How Mindfulness Meditation Combats Depression & Rumination
When we’re depressed, our thinking patterns are often negative and cyclical. Our negative emotions fuel negative thoughts, then our negative thoughts reinforce more negative emotions.
On and on it goes as we sink deeper, ruminating and feeling worse as time goes on.
How can you escape the misery and find relief? Interrupt your ruminating mind with mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness Meditation Shifts Your Attention
Rumination is difficult to continue if we pay attention to the here and now. After all, those painfully circulating thoughts are rarely centered on what’s happening right now. Our mood is usually driven lower by thoughts rooted in regret, shame, or detrimental core beliefs.
By developing the skill of paying attention, you can learn to accept and appreciate life as it is.
When we are more able to accept ourselves, our thoughts, and our situations, we can move forward and with less depressed thinking about the past.
Mindfulness increases our ability to see ourselves and our potential with less judgment and overwhelm. Thus, our self-esteem is elevated and the world seems less dark and lonely. Each moment holds more promise, hope, and connection, effectively reducing the symptoms of depression.
Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Quiet Your Inner Critic
Ask: Who Am I Listening To?
Your negative thinking patterns are likely highly influenced by your persistent “inner critic.” Simply put, the inner critic is that voice we all have in our minds. It insists we aren’t “important enough,” “loveable enough,” or “successful enough.”
Listening to internal put-downs keep rumination and self-recrimination going, deepening depression. Without a strategy for relief, we get stuck, believing that our depressive thinking is accurate.
To break free, be more aware of how you speak to yourself. Learn to let the negativity pass without automatically believing it.
Mindfulness Helps You Make Space for Your Feelings
Mindfulness meditation is a structured approach for acknowledging and accepting our feelings. In other words, you can learn to accept these feelings without giving in to the judgmental words of the inner critic that drive negativity and rumination.
When you try to deny our feelings, they become bigger. In essence, mindfulness gives yourself time and space to make room for your feelings.
Then you let them go. Naturally, they settle into their proper place in your past, affecting you less. They have their moment and move on without taking power over you, your self-esteem, or your relationships.
Thus, you notice emotions as they happen but remain able to enjoy the next moment freely, with less emotional baggage.
Mindfulness Teaches You to Allow Your Thoughts Instead of Avoid Them
How much time or energy have you spent ruminating on your own powerlessness or worthlessness while pushing other thoughts away?
Perhaps you sleep all the time, isolate, or use anger to keep painful thoughts at bay. Maybe you numb yourself with risky behavior, avoiding thoughts that only come back stronger the more you bury them.
Mindfulness meditation encourages you to face your thoughts.
As your thoughts arise, look at them without judgment. Many find that they have the inner strength to accept and cope with depression. When they have a process and practice for facing their emotions, they gain clarity and a greater sense of control over their thoughts.
Mindfulness Meditation Soothes, Supports, and Strengthens
All in all, mindfulness meditation dispels depression by aiding your ability to
- Notice relief and pleasure. Depressive thinking steals joy. A ruminating mind highlights and replays negativity. A mindful person simply notices feelings. They uncover pleasant thoughts as well as unpleasant thoughts. Accepting and processing joy and pain provides more mental balance.
- Be more self-aware and self-loving. Noticing thoughts, feelings, and responses allow you to see and accept yourself as fully human, not just a cluster of things you dislike about ourselves.
- See beyond yourself. The despair associated with depression may lift as mindfulness supports your ability to tolerate discomfort and pain. We can better problem solve and seek help, accepting disappointment or missteps with more resilience and compassion. Mindfulness improves our ability to see who and what exists around us, instead of only what is happening inside us.
- Focus and prioritize. It is rare that something terrible is happening in the here and now. Focus on the present promotes productivity and hope. You are less prone to getting bogged down in past or future concerns beyond your control.
By allowing and accepting your feelings and thoughts, you give yourself a huge gift.
Your past is released. Your future isn’t confined by it. Your life is yours to notice fully and live optimally, one moment at a time.
Mindfulness Meditation is Worth Trying
Mindfulness meditation is employed by legions of people worldwide. Some people find its principles work very well with other therapies and treatments. Above all, mindfulness practices might be worth considering as you discuss treatment with your own therapist.
Don’t allow rumination and depression to steal any more precious time or joy. Let’s talk about your challenges together and work on making your life, in the present moment, the best that it can be.
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