“Here are some of the practices and changes that have helped my mind shift its orientation toward depression. Each of these led to a deeper awareness and ability to refocus my mind on healing.
- Writing: Writing is all about mental focus and staying with feeling. Working on this blog has had a big impact. As I learned after starting it, writing itself is a recognized form of therapy. Recalling specific incidents in detail and finding the words to describe them has helped to disempower their hold on my feelings. It has also helped me get more control over attention and reduce the distractions of anxiety.
- Purpose: In addition to the effect of writing itself, I formed a new sense of purpose as I got more deeply into the online community. Communicating with others who live with depression and learning from them has given me a sense of working on something that goes beyond my own needs. It enhances the sense of direction.
- Mindfulness: I practiced mindfulness through meditation and other ways of sharpening awareness of immediate experience. Stopping the worries about past failures and future goals helped me to get some distance from depression as well. At times, I lost awareness of the illness altogether and felt an inner balance and sense of well-being.
- Thinking: I learned cognitive therapy techniques on my own, and they’ve helped a great deal in canceling out negative thinking and looking at myself in a more balanced, realistic way. Above all, these skills have helped me spot the moment when my mind can make a choice about how it reacts to any experience. That opening gives me the chance to avoid depressive thinking.
- Taking Charge: Perhaps the central change in attitude was waking up to the need to define an overall approach to healing and recovery. It meant taking responsibility for recovery rather than waiting for medical approaches to make me well again.”
By permission of author – John Folk-Williams, storiedmind.com