Regardless of your education level or your expertise, you can learn how to “Mind Your Mind and Conquer Depression and Anxiety with Mindfulness”.
Unless you have lived under a rock these last 10 years, you have likely heard of many people who claim to benefit from applying Mindfulness to their lives.
I was introduced to Mindfulness during therapy through DBT – Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and never looked back.
Remember the phrase “Mind Over Matter”? I affectionately remember my Gramps using it and fully believing in its power. Mindfulness is kinda similar to this concept. Kind of. Read on to learn more and how it could make a difference in your life.
What Exactly Is Mindfulness
Mindfulness, in a nutshell, is being fully present in the moment you are experiencing, bringing awareness using all of your senses. It’s also knowing that thoughts are just thoughts, that you are not your thoughts, and being mindful is about recognizing your emotions and thoughts without judgment. Minding your mind.
However, in time, you will notice a shift in your perspective, and this shift is the foundation for Becoming You. For me, the change was profound, and I found myself craving to share my experience with others and teach them what I did to destroy and conquer depression and anxiety.
Reseach is growing and they have found that you can actually train your brain to be mindful! Not only is it a great habit, but it actually changes the structure of your brain, which is called Neuroplasticity. <— click to read more
Mindful.org tells us that Mindfulness Meditation “asks us to suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the working of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness, to ourselves and others”.
Meditation isn’t about completely quieting your mind, that isn’t possible. It is about being still and focusing on what you are experiencing in the now, without judgment.
It’s about being fully aware of your senses in the moment. For example: Imagine you are meditating in the park. Close your eyes and note what you are feeling. Do you feel the breeze on your skin? How about the warmth of the sun? Take a deep breath and note what you smell. Do you smell the fresh-cut grass, or perhaps some BBQ? What is your emotional state? Do you feel happy or sad?
This is the essence of Meditation.
*My fav is to do this during my bath as part of my Self-Care routine. It is the perfect opportunity to take a few moments to myself, cry my eyeballs out if needed, and stay completely aware and in the moment without judgment.
Mindfulness For Mental Health
Mindfulness has become very popular in recent years. I first heard of it myself when I was in therapy nearly 10 years ago. MBSR Mindful Based Stress Reduction is an amazing program that helps people with a variety of physical and mental health issues to better manage their world.
Mindfulness helps depression in a roundabout way. Let me explain. When you are being mindful, you are actively present in the moment. Your mind is planted in the here and now. If you are truly present, your mind isn’t thinking about the past or past mistakes. It prevents you from dwelling on the “could of, should of, would of’s”, and all the heartache that comes with those thoughts.
It is in the same roundabout way that it helps anxiety. By practicing Mindfulness and anchoring yourself into the Now, you effectively reduce your anxieties about the future. Because you don’t dwell on those thoughts anymore, they lose their negative energy.
The Benefits Of Mindfulness
In a study showing the effects of MBSR on anxiety and depression, some pretty amazing results manifested.
MBSR is a program that has shown promising results in the reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression. It is believed that MBSR works by changing emotional reactions by modifying “cognitive-affective” processes.
Sixteen patients participated in a baseline MRI neuroimaging assessment, followed by completing an MBSR program. Then they underwent a functional MRI as they reacted to negative stimuli. They used 2 types of “attention focused emotion regulation”: 1. Breath focused and 2 Distraction focused. Here is what they found.
- MBSR completers improved anxiety and depression symptoms, and improved self-esteem.
- During the “breath-focused attention” task the results showed A. more activity in areas of the brain known for attention deployment. B. a decrease in negative emotions. C. reduction in amygdala activity (the amygdala is responsible for emotions).
These implications are game-changers for those who suffer from anxiety!
The study concludes with these words: “MBSR training… may reduce emotional reactivity while enhancing emotion regulation. These changes might facilitate a reduction in avoidance behaviors, clinical symptoms, and automatic emotional reactivity to negative self-beliefs in adults”.
Is Mindfulness For You?
Everyone can experience the positive effects that being mindful invokes, but it isn’t for everyone. The only way to know if it is for you is to give it a try!
Think of it this way… Time is going to pass no matter what. Why not give Mindfulness a chance since it requires nothing other than learning to use it? You may just confirm it isn’t for you, but there is a chance that it will change your life.
Studies have shown that applying gratitude and mindfulness to your life will literally change your brain structure. This rewiring is called Neuroplasticity, and it is fantastic news for anyone who wants to change their life and live a more positive, happy, fulfilling life. Anyone can train their brain
According to UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, expressions of gratitude and being thankful literally makes changes to the molecular structure of the brain, keeps it functioning properly, and makes us more healthy and happier! That is mind-blowing, right?
Applying Mindfulness To Your Life
Every moment of every day is an opportunity to be Mindful.
Start easy by taking a moment each day to practice being mindful. A great place to do this is at your kitchen sink as you wash dishes. It is super simple yet something you do daily. I started this way, noting what the dishes felt like in my hands, the water on my skin, the feel of the bubbles, etc.
Once you have made that a habit, add another opportunity to each day. It can be in the morning before you do anything else, or at the end of your day as stress relief. Just take 5 minutes to be still, and just Be. Paying attention to your emotions, and physical sensations in the moment.
Our Summary On Mindfulness
I have had amazing, life-changing success with Mindfulness, especially as I started learning more about applying Gratitude. The two combined seem to be the best method for rewiring the ol’ noggin and truly making a difference in the thought process.
You have to determine if it is worth the time and energy for yourself, just as it is up to you to stop self-limiting beliefs. Becoming You is your personal journey and its success lies in the application of the “Happy Tools” we often talk about. All we can do is tell you what worked for Jesse and me and share Our Story.
However, are you ready for a little secret? We are developing an 8 week Mindfulness & Gratitude Program!!! It is time to stop surviving life, and to truly start living it, to THRIVE! I can’t wait to share the program with you. I know all the ways the mindfulness has helped me, and I am thrilled to be working on something that can potentially change the live of countless people*.
Click here to subscribe and we will notify you as soon as the program is available.
Let us know what you think about Mindfulness. Is it for you or is there something else that works for you? Please share in the comments below, and if you haven’t already done so, subscribe here for updates and promotional offers, and as always keep moving forward and always Tri-To-Fly!
*We know that mindfulness will not be the “cure-all” for everyone. Heck, it isn’t a “cure” for us either, but rather a tool… a “Happy Tool” as I like to call them.
Our happy tools are the various things we use to help make life the best it can be in the moment. Such as Gratitude, Meditation, Radical Acceptance, Coloring (yep, you read that right), Cycling, Hiking, Running and of course Mindfulness.
Finding the tools that work for you is essential for Becoming You and living your best life!
Mental Health Advocate and Blogger. Runner. Hiker. Cycler. Anything Moving, and Everything Still. I believe in the power of the mind, the strength of the heart, and resilience of the Person. We all have the power to change…
Change your story, change your life.