Using Mindfulness to Overcome Depression and Anxiety

October 10, 2015
As a clinician who helps clients with behavioral health issues in Madisonville, LA, I often hear clients discuss how easy it can be to feel overwhelmed by their day to day responsibilities and stressors. So often we are focused on what we have to accomplish while simultaneously focusing on what we failed to accomplish yesterday. These and a myriad of other thoughts take us away from the present moment. In fact, it can feel as if we no longer have time to really take notice of ourselves and be aware of how we are truly feeling.   mental health and wellness baton rouge    

Impact of Mindfulness

In my experience as a therapist at Jefferson Oaks Behavioral Health of Madisonville, I have seen the impact that mindfulness and meditation can have in reducing stress, anxiety and depression. When thinking of meditation we often conjure up an image of sitting in lotus position on the floor for long periods of time. The reality of this practice is that it can be done very simply wherever you happen to be and it does not need to interfere with your daily schedule.   anxiety and depression baton rouge  

Incorporating Mindfulness into your Daily Life

While there is no one correct way to practice mindfulness, the overall goal of any mindfulness practice is to bring your mind into a state of nonjudgmental awareness. Learning to incorporate this practice into your day can greatly reduce our stress and anxiety. While some anxiety is a normal and even a healthy motivating factor in our everyday lives, the problem lies in unproductive thoughts and worries that prevent us from problem-solving and moving past our anxiety. Mindfulness practice can help us to recognize these thoughts and to be aware that it is only that anxious inner voice again. In my practice as a Madisonville behavioral health specialist, I strive to incorporate mindfulness practices that are easy to use throughout each day.  

Easy Ways to Practice Mindfulness

So what are some of the ways that you can practice mindfulness? One of the basic ways is to sit quietly and focus your mind on your breathing. As you do so, you begin to take notice of your bodily sensations. If you feel an itch, do not judge it. Let your body experience exactly what it is feeling in that moment. Next, you will become aware of any thoughts or emotions that enter into your mind. You may notice that your mind begins to drift back to the things you need to accomplish for the day. Allow your thoughts to simply be what they are without judging them. The key here is that there is no wrong feeling, sensation or thought. These practices do not have to be done while sitting in a quiet place. You can practice being aware as you go through any of your daily activities. Mindfulness can easily be incorporated into our daily routine in order to achieve a calmer and more accepting state of mind. With these small steps, we can work towards improving the overall mental health and wellness in Madisonville and beyond.  

Patrick Hammett, PLPC, NCC Clinical Therapy Madisonville