Living Mindfully – Mindfulness based Cognitive therapy (MBCT)

Most of us experience mild forms of depression and anxiety in our lives. For some of us these ways of being recur. There are all manner of precipitating events and circumstances. Some of us are resilient and manage to get through these periods. Others of us experience repeated cycles of decreased happiness, excessive worry, working even harder, feeling down and anxiety. This shows up in our responses to our work or the people we work with or the people we love in our families or our personal situations. We develop ways of coping.

However when the cycle repeats and is in full swing again and it is interfering with our day-to-day life, there is a yearning for this to be different. We seek help from our GP or psychiatrist and accept a recommended medication, we go to therapy, we read, we recommit to an exercise routine and we take a break and may go on holiday. All good practices that support change from the debilitating state to a healthier state.

My experience is that more and more people are less willing to use medication and want to find a different way to strengthen their wellbeing. In some cases medication is an essential ingredient especially when the mood variation is diagnosed as one of the Affective Disorders. The practice of mindfulness is another supportive practice to consider including in your recovery.

Since early 2000 Mindfulness practice has been included as a practice to improve mood. There have now been many studies done which consistently support the regular practice of mindfulness has a positive effect on outlook, mood, sleep, relating to others and therefore relationships, decision making and enjoyment in day to day life.

Developing the practice of Mindfulness along with a cognitive approach to recognise thoughts and feelings is a grounded combination. Three psychologists from Britain and Canada John Teasdale, John Williams & Zindel Segal have drawn on best practice and developed an 8 week programme. They have drawn on Jon Kabat Zinn’s Stress Reduction(MBSR) Programme in Boston USA. Together this has drawn on the best practices from the East (meditation practices) and the West (science). This programme is offered at regular intervals at Mindful Psychology.

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