Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Before we Meditate—-

7ECF5B6E-3DBF-43A4-8C52-0E8A58665179.
.
We realize that thoughts are air, judgments mirages, control a fallacy.  Scan your body and breathe into tight spots or painful areas.

.

Remember to focus on each breath then move on to the next one.

.

Where we are headed has no:
.
No right or wrong.
.
No good or bad.
.
No pleasure or pain.
.
No decisions, bias or judgments.
.
No emotions.
.
No I, me, mine or Ego.
.
No resistance, control or exertion of influence.
.
No avoidance.
.
.
.
There is specific focus on the breath, a slowing, a calming of the nervous system and heart rate.

.

We do let go of thought and emotion, we do listen intently to our inner world.

.

What’s left is awareness, acceptance, then surrender to all that arises.

.

We are  an observer, watching ourselves in a rerun on imaginary TV.

.

The scene we are watching is over with, so comment or influence is uneccesary.

.

Relax, let go, enjoy the ride, you are safe.

.

.

 

 

Updated: Self worth can be fixed through affirmations and mindfulness practice!

IMG_3057.JPG
.
.
.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

– Lucille Ball –
.
.
.
Self worth or unworthiness has to be dealt with before we can seriously consider finding happiness.

Lucille is correct, self love is the first rung on the ladder to happy.

Affirmation will correct this negative situation.

Example:

In this moment right now, I accept all of me.
.
.

The Awareness That Sees Self Is Free of Self

IMG_0406

.
.
.
“Living with your Heart Wide Open”
.
Years ago at an extended meditation retreat, a meditation teacher informed us that he wasn’t interested in any of our stories.
.
.
We were stunned and taken aback—until he went on to acknowledge the profound tenderness, woundedness, and pain that our stories hold but said that he wanted to help us explore possibilities that lay beyond these self-limiting definitions of ourselves.
.
.
As we sat with these ideas for a while, it brought home how easy it is to identify with old stories we’ve fallen for again and again, only to find ourselves in the same swarms of mental and emotional hornets that have stung us so many times before. How many times do we have to get stung before we see that the story isn’t who we are?
.
.
This is where mindfulness and self-compassion can be so beneficial.
.
.
They allow you to see and acknowledge the tenderness and pain in your story without falling under the delusion that the story defines who you are.
.
.
It may be your story, but it isn’t you.
.
.
A pervasive sense of unworthiness has core components of self-blame, self-consciousness, and resentment.
.
.
These habits of mind are all connected and stem from habitual ways of looking at things.
.
.
In each moment, you’re creating your sense of self.

.

.

Anytime you recognize this self-constructing activity, it can help free you a little more from the confines of the self you’ve created.
.
.
.

Exploring Our inner World

image

Tulip Farm, Tasmania
Photograph by Anthony Crehan, Your Shot
.
.
.
Mindfulness is a tool, a focus exercise that allows us to explore our inner world.
.
.
The two pauses, after the inhale and exhale, bring our bodies into a sort of suspended animation stage.
.
.
The mind and body are still, nothing moving, a pure opportunity to notice, to observe any sensation, tightness, agitation, sound, twitch or inner feeling.
.
.
Maybe we observe complete silence, a deep quiet, or extreme agitation, or internal anxiety or mild tingling sensations.
.
.
We are detectives, tasked with mapping our emotions internally.
.
.
Where does fear, worry, anxiety, and anger reside, manifest themselves in the body.
.
.

Some  emotions maybe acute, sharp, while others are dull or diffuse, while other are choppy, scary and others agitate the nervous system.

.

.
It maybe the throat area, solar plexus, between the shoulder blades or in the groin area.
.
.
Become friends with your fear, your fight or flight mechanism and life will calm down.
.
.
Mindfulness has far more power and application than you could ever imagine.
.
.
If happiness is an internal condition, it follows we should explore and become familiar with our inner world.
.
.
.

Systematic Desensitization (SD or Desensitization) .

image.
.
.
To begin the process of systematic desensitization, one must first be taught relaxation skills in order to control fear and anxiety responses to specific phobias. Once the individual has been taught these skills, he or she must use them to react towards and overcome situations in an established hierarchy of fears. The goal of this process is that an individual will learn to cope and overcome the fear in each step of the hierarchy, which will lead to overcoming the last step of the fear in the hierarchy.
.
Systematic desensitization is sometimes called graduated exposure therapy.
.
Clinical Procedure
.
Specific phobias are one class of mental illness often treated through cognitive-behavioral therapy and the process of Systematic Desensitization (SD). When individuals possess irrational fears of an object, they tend to avoid it. Since escaping from the phobic object reduces their anxiety, patients’ behavior to reduce fear is reinforced through negative reinforcement, a concept defined in operant conditioning. The goal of Systematic Desensitization is to overcome this avoidance pattern by gradually exposing patients to the phobic object until it can be tolerated. In classical and operant conditioning terms the elicitation of the fear response is extinguished to the stimulus (or class of stimuli).
.
Prior to exposure, the therapist teaches the patient cognitive strategies to cope with anxiety. This is necessary because it provides the patient with a means of controlling their fear, rather than letting it build until it becomes unbearable. Relaxation training, such as meditation, is one type of coping strategy. Patients might be taught to focus on their breathing or to think about happy situations. Another means of relaxation is cognitive reappraisal of imagined outcomes. The psychotherapist might encourage subjects to examine what they imagine happening when exposed to the phobic object, allowing them to recognize their catastrophic visions and contrast them with the actual outcome. For example, a patient with a snake phobia might realize that they imagine any snake they encounter would coil itself around their neck and strangle them, when this would not actually occur.
.
The second component of systematic desensitization is gradual exposure to the feared object. Continuing with the snake example, the therapist would begin by asking their patient to develop a fear hierarchy, listing the relative unpleasantness of various types of exposure. For example, seeing a picture of a snake in a newspaper might be rated 5 of 100, while having several live snakes crawling on one’s neck would be the most fearful experience possible. Once the patient had practiced their relaxation technique, the therapist would then present them with the photograph, and help them calm down. They would then present increasingly unpleasant situations: a poster of a snake, a small snake in a box in the other room, a snake in a clear box in view, touching the snake, etc. At each step in the progression, the patient is desensitized to the phobia through the use of the coping technique. They realize that nothing bad happens to them, and the fear gradually extinguishes.
.
Research has shown that systematic desensitization can be effective in treating fears, phobias, other anxiety disorders, and a wide variety of other mental health and behavior problems. The effectiveness of systematic desensitization does not appear to depend on the intensity of your anxiety or problem, the duration of your anxiety, or on whether the anxiety was acquired suddenly or gradually.
.
.
.

Mindfulness therapy works as well as anti-depressant drugs, major new study finds

image

.
.
Ian Johnson:
.
Therapy based on the controversial concept of ‘mindfulness’ works as well as some anti-depressant drugs, according to a major new study.
.
Inspired in part by Buddhist philosophy, mindfulness involves training the brain to deal with negative emotions using techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises and yoga.
.
Some critics have claimed mindfulness techniques can bring on panic attacks and lead to paranoia, delusions or depression.
.
But the new study – the largest-ever analysis of research on the subject – found mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) helped people just as much as commonly prescribed anti-depressant drugs and that there was no evidence of any harmful effects.
.
People suffering from depression who received MBCT were 31 per cent less likely to suffer a relapse during the next 60 weeks, the researchers reported in a paper in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
.
Professor Willem Kuyken, the lead author of the paper, said: “This new evidence for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy … is very heartening.
.
“While MBCT is not a panacea, it does clearly offer those with a substantial history of depression a new approach to learning skills to stay well in the long-term.”
.
Professor Kuyken, an Oxford University clinical psychologist and director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, and other experts around the world have set themselves an ambitious target.
.
“We need to do more research, however, to get recovery rates closer to 100 per cent and to help prevent the first onset of depression, earlier in life,” he said.
.
“These are programmes of work we are pursuing at the University of Oxford and with our collaborators around the world.”
.
He stressed that while mindfulness may share a “lineage” with Buddhism and other “contemplative traditions”, the way it was used in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy was “entirely secular”.
.
“It makes complete sense to me that this wonderful faculty of thinking can both get us into trouble and also get us out of trouble,” Professor Kuyken said.
.
“It’s a sort of mental training. It’s about training the mind so people can see negative thoughts, negative feelings, the early signs of a depressive relapse, and learn the skills to respond to those in a way that makes them more resilient.”
.
A woman in one of his classes would start to have thoughts such as “I’m no good, I’m not a very good mother, I’m going to mess up my children and they are going to suffer from depression as I do”, he said.
.
But, after the training, Professor Kuyken said the woman was “able to recognise her negative thoughts as negative thoughts not facts, and not engage with them as much”.
.
“She developed a metaphor of a wrecking ball. Instead of being knocked over, she’d stand back and let the wrecking ball swing through her mind,” he added.
.
Mindfulness has won the backing of NHS advisory body, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), and the Mental Health Foundation research charity. A study published in the Lancet last year also found mindfulness could be as effective as drugs.
.
.
.

Startling number of kids diagnosed with psychological disorders

Autumn or fall woodland landscape
.
.
By STEVEN REINBERG HEALTHDAY March 18, 2016,
.
One in seven American children aged 2 to 8 suffers from a mental, behavioral or developmental problem, federal health officials report.
.
Researchers analyzed data supplied by parents in the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health, looking for reported speech and language problems, learning disabilities, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, anxiety and more.
.
“Based on the number of kids affected, this is something we need to pay attention to,” said lead researcher Jennifer Kaminski, team leader for child development studies at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
.
The researchers found that young children with mental, behavioral or developmental disorders were less likely than others to have access to medical care that was family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate and culturally effective.
.
Parental mental health problems and child-care problems were also commonly associated with mental, behavioral and developmental disorders in young children, the researchers said.
.
Incidence of disorders varied widely by state, “which suggests that there are things states can do to improve the health of these kids,” Kaminski said.
.
Prevalence of disorders was lowest in California — at 10.6 percent — and about double that in Arkansas and Kentucky, the findings showed.
.
Fair or poor parental mental health was highest in Washington, D.C., and lowest in Kansas, according to the study.
.
Neighborhood support also varied widely, with a fourfold difference between the highest (North Dakota) and lowest (Arizona) rates among the states.
.
Children living in poverty, or in homes where English is not spoken, were at the highest risk for these problems, Kaminski said. “Speaking English is either an indicator of assimilation into the culture and/or a sign of better access to health care,” she said.
.
“We are not able to say if these risk factors are caused by or causing the disorders, but they are important for children’s health,” Kaminski added.
.
Moreover, this snapshot cannot reveal if more children are suffering from these problems than in years past, she explained.
.
The report, based on more than 35,000 children, was published March 11 in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
.
The full range of childhood problems also included depression, developmental delay, Tourette syndrome and intellectual disability.
.

.
.
.

%d bloggers like this: