Mindfulness Meditation as a Self Help Treatment for Anxiety and Depression


An update on mindfulness meditation as a self-help treatment for anxiety and depression.

Mindfulness meditation appears to help reduce depression and anxiety, though we need more formal research, according to this research article.

The article states that “research has also consistently demonstrated the effectiveness of mindfulness training on stress reduction and reducing negative mood states, as well as for improving the emotional well-being and quality of life of individuals dealing with chronic physical illness (e.g., hypertension, human immunodeficiency virus, depression secondary to pain).”

How does meditating help? According to the article, “meditation involves the intentional and repeated practice of intentionally activating the body’s relaxation response and has shown potential to improve one’s ability to manage stress, which has been shown to underlie various physical and psychological illnesses.”

What is Mindfulness? “Mindfulness refers to the process of intentionally bringing one’s attention, in a nonjudgmental manner, to the internal and external experiences that exist in the present moment. This may include awareness of sensations, thoughts, bodily states, consciousness, and the environment, while simultaneously encouraging openness, curiosity, and acceptance.”

How do you practice mindfulness? Check out this post to watch a video and learn more.

 

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I had a black dog, his name was depression


“I had a black dog, his name was depression” is a short, gentle, and honest animated video about the experience of depression and the need to get help.

In the video, a big black dog represents depression. The video shows how the dog affects the narrator’s life. It will take less than 5 minutes to watch this well-made story, brought to us by the World Health Organization. If you enjoy it, please share it so others can see it too.

What Makes Us Happy Changes As We Age


This article is from Shine on Yahoo – Canada. The author interviews Jennifer Aaker about how our definition of happiness changes over our lifetime. Here Aaker describes her research on happiness that studied 12 million+ personal blogs:

“We found that younger bloggers described experiences of happiness as being times when they felt excited, ecstatic, or elated — the way you feel when you’re anticipating the joys the future will bring — like finding love, getting ahead at work, or moving to a new town.

Older bloggers were more inclined to describe happy experiences as moments of feeling peaceful, relaxed, calm, or relieved — the way you feel when you’re getting along with your spouse, staying healthy and able to make your mortgage payments. This kind of happiness is less about what lies ahead, and more about being content in your current circumstances.”

The rest of the interview is found here: How our idea of happiness changes as we get older – Shine from Yahoo! Canada.

Wellness Toolbox Helps You Build Your Mental Health


You can begin building your mental health now with the tools available in the Wellness Toolbox   from Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

The Toolbox has three sections. In the “Blueprints” section, you can set goals for recovery, check symptoms, and learn how to find and get help from a doctor. In the “Tool Belt” section, you learn about wellness, develop wellness strategies, track your health, manage symptoms and triggers, and address negative thinking. In the “Manual” section, you track your treatment and medications.

The tools are generally short and simple to use, some more helpful than others. Overall, this is a site you may find useful for information and guidance your building your own well-being.

 

ULifeline: Mental health resources for college students


ULifeline: Mental health resources for college students.

Here is a resource you may find useful at any age, though it targets college students. It provides information on mental illnesses, as well as information on staying well. It provides articles that are clear and easy to  understand. It also has a search engine that finds resources for help on college campuses across the country. A self-evaluation tool identifies current issues as well as offering guidance on dealing with them. Jed Foundation provides the site.

 

How gratitude transforms your life – CBC Radio


Here is a 50-minute CBC radio show called Ontario Today hosted by Kathleen Petty that is worth listening to.

Rick Hansen (author of Buddha’s Brain) and Doug Vermeeren (motivational speaker and film maker of The Gratitude Experiment ) discuss gratitude. But what is more, is that the callers on the show all have positive experiences with gratitude in their lives.

The show emphasizes the value of gratitude as a daily practice, but it is not a “happy fest” conversation. The discussion focuses on the issues the callers raise and the experts relate their experience and research to each caller.

 

VIDEO: Learn the top ten myths about mental illness


I am reblogging this from The Cynthia Breen Advocacy Foundation blog. The CBAF is a non-profit Minnesota foundation advocating for those affected by mental illness. The video is from the Douglas Institute in Canada. It is an excellent explanation of mental illness, its prevalence, and its impact on people and society. It is a great talk and well worth the 1-hour it takes to watch it.

Stop Mental Health Stigmas

Joseph Rochford, PhD, Director of Academic Affairs of the Research Centre, at the Douglas Institute, talks about the most recurrent preconceived ideas about mental illness in this 2009 Mini-Psych school lecture :

  • •Mental illness is a single, rare disorder
  • •the mentally ill are insane
  • •If you are diagnosed with a mental illness, kiss your chances of a brilliant career goodbye
  • •The mentally ill are more violent
  • •Mental illnesses are not true medical illnesses like heart disease and diabetes
  • •If mental illnesses are biological, then psychotherapy is useless
  • •If you have a gene that have been associated with a mental illness, you are condemned to experience it
  • •The mentally ill are weak or lazy
  • •People with a mental illness never get better

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