Mindfulness is an emotionally non-reactive state that emphasizes the cultivation of awareness and acceptance of the present moment. It is especially helpful to those with anxiety or a major depressive disorder. Knowing that the mind is capable of characterizing mood, psychotherapists focus on inspiring their clients suffering with mental illness to create a new relationship with negative emotions, and do so without judgment.
Known as Mindfulness-Based Therapy, it is most helpful when someone requires a mindset where clarity, concentration, and the ability to remain calm is vital to their mental well-being. Although meditation is sometimes helpful, this practice is not a form of meditation. Rather, mindfulness is a pragmatic health practice for regulating emotions and enhancing one’s ability to feel reward and positive emotions in the course of their everyday life.
When people are depressed or feeling sad, this is a symptom. But when they are no longer feeling depressed, sadness can have a way of morphing itself into an excuse for someone to become critical of themselves and their actions, inevitably causing clients to relapse into a new form of depression.
Sadness is not eliminated, but through this treatment people will learn certain skills to be more aware, pay attention, and live in the moment. Studies show that those who deliberately focus on remaining present are more likely to continue managing their depression, rather than having another episode.
Throughout the process, clients are asked to correlate their emotions with certain experiences and then identify the emotions that trigger their depression. While in treatment, therapists ask their clients to gently recall incidents that occurred while they were depressed to gauge the best tools they can use to avoid it from happening again. From there, a plan is set into motion that assists clients to overcome everyday obstacles in a more positive way.