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Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, my experience

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posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 02:57 PM
Wasn't sure where to put this, but since it has become my new philosophy here it goes.

A couple months ago I started an 8-week course in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), after being recommended by someone who had also done it.

Cognitive methods can include educating the participant about depression.[2] Mindfulness and mindfulness meditation, focus on becoming aware of all incoming thoughts and feelings and accepting them, but not attaching or reacting to them.[3] Like CBT, MBCT functions on the theory that when individuals who have historically had depression become distressed, they return to automatic cognitive processes that can trigger a depressive episode.[4] The goal of MBCT is to interrupt these automatic processes and teach the participants to focus less on reacting to incoming stimuli, and instead accepting and observing them without judgment.[4] This mindfulness practice allows the participant to notice when automatic processes are occurring and to alter their reaction to be more of a reflection.

This particular course is designed for coping with depression, but in the same schools there are also: Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and Addiction Recovery (MBAR). Taken from the programs designed by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

This is nothing new, I know, mindfulness and meditation have been around since the dawn of Man, or maybe since Man first became stressed and depressed, I guess.
But I had been practicing meditation for quite a while, and always had been conscious of my mind's depressive and stressed patterns.
But with no guidance it can be difficult to actually pinpoint and focus on what is the cause of the depression or stress, or when they start brooding in the mind, which is always very personal and unique.

The trick in this way of living is not to attach yourself to a particular outcome, be it being too hopeful that this is the miracle solution to all problems, or equally, going into it thinking "here, another therapy, after all the wasted time/money spent on the previous ones".

The exercises given each week, mostly consist in body scanning meditations, mindfulness of breathing, mindfulness of thought, and homework such as writing down positive and negative events, no matter how small or insignificant, and how they made us feel and how we reacted.
Thats it.
Nothing one really has to do or achieve in a "if you dont do this assignement by next week you dont get the grade" kind of way.
I mean yes, one has to be persistent in finding the time for a regular meditation or mindfulness practice at least once a day, from 10 to 40 min a day. But the whole idea is not to let it become a burden, and just do it for the sake of it.

The changes have been so subtle, but today when I thought about how I felt just a couple months ago, I realised I havent been in a depressive mood nor have I let myself be overcome by stress or anxiety in quite a while. Which is quite a biggie for me.
I also feel much more relaxed and natural when with others, and don't let stressful situations bother me that much.
It's only a small step, I still have some way to go. Now with the course over, I need to keep in mind to be mindful when the first signs of negative patterns arise, but it has become so much easier.

I find it encouraging that these kind of 'complementary' therapies are finding their way into mainstream medicine, and there's a growing acceptance among the medical community that healing the mind is just as important to heal the body as medication is.

Anyways, I'm not trying to promote this particular school, just wanted to share my experience.
The gist of it, for others like me, who feel stressed out or wallowing in self pity when trying to get better and constantly failing, is to let go of the attachment to your mood and self pity, and just notice it.
Notice the thoughts, notice the feelings, let them go.


(If you've done something similar or want to share your mindfulness based story please do so!)

posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 03:23 PM
a reply to: athousandlives

Glad you found something positive in the practice.

However it sounds like a rip off of ZEN Buddhism....perhaps Jon Kabat-ZINN knew what he was doing when he designed the program.

I have been a practitioner of one flavor of mediation, spiritual practice, guru inspired BS trying to find my "Path" for many years; trying to get a handle on my addictions and accompanying depression.

Eventually I designed my own mystical therapy...I call it

Mindfully riding my bicycle trying not to get creamed or running over someone else. It really works! I'm thinking the physical exercise might be a strong component to my method.

posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 03:55 PM
a reply to: olaru12

Haha, thanks for the reply, it's true, the best thing is to make you own path.

I'm not implying that mr. zinn is my newfound guru, actually I should have precised that in the post, I have long abandoned the pursuit of a predetermined spiritual doctrine or religion.
I just appreciate when I find some kind of external help which I can incorporate into my spiritual path. This happened to be one of them.

Jon kabat zinn surely knows he's not inventing anything by the way, and it's specifically said so in the courses and in the one book of his I read. He's simply translating what he's learned through his studies, like have countless other westerners who have studied zen, buddhism, and other eastern philosophies.
I'm also quite into Alan Watts lately.

The problem with having anyone wanting to pass on what they have learned about life or spirituality, is that automatically someone else is gonna come along and proclaim them gurus, messiahs, or just money grabbing crooks.
I guess that is the way things will always be.

edit on 13/11/14 by athousandlives because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 04:17 PM
Liked your post. I've been experimenting with it a bit myself and a phrase that keeps coming back to me is, " contentment through acceptance." Works wonders.

posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 09:35 PM
Long walks. Sex. Exercise...push ups, pull ups, sit ups. Beating the crap out of a heavy bag. Painting. Playing a guitar or harmonica.
These are few techniques that help me obtain a state of mindfulness.

posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 11:16 PM

originally posted by: skunkape23
Long walks. Sex. Exercise...push ups, pull ups, sit ups. Beating the crap out of a heavy bag. Painting. Playing a guitar or harmonica.
These are few techniques that help me obtain a state of mindfulness.

So here we are o n ATS, sitting at our computers talking about physical exercise.....typical I suppose...

posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 11:30 PM

originally posted by: olaru12

originally posted by: skunkape23
Long walks. Sex. Exercise...push ups, pull ups, sit ups. Beating the crap out of a heavy bag. Painting. Playing a guitar or harmonica.
These are few techniques that help me obtain a state of mindfulness.

So here we are o n ATS, sitting at our computers talking about physical exercise.....typical I suppose...

Any challenge accepted if you are calling me weak.
I'm chirping in here when I get a break or can't sleep.
I am in fine physical condition.
Sitting in front of computer doesn't instantly turn one into a flabby nerd.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 12:17 AM
Thanks for posting this. I've dabbled in it to help with my anxiety.... And it did help. But I didn't stick with it.

I will check this out and try to delve back into it. goodness knows I need some help regulating my issues!

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 07:44 AM
I think this sort of therapy is great if you can get into the correct "headspace" to practice it. However, many depressed people are in a situation where it's almost impossible to attempt such exercises.

But, I definitely think this sort of thing should be promoted before a doctor simply puts someone on medication. But, as I said, if you are so far down the depression road you might not be able to do it without a little help from meds first.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 09:05 AM
a reply to: Buttercup79

When I was first turned onto cognitive therapy the doctor told me that medication would likely help, and that was fine, but I needed to learn coping mechanisms so that when I went off the medication I would be able to handle things. She was a huge proponent of alternative therapy, not here's a pill for that". I am very appreciative to have found someone that sees the value of putting my outcome into my hands, and not the pockets of big pharma.

That being said, I see nothing wrong with taking medication, and believe that if that is what someone needs to be better, good for them!

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 09:38 AM
a reply to: athousandlives
Thank you for sharing your experience. It is amazing how life changes when one takes a step back and is aware of the thoughts and feelings as they arise. The cause of depression and anxiety is not realizing what thought is or not even realizing that thought is happening and how it effects our way of being.
If there is thought happening and it is not watched, it tends to just chat away to itself (as though there is at least two people in there) - there is conflict as there is more than one and this dis-ease makes the body contract. Once thought is being observed arising (it is seen to be happening) it tends to slow down because you have found that you are the watcher, the witness of thought. You are no longer arguing or conflicting with yourself because you recognize yourself as the One seeing and knowing all that arises as it arises.
It is as if you have stepped outside of the mind (thoughts/feelings/emotions) and are free of it. Thoughts, feelings and emotions will continue to arise but you do not identify with what they are saying so they pass on by.

I would like to share this video.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 02:01 PM
a reply to: Buttercup79

Of course in some extreme cases medication needs to be administered, although personally I'd prefer to be given something natural rather than pills concocted in a lab by a pharmaceutical company. Nature offers everything we need for our ailments.

About getting in the correct headspace, what I've learned from my experience and others', the constant pursuit of the right time or the right frame of mind will always get in the way for the actual healing to happen.
The whole idea of these practices is that the Time is now, you are not what the mind thinks you were in the past, present or what you might become in the future, just notice what the mind is saying and accept it peacefully. I think that no matter how low one finds himself, things can start to change, one small step at a time, with patience.
Of course it all depends on the individual and on how ready he is to start letting go.

posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 02:31 PM
a reply to: Itisnowagain

Thanks for the vid
nailed it to how I used to feel.
Yes exactly! Most of us tend to just let ourselves drown by the constant flow of thoughts, thinking that that is all there is. And all it takes is a little step back... and start watching the river, rather than being pushed by it.
So annoyingly simple, really.

posted on Nov, 15 2014 @ 04:27 AM

originally posted by: athousandlives
So annoyingly simple, really.

Yes, I think it is because it is so simple that it is missed.
Have you heard about Eckhart Tolle? He was full of anxiety and depression for many years and was having suicidal thoughts - he 'heard' the thought 'I cannot live with myself any longer' and realized that there seemed to be two - 'I' cannot live 'with myself' and thought that was odd. The next day he awoke with no anxiety or depression - the world changed and he spent years trying to understand what had happened.
He had transcended thought - thought was noticed. Thought can be a great source of entertainment when one is not lost in it.
If one is lost in thought one does not know where they are - past thoughts, future thoughts, thoughts of other places and people can lead one astray but when finds oneself here and now always with ever changing scenery life feels much lighter.

I once was lost but now am found was blind but now I see.
edit on 15-11-2014 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 15 2014 @ 06:07 AM
Thanks, Im going to try this.

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