Depression is one of the most common mental disorders suffered by Americans. So much so that an estimated 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older, or 6.7% of all adults in the U.S., claimed to have had at least one major depressive episode in 2014. If you've been constantly dealing with depression your whole adult life without being able to break out of the routine, it's time to consider trying mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). MBCT is highly recommended for dealing with relapses and essentially involves improving self-control by practicing mindfulness meditation on a daily basis. Here are 3 tips that will improve the effectiveness of MBCT.
Choose Mindfully of the Type of Media Content You Interact With
News of unfortunate events around the world can trigger depression and make everything appear hopeless. If you like to watch TV or read newspapers, you really need to be mindful of the type of content that you expose yourself to – especially since news outlets generally focus on negative events rather than positive ones.
Pay attention to the type of television programs, movies and entertainment outlets that actually excite you and make you happy. Skip themes or programs that tend to trigger negative emotions. For example, thrillers or horror movies might make you feel anxious, so stick to comedies.
Try to Pay More Attention to Your Surroundings
When you realize that everything around you can be fascinating, you'll be less likely to fall back into a depressive episode. The easiest way of doing so is to notice just how beautiful and amazing everything around you is. Actively pay attention and appreciate the little details when you're up and about.
For example, while taking a walk, direct your attention to the scenery. Breathe in the fresh air, and take a moment to appreciate the fluffiness of the clouds or the beauty hidden amidst the trees and shrubs around you. If you're eating, pay attention to the colors, textures and flavors of your food.
Join a Meditation Group
A large portion of MBCT involves meditating. Meditation can help you better analyze your surroundings, find inner peace and quiet a noisy mind. Although you'll be doing plenty of meditation at counseling, keep up this habit when you're at home in order to enjoy the full advantages of MBCT. Consider setting up a special area at home for meditating, and also actually scheduling time in your day to meditate.
Meditating at home or by yourself can be difficult. It might not be easy for you to make the habit stick on your own, so consider joining a meditation group. Look for a group near your area that specifically focuses on dealing with depression. If you can't find a group near you, start your own and invite family member and friends to join you.
MBCT is very effective for preventing relapses. If you've been dealing with depression for a large part of your life, MBCT can help you break out of depression for good. This therapy focuses on mindfulness. You'll find yourself gaining more self-control over your own life and actively making better decisions that will help you lead a happier life.
For more information, contact Living Hope Clinic or a similar location.