Negative thoughts and feelings can lead to depression. Mindfulness therapy, also called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy or MBCT, offers people with depression a way to change their patterns of thinking to help boost a healthy mood, according to the American Psychological Association
Depression patients often suffer from thoughts regarding the past. They may have experienced abuse while growing up or other events throughout their lives that have made them focus more on negative beliefs about themselves. This can intensify depressive moods and also interferes with recovery from depression through therapy or medication.
Negative thoughts can pop up for people even as they are going through daily routines that don’t seem related to the past. Mindfulness therapy helps people with depression recognize the thought patterns and emotions they experience throughout the day. They learn to know when the mind starts to wander into the past and return thoughts to the present moment.
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Through therapists or programs, patients incorporate mindfulness therapy in other exercises, such as yoga or body awareness, according to the American Psychological Association. People also use mindfulness in their daily routine, whether at work or play. They pay attention to what they are doing while being aware of thoughts of the past that might bring them into negative patterns.
People with depression may also subject themselves to worries about the future, especially when past events affect their emotions. The therapy helps them to stop blaming themselves for what happened in the past or thinking about future events. Instead, they focus on the more important things of the moment.
The APA reported that research suggests MBCT helped prevent recurring depression as effectively as medication. There are no side effects associated with mindfulness therapy, and drugs for depression lose effectiveness over time.
Mindfulness therapy is combined with cognitive therapy, which focuses on resisting damaging thoughts and emotions. The mindfulness part of the therapy then increases awareness of negative trends so they can be replaced with positive thoughts of the moment, CBS News reported
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People with depression learn that negative thinking patterns are distorted thoughts, which might include such phrases as, “I always make mistakes,” according to Psych Central
. Mindfulness therapy eventually takes the power away from these thoughts and words so they are no longer considered important or relevant.
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