind. And the worst effect of depression is that it’s accompanied by lack of energy—mental and physical—and a sense of despair and crushing darkness.
While there are various ways of treating depression such as cognitive behavioral therapy, talk therapy, antidepressant medication, etc., it has been observed that these treatments may not necessarily work for every patient. This led to the discovery of alternative treatment methods, one of them being the practice of mindfulness combined with meditation, called mindful meditation.
What is mindfulness?
Merriam-Webster defines Mindfulness as “the practice of maintaining a non-judgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.”
Mindfulness is a normal human ability to not over-react or be over-whelmed with whatever is going on around us. This psychological method allows the human mind to focus on the present. It lets us sense the present more than thinking about the past or wandering into the future. Mindfulness is the state of mind that a person can achieve with the help of meditation and other mental exercises.
The role of mindful meditation in treating depression
Mindfulness is basically a psychological approach towards the cure of depression. Getting professional help for depression is very important, however, mindfulness, when practiced correctly, can work as a catalyst while treating depression. If one is mindful, that is, if one is focused on the present, then the stress levels—often induced by worrying about the future—would go down quite naturally.
Mindful meditation helps shift one’s focus on the awareness of the feelings and all the ongoing thoughts inside a person. We know that a problem well-defined is a problem half-solved. And that’s exactly what mindful meditation helps us to do with our mental state of mind. Mindfulness clears our head in many ways, making us capable enough to deal with our own emotions clearly and rationally. Being mindful is all about conditioning yourself to focus on positive thoughts rather than being weighed down by negative thoughts.
Mindful meditation not only helps in treating depression, but also in avoiding other mental problems such as anxiety, bipolar disorders, etc.
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