Does Mindfullness Really Help Depression or Anxiety?

There are so many mental health topics in my head I want to talk about on here but I just dont get the time. How many of you are sick of living in a constant loop of listening to conversations in your head, that mostly have a negative bias?? and you try to distract yourself by doing more things, going more places, saying yes to everyone, working more, drinking more, shopping more?
Because you cant sit with yourself.
You cant be present with yourself.
You are not comfortable in your own shoes.
I worked in Psychiatry for 5 years and I studied the practice of mindfulness through psychotherapy and CBT, by learning deep breathing, grounding and meditation and years practising on holidas in Thailand, Sri lanka, and on my own local beach and heres what I really think.
I dont think it works if you are depressed at least “not until you are out of the heavy grey”. If this is you, please try the medication, it takes time but when you find the one that suits you you wont have any bothersome side effects. Ask for a referral to see psychiatry, they are much more experienced than GPs if you dont get sorted with the first or second medication.
I do think mindfulness is useful for anxiety, if said anxiety is only occurring occasionally or you are on medication which is working for you and “the calmness it brings” allows you to engage with it. Many patients find they are too anxious to even start trying to be mindful.
If you practice everyday,” especially the days your not anxious”, you will start to get into it and from there you will learn how to do it and use it when you are anxious. Practice makes perfect and habits can only form when you practice everyday. Now I am not talking about sitting in a lotus position listening to crystal music in a quiet room. I am talking about everyday moments that you can be mindful of.
If your anxiety is so bad you cant sit down, your constantly checking your phone, your breathing or blinking like crazy or you cant focus I think medication is the most useful starting point in this case, get to the Gp. If you dont get the right medication for you after 2 trials of 2 medicines then ask for a referral to see a consultant psychiatrist.
It takes time to become calm and once you are calm you can engage in what im going to show you. I suffered with crippling untreated anxiety for years, caused in part by bad genes and the rest by undiagnosed leaky gut, low stomach acid and an infection called SIBO in my gut. Because the gut gets stressed if the brain is stressed and vice versa. I only learnt how to do mindfullness and be present when I was 30 and only really grasped it fully at 33 after a few years practice. I wish someone had taught me and put me on medication when I was 20.
Ten years on now I live in the present moment all day everyday thanks to healing my gut, removing bad stressful situations and people from my life, lifting weights and stopping the high aadrenaline running, grounding myself daily, deep breathing daily and medication at night for a good restorative sleep.
Wellness is a multifactorial process. Many people never get there. But I watched my mums lack of self care for herself destroy her health and our family life and I never want to put my kids through what I saw so my mental health and selfcare is a priority for me and why I work so hard in my clinic to help others do the same.
Being present is just focusing on your senses, listening, smelling, seeing the everyday things around you. If thoughts come into your head while you are trying to focus, say hello to them, recognise them but say to them this is just my emotional brain chattering.. And think im not going to let this thought ruin the peaceful moment im having. The more you practice the easier it becomes, and one day like me you will just live in the moment all the time.
I wrote this on holiday, when I was listening to my kids, the birds sing, the cars, the water running, I am feeling my bottom on my sunchair, my dress against my skin, the sun on my face, the palm trees sway in the gentle breeze, the heat of the tiles beneath my feet.. You get my drift?? Here are some simple everyday things you can focus on to help you become more present. When you train your emotional brain like this, this allows your logical and human brain to takeover making you calm rational and peaceful. A really good book to buy is the human, the chimp and the computer, it really explains how the mind works.
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