Mindfulness is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a way to prevent depression in people who have had 3 or more bouts of depression in the past.
It’s easy to fall into an endless loop of unhappy and depressed thinking. The more depressed we become the more destructive the thinking becomes, which in turn can lead to even deeper depression. The cycle can be relentless and absolutely exhausting. When I was depressed I could sleep 12 hours and still be so exhausted I couldn’t get out of bed. And this is quite common when you are plagued by an incessant loop of repetitive anxious and depressing thoughts. It’s utterly exhausting psychologically emotionally and spiritually
Mindfulness helps you create some quiet space in your mind and to break this thinking cycle, so with practice you can let go of the thoughts driving your depression. It’s not a quick fix and depression can take a while to lift, but if you practice there’s a good chance you can find your way out of the darkness.
The scientific evidence now is significant – take a look at the Harvard research video
Did you know that Mindfulness isn't just about dealing with stress? Mindfulness actually rewires your brain. Scientists have discovered that by practising mindfulness you can extinguish unhelpful synaptic connections and increase your grey matter and create new connections in new areas of the brain. Scientists call this neuroplasticity, your brain is not fixed it is ever-changing and you can consciously change your brain and take control of how your mind works. ... Mindfulness actually goes way beyond what research has discovered but here's what is known so far.Mindfulness increases the grey matter in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a structure located deep inside the forehead, behind the brain’s frontal lobe. The ACC is associated with self-regulation, meaning the ability to purposefully direct attention and behaviour, suppress inappropriate knee-jerk responses, and switch strategies flexibly. Mindfulness develops an area of the brain associated with emotions and emotional regulation. It doesn't stop you feeling emotions, but gives you the mental space to deal with them in a healthy way, it won't protect you from the up's and down and the challenges of life but it will develop areas of the brain so that you can deal with them effectively and make clear choices rather than being prone to reaction. In addition to self-regulation, the ACC is associated with learning from past experience to support optimal decision-making. Scientists point out that the ACC may be particularly important in the face of uncertain and fast-changing conditions These findings are just the beginning of the story. Neuroscientists have also shown that practising mindfulness affects brain areas related to perception, body awareness, pain tolerance, emotion regulation, introspection, complex thinking, insight, emotional intelligence and our sense of self. In short, Mindfulness makes you resilient, helps you overcome negative emotions, deal with stress, helps you to override dysfunctional thinking patterns; Mindfulness helps you to make clear rational decisions and puts you back in control of your life, whatever it throws at you..