Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Where I started when I wanted to face my depression

The resources I found helpful-

1. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 8 Week Course
The short story is that it is an introduction to meditation class. It was developed Jon Kabat-Zinn for use in hospitals and is completely secular (not Buddhist or Hindu or any kind of spiritual).

It's hard and you spend the first two weeks feeling the little toe on your right foot and focusing on your breathing but if you pay the money you will go and you will be with other people thinking "oh god, not the body scan meditation again." And the teacher will ask "and how did returning to your breath feel ?" about 10 times and make you keep talking until some epiphany comes flying out of your mouth.

Just like anything else in life, you will get out of it what you put in. But I promise you, you will get something out of it. I'm not sure what exactly but something worth the time invested. Google the eight week course in your area. I went to New Mindful Life in San Diego.

Look up the instructors and see if they have any youtube videos. Choose the one whose voice you like the most because you end up listening to it a lot. And it blows if their voice is annoying.

2. Book List:

10% Happier by Dan Harris- A true skeptics tale of meditation

The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook For Depression by Kirk Strosahl and Patricia Robinson

The Mindful Way Through Depression by Mark Williams- You can read it for free here: http://site.henizaiyiqi.com/Public/Js/ueditor/attached1/20140828/14092407041265.pdf

There's More to Life Than This by Theresa Caputo- When you are ready to get spiritual, listen to the Long Island Medium. She's strongly catholic and there's a lot of "out there" concepts like guardian angels, guides, reincarnation, spirit and energy, intuition and signs. But I found it comforting. Especially the concept of a soul circle where you can have several lives with the same souls and that your struggles are part of lessons you agreed to learn or impart before your soul entered a body.

Unstuck, Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression by James Gordon

3. Look up and download the app called "Breathe". It's actually called Stop, Breathe, and Think. It's free and has 6 minute "feel good" meditations, or, at least, meditations that I think are way easier than mindfulness meditation. It's my favorite of like 10 meditation apps I've tried.

4. Start talking about it. When I got comfortable talking about my depression and anxiety I was shocked at how many of my friends experienced the same or even worse. And the more I just laid it out there, the easier it became. And the easier it became, the less I felt like I had to apologize for my depression. Most of those I told were supportive and even those that weren't as understanding (particularly the older generations), I didn't take it personally. I decided it wasn't my job to make them understand. They didn't have to live in my head all day, every day.

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