Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Mindful Way Through Depression

Finished The Mindful Way Through Depression by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn. This book was assigned reading for me. My therapist felt that the techniques taught throughout would be useful for dealing with chronic anxiety. I'll admit that I was skeptical at first, but having read the whole book and used the accompanying meditation CD, I can say that it has some excellent points.

Many of us speed through our days on a sort of frantic autopilot, not experiencing life as it happens. The authors explain that this is the work of the "doing mind." I myself spend a lot of time ruminating, rehashing old, stressful conversations or events and even imagining new non-existent ones. The techniques of mindfulness help the reader to redirect the mind from these patterns to experience what is actually happening at that moment. You have to retrain your brain. It's challenging if this is an old habit for you, but definitely worthwhile. Many breathing and meditation exercises are also suggested.

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