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7 Ways Mindfulness Can Help You Overcome Depression

Most people will experience a depressive episode at some point in their lives. And some of those will deal with clinical depression that persists for months or even years.

Although talk therapy and medication are the go-to treatment methods for depression, lifestyle changes can also be hugely beneficial in alleviating symptoms.

Starting a practice and becoming more mindful has proven to be an effective method for managing depression. You don’t have to be a monk to be mindful—anyone can begin to intentionally focus on the present to see the positive effects of this practice.

Here’s how mindfulness can help you shift your outlook and overcome depression.

1. Improves Emotional Awareness

Mindfulness encourages us to notice how we’re feeling without necessarily acting on these feelings right away.

It’s as simple as taking a moment to observe and understand your emotions before reacting to an event. In doing so, you can choose a more positive course of action rather than immediately reacting based on assumptions.

By choosing to look at a situation objectively, you’ll often find that the circumstances are not as bad as you originally thought.

2. Encourages Balance

In a world where many of us feel like we barely have a moment to breathe, mindfulness teaches us to slow down and find balance.

Feeling overwhelmed and overworked can worsen symptoms of depression. Taking time to be present and mindful for a few minutes a day can be a welcome break in a busy schedule.

3. Promotes Living in the Moment

In this modern digital age, it can feel like your attention is always being pulled in a hundred different directions. Practicing mindfulness allows us to stay present and appreciate what we’re doing right now.

Worrying about the future or thinking about regrets from the past takes away the opportunity to enjoy the present.

4. Increases Energy

Stressing about the future or ruminating on the past can drain your energy.

Many people with depression feel perpetually exhausted. Some even find it difficult just to get out of bed.

By being mindful and keeping your attention in the present, you may find that you have more mental and physical energy throughout the day. Thus, making it easier to practice other healthy habits.

5. Supports Healthy Coping Skills

Treating and overcoming depression is not a quick fix. It can take time before you begin seeing improvements.

But mindfulness is a healthy way of coping with setbacks and obstacles during this process. Daily mindfulness practice builds mental and emotional resilience.

Someone who is actively cultivating mindfulness will have an easier time of dealing with smaller issues that crop up from time to time.

6. Soothes Future Anxieties

Depression and anxiety are not one and the same. However, for many people, they do tend to go hand in hand.

Being depressed often means having a bleak outlook towards the future—you may wonder if you have anything to be optimistic about.

But mindfulness can help bring your focus back around to improving your current situation rather than wondering what your life will look like in the next year or two.

7. Breaks Negative Thought Cycles

Those who struggle with depression may experience a barrage of negative thought cycles.

While someone else might be able to brush off a simple mistake, a person with depression may find themselves questioning their self-worth for hours on end afterward.

Mindfulness reminds us that we are not our thoughts. Additionally, we have the power to break these cycles and forgive ourselves rather than dwelling on our mistakes.

It can take time to master this tactic. But by being mindful, you can gain more control over what you choose to think about.

For more support in managing depression, please reach out to us today.

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