Anxiety and Depression – a Mindfulness Approach

(Extracts from article in The Telegraph, London)

‘Recently, the Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of a study that found that mindfulness meditation appears to provide as much relief from some anxiety and depression symptoms as antidepressants.

“It doesn’t surprise me that mindfulness (living in the now) performs as well as or better than medication,” says Adrian Wells, a professor of psychopathology at Manchester University, and clinical advisor to charity Anxiety UK.

Psychology Katie Sparks agrees. “In the group work I’ve done with sufferers of anxiety or depression, I’ve found it very beneficial because it calms the mind.” ‘

Mindfulness meditation is a simple technique dating back 2,500 years. Yet it is as effective today as it was then. Though simple to practise, it’s not easy; not easy to convince ourselves that it’s possible to find the time in our busy lives; not possible to believe in its calming effects; not possible that ‘being’ can be more important then ‘doing’.

Paul Christelis, a clinical psychologist, believes mindfulness meditation ‘ nurtures equanimity. It trains you to have an unshakeable balance of mind, so that you’re feeling everything but not getting swamped.’

How often do we feel we are being swamped? That we just can’t cope with what we believe is expected of us? And perhaps it is expected of you?

Mindfulness can bring us back into the present moment. It’s possible to do each thing required with only that as a priority, without carrying all the other demands around in our heads as well. No wonder we feel burdened!

In my post ‘Mindfulness Meditation’ (posted 31 December) I describe a simple practice to bring us into the moment and rest there. It only takes a few minutes and will give you a taste of mindfulness.

Be kind and gentle with yourself always.

but not getting swamped

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About Jill M Jacques

I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and have spent most of my life here doing the usual things - marrying, having children and caring for an array of pets ranging from dogs to silkworms and chameleons. I first became interested in philosphy and its practical application in everyday life in my early 20s and spent many years as part of a group that pursued this goal. Drawing on this experience, I have been running "How to live in the Now" programmes for over 10 years. I wrote this book in response to requests from group members for something "simple and practical". I tend to see the funny side of life situations and enjoy writing humorous back pages as well as short stories and some poetry. Some of these have been published. Being here now is what really matters.
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