Coping with Depression
with Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an important building block to use when coping with depression. Mindfulness teaches you to monitor the status of your body and mind.   It's the ability to be self aware and monitor ourselves.  As your self-awareness improves, you become faster at recognizing your true needs.

Have you ever noticed how we tend to have good advice to our friend's problems, but have a hard time with our own issues?  It's easier to view and solve a problem objectively, from the outside.

Mindfulness is just that! Looking at ourselves from the outside.

Mindfulness is coping with depression by witnessing ourselves, from outside of yourselves.

We are objectively witnessing what’s happening to our thoughts, self-talk, actions and emotions and using this information in overcoming depression.

How Do We Overcome Depression With Mindfulness?

Take the following example scenario:

While you are stewing about the fight you just had with your co-worker, spouse, neighbor, etc. Your mindfulness action is to observe and witness yourself having those thoughts and negative emotions.

Here are some simple steps to help you along with mindfulness:

  1. Watch Yourself. Watch your thoughts, emotions and self talk from outside of yourself. Recognize what your mind is feeling and thinking.

    Is your mind doing any self talk, or ruminating? Is your self talk constructive or negative?

    Watch your "self" as often as you can. Detach yourself from the situation.

    Mindfulness does not take any special skill or meditation. Just propose yourself to do it and practice it. Start now!
  1. Be Objective. Depression tends to make us self-judgemental. So treat your brain as a machine that needs maintenance. A machine that can misfire, and that needs maintenance periodically so it runs smoothly.

    A method I use to reinforce self awareness is to say, “Hmm, my brain is misfiring.” Avoid the negative talk, such as, "Oh, I’m falling into depression," or "I’m getting grumpy."

    Telling yourself "my brain is misfiring" helps you stay objective and non-judgmental. You allow yourself to do corrective measures, rather than being too busy feeling sorry for yourself.

    Treat the negative thoughts as the brain misfiring, and just nudge it to keep going. This is not meant to feel sorry that your brain is not functioning. Be objective and non-defensive about it.
  2. Use Your Treatments for Depression List.  When you recognize your thoughts "misfiring," review your depression self help treatments.

    Is there something missing you haven’t done lately? “OK, my brain is misfiring, there’s negative self talk, and self blaming.”

    Look for what’s lacking and look for solutions. “Have I eaten right, skipped exercise, etc?”

    Maybe you need to do an extra session of aerobic exercise, or have a snack, or meditate.
  3. Catch Your Self-Talk And Correct It. Interrupt the self talk, and try to view the situation from an objective angle.

    Change your assumptions. Ask yourself, and talk it out with an answer:

    "Is my self talk, the truth?"
    "If I were the other person what would I do or feel?"
    "What is a positive way of seeing this situation?"

The great thing about mindfulness is that it is not just a tool for overcoming depression. Mindfulness is a fantastic tool to improve your self awareness in life.

As mindfulness becomes a habit in your life, you can have so much more self-awareness and self-control. You can deal with difficult situations you never thought you’d be able to confront before.

Start coping with depression by practicing mindfulness all the time.

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