Depression often leads to losing interest in activities, detaching from loved ones, isolating from society, feelings of low self-esteem, changes in appetite, and unexpected gain or loss of weight. It can often feel like there’s no joy left in life, as if the simplest of tasks are impossible to finish, that you’re worthless and a failure. Depression is serious. It is all-consuming and it can interfere with a person’s ability to have a positive quality of life. There is a path to help overcome depression. Consider getting treatment for depression in Sherman Oaks with Mindfulness Therapy.
Definition of Mindfulness Therapy
Mindfulness involves taking inventory of the thoughts and feelings in the present moment without judgment. This includes sensations in the body and the stream of consciousness. When we practice mindfulness we allow ourselves to pause, to check-in, to understand why we are reacting in a certain manner–is it actually happening in the present or is it triggered by experiences of the past? When we look through an empathetic lens, we can then pause and learn to take an appropriate course of action.
Mindfulness therapy, or Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), is a cognitive therapy that uses mindfulness techniques to teach people to be conscious of their thoughts and feelings without spiraling into negative patterns such as a series of what-ifs. MBCT has the ability to teach us how thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and experiences influence our actions. Once we have learned to recognize these things and are tuned in to our patterns, we can pause so that we are more able to easily let go of negative thoughts. Mindfulness therapy helps a person learn how to pause, to slow down, to sort through what is present and what is past. It allows for the time to make choices. It also helps slow down the nervous system and supports the “breaks,” the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turns helps us reconnect with our prefrontal cortex (our thoughts).
How is it Structured?
Your mental health provider will create the best treatment plan for you, using Mindfulness Therapy or MBCT, according to your goals and needs. Typically, sessions will include checking-in with yourself and learning to focus on breath, doing a body scan to pin-point sensations and feelings or just being reminded to notice what’s happening inside. Yoga, meditation, sound healing and mindful walking may also be used in conjunction with Mindfulness. MBCT can be used in group sessions as well. You might be asked to do homework assignments to keep the learned skills fresh in your mind, create habits, and remain accountable. This may look like journaling about daily activities like brushing teeth, stretching, watering flowers, interacting with people, and noting the thoughts and feelings that arise during these activities. Or you may even be given reading/listening materials to discuss for the next session.
How Can Mindfulness Therapy Help Me?
You’re probably tired of how your depression interferes with your life. And you’re probably ready for a treatment to be effective. MBCT is specifically geared toward managing chronic depression. When you and your mental health provider engage in MBCT, you’ll learn how to let go of negative thoughts that feed your depression, and learn tools to avoid relapse. Additionally, studies have shown that relapses with MBCT are as infrequent as they are on antidepressants.
See how Mindfulness Therapy can help you conquer your depression. Call Trauma and Beyond Center ® at (818) 651-0725.