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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

10 Easy Ways To Practice Mindfulness

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10 Easy Ways To Practice Mindfulness

In this fast-moving external world, we have lost our inner connection. Every day is a struggle. Everyone is fighting for some position. You don’t have time for yourself.

You are always trying too hard to get noticed. But have you ever noticed your inner world?

You are always running after something. But have you ever taken a simple walk in your inner kingdom?

You are always frustrated after your hectic appointments. But did you schedule any internal meetings?

This is the time to answer all these questions by learning how to practice mindfulness.

1. Live in the Moment

Enjoy your present without connecting the events with your past and future. You don’t have to worry about anything because things unfold naturally.

Peel off all the insecurities and just concentrate on your work. Embrace the freshness of this moment to analyze the beauty of NOW.

Mindfulness means being aware of what is happening in the present moment.

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In order to live this moment, you have to love your job, your surroundings, and your life. Do everything with pure joy.

Stop listening to all those people who try to dilute your presence. Instead, start doing all the things you always wanted to do. Start making a wish list of all the things that are close to your heart.

2. Accept Things as They Are

It is a human tendency to wish for better things. Nobody is satisfied with their present conditions. But a mindful person doesn’t judge. By accepting things, we realize their true worth.

Things are not good or bad. We create all the mental tags.

You are blessed with unique powers. So, build up your self-confidence and don’t try to modify your true personality. Surround yourself with people who accept you and have faith in you.

Do not change things because you can’t accept them. Change only those things in which you enjoy the whole process of learning new things.

3. Use the Power of Visualization

Whenever you are feeling down, close your eyes, and visualize your aim in life.

In a matter of seconds, you will be transported to your dreamland. It is an awesome place where you can freely do all the things you dream of.

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You must take out some time for this exercise. You will definitely spend some quality time.

4. Practice Mindful Eating

Enjoy your food by chewing it properly. Chewing breaks down your food into small particles for proper digestion.

Eat food for nourishing your body only. Recognize your non-hunger triggers to break free from food cravings and compulsive overeating.

Do not upset your digestive system by eating more because this will have harmful effects on your body.

5. Start Your Day Without Any Gadgets

What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed each morning? If you check your phone, you are not alone.

Many people start their day by checking their phones. Instead of checking office emails or the notifications of your social media profiles, take out some time for meditation. If you want to learn how to practice mindfulness, you also have to learn how to meditate.

Plan out your whole day in a systematic manner. Don’t make any excuses and shift your focus towards this wonderful and productive exercise.

6. Accept Your Weak Points

Since nobody is perfect, you must accept your imperfections. If we are not fully aware of our mistakes, we may not only miss what is most significant in our lives but also fail to recognize our true potential.

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Instead of suppressing your mistakes, analyze them mindfully. A successful person learns from mistakes only.

Highlight your weak points and start working on them. If you can’t solve your problem, ask for some assistance from trustworthy people. You will not become small by asking. Share your problems with your friends and stay away from ego clashes.

It doesn’t matter if they laugh at you. Today, they are laughing at your foolishness. Tomorrow, you will smile at their innocence.

7. Take Small Steps

Design your successful road map by taking small steps. As Rome was not built in one day, your dream plan will also take some time.

You must give preference to quality over quantity. There is no need to rush into anything. Otherwise, you will spoil the essence of the whole journey.

Take small breaks from your work. Go out for a weekend trip with your friends and family. Make small targets and celebrate all small achievements.

Start staying away from all the things that will deviate you from your real path. Don’t get carried away by the lavish lifestyle of the people, and don’t waste time on ‘overnight success’ stories.

In the long run, there is no shortcut to a successful life. Always remember one thing: slow and steady wins the race.

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8. Wait Patiently

Having patience is key to learning how to practice mindfulness. Waiting at the red light, waiting for someone, or waiting in the line for something – all these examples are very common in our personal life.

The best way to tackle this problem is to shift your focus. Calm down and concentrate on the things around you. If this doesn’t work, focus on your breathing. You just have to observe your breathing pattern.

9. Free Yourself from All Distracting Thoughts

Thoughts are the temporary guest only. You are not your thoughts. So, don’t get carried away by all your disturbing thoughts.

In a state of mindfulness, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance only. You have the power to inflate or deflate their presence. You cannot stop these kinds of thoughts completely but as soon as they enter your mind, you must disconnect them from yourself.

Start writing a journal every day. Without thinking too much, jot down your true feelings. It proves to be a great stress buster. In this way, you will clear all the distracting thoughts.

10. End Your Day on a Positive Note

Before going to sleep, recollect all the sweet moments of the whole day. Appreciate all the sweet and small moments, and be thankful for everything.

Do not waste time getting irritated by stressful moments. You will get nothing in return except more stress  Instead, analyze your depressing moments of the day and look out for a positive solution.

Final Thoughts

Everyone has their own struggles, but it is up to you how you handle them. You can start with these 10 tips on how to practice mindfulness so you can live a better and healthier life.

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More Tips About Practicing Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

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Yatin Khulbe

Positivity Advocate

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Published on August 23, 2021

Why Am I Depressed If My Life Is Fine?

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Why Am I Depressed If My Life Is Fine?

If you suffer from depression or suddenly experience bouts of sadness that seem to come out of nowhere, you probably wonder why this is happening. The truth is that there are several possibilities, and you aren’t alone. According to the World Health Organization, in January of 2020, more than 264 million people were diagnosed with depression and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.[1] In this article, I will answer the question: why am I depressed if my life is fine?” I will discuss what depression is and what the possible causes of depression are. Additionally, I will offer some solutions to consider as you navigate the depression you are experiencing.

The question of why you are depressed if your life is fine is one that I can personally identify with, as I can remember a time when I went through an intense depression even though, in many ways, my life couldn’t have been much better. I was financially secure, had a good family, lived in a beautiful place, had a pretty adventurous and exciting life, but none of that could have prevented a serious and prolonged battle with depression.

Given that you are here reading this article now, you will hopefully be able to identify the problem early and get the support you need to fend off any significant depressive episodes, as this can make a huge difference in your battle with depression.

Furthermore, you don’t have to live with depression! Despite the debilitating effects of depression, with the right treatment and support, it is also one of the more “curable” mental health disorders and you can overcome it.

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, irritability, and in the worst cases, despair and suicidality.

Depression from a clinical perspective is classified into a few distinctive categories, two of the more common categories are; major depression and dysthymia. According to the DSM 5, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual—which governs the diagnosis of psychiatric and mental health disorders—major depression is classified as experiencing five or more symptoms in the same two-week period and must include a loss in pleasure as well as a depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.[2]

The criteria are:

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  • Loss of pleasure or joy
  • Intense feelings of sadness and depressed mood most of the day, almost every day
  • Difficulty sleeping or disturbed sleep
  • Change in appetite (increased or decreased appetite) and a 5% change in body weight
  • Difficulty focusing, poor concentration
  • Psychomotor agitation or slowing down
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Persistent thoughts of death, dying, and suicide

Dysthymia is an ongoing or persistent depressed mood for a period of two years where you feel sadness more days than not. It will include at least two of the following symptoms when depressed:

  • Poor appetite or overeating
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (having more sleep than usual)
  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor concentration
  • Feeling of hopelessness

The above symptoms of dysthymia can coincide with the symptoms of major depression.

Causes of Depression

Depression happens for several reasons that I categorize into three: biology, environment, and situation. Depression also tends to occur in more sensitive people, tend to overthink, and get stuck in their thoughts, which—more times than not—are negative.

Biological causes of depression are related to how your body produces neurotransmitters that impact your moods, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Some people might have a biological predisposition for depression and never experience any significant symptoms but when confronted with a challenging life situation, such as a loss or disappointment, it can send them into a tailspin of despondency and intense feelings of low and sad mood.

Depression caused by one’s environment is more about those you might have grown up with, your family, and your home environment, which could also be connected to heredity. Regardless of your biological predisposition, you learn how to handle challenges in life by observing those around you.

Adults, in particular, are role models for children and will likely deal with life in similar ways as to what they observed. For example, a child who grows up witnessing partner abuse between their parents is at increased risk of either being a victim or perpetrator of violence in an intimate relationship as an adult.[3]

Situational depression, as I mentioned above, can be seen as more of a cause-and-effect relationship. When you are confronted with a particular life challenge or change, such as job loss, geographic relocation, or family and financial stress, these situations can cause you to fall into a temporary or prolonged depression.

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In some cases, depression can be a combination of all of the above.

Examples of Causes of Depression

Below are some examples of situations that might lead you to experience a prolonged period of depression.

Grief

The loss of a loved one, especially when sudden and traumatic, can bring about intense feelings of loss and sadness, which can lead to clinical depression. This includes the death of pets.

Medical Issue or Diagnosis

Being diagnosed with a medical issue, especially if chronic and progressive, is much like any other loss you might experience. It represents the loss of a life you had. Very often, there will need to be changes made in one’s life that will not allow for a lifestyle previously enjoyed.

A Feeling of Failure or Perceived Shortcomings

As I mentioned, people who experience depression tend to be sensitive and self-critical. You might be struggling with not getting a job promotion or failing to progress in the way you imagined for yourself, but this doesn’t mean that you are not progressing in some other way.

Sudden Life Change

Changes—even good changes and welcomed changes—are hard. Sometimes, these changes can have an impact on your role and status in society like marriage or parenthood, which are both wonderful changes yet fraught with many challenges and new social roles.

Feeling Trapped or With Limited Options

Having options is both a blessing and a curse. We know that the more options we have, the less happy we are and the more anxious we might tend to feel, wanting and needing to make the right decision. However, on the flip side, the idea that you don’t have any options can also lead to feeling trapped and feeling that your life circumstances are already written in stone.

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Burnout

Job stress, being overworked and underpaid, or the lack of fulfillment in your profession can lead to depression, which might also coincide with the feeling of being trapped and feeling as though you don’t have many options in your life and career.

What Can You Do If You Experience Depression?

It may sometimes feel as though, out of nowhere, that you are hit with depression, and this is true for many people who have a biologically based depression. However, I would argue that whenever there is something like depression or anxiety—which are defense mechanisms—there is something in your life that is not 100% congruent with who you are and where your life is at or going.

This essentially means that it’s time to take a step back and reassess a few things in life. It doesn’t mean that you will be able to wright the ship entirely. However, you might be able to make some small changes that will help you feel more in control of your life and the direction that you are going in.

1. Consider Therapy

Therapy will help you take stock and think about what is happening in your life and where you might be able to make some changes. Needless to say, you will also have the support you need to embark on making those changes. It could also be a chance to identify what it is in your life that is causing the depression. A therapist can also help you connect to other supports that might help you as you work through this period in your life.

2. Group Support Network

Processing hurt and pain through the group experience is a powerful method of connecting with yourself and others who might be experiencing similar challenges. Part of the value of group experience is knowing that you are not alone and that you have support not just from professionals but also from other people just like you.

3. Self Assessment

Self-assessment involves assessing where you are in your life in relation to your life goals, your relationships, and the direction that you are headed. Maybe it is time to make a pivot and change course, which could be a very scary thing. Bringing this kind of information to therapy will be very valuable and will assist you in the therapeutic process.

4. Take Some Time Off

Taking some time off will be and can be helpful in many ways. If you are experiencing burnout, this will give you more time for self-care and help you give yourself a break. Moreover, taking a time off gives you more time to do some of the things I described above in therapy, group work, and self-assessment.

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5. Are You Bored?

Sometimes, when we lack stimulation or work in a job for which we are overqualified, we might find ourselves feeling underutilized and as if we are not meeting our potential. This would, hopefully, come out in a self-assessment and could indicate the need to make a change in your work life.

Depression and Suicide

Depression is a serious mental health disorder. Thirty to seventy percent of deaths by suicide are attributed to major depression or bipolar disorder.[4] If you or someone you love is experiencing depression and expresses thoughts or statements about death and suicide, consult with your medical professional or mental health counselor. People who receive treatment for depression have an 80 to 90% rate of success from therapy and/or medication.

Suffice to say, if you get the treatment you need for depression, your chances of recovering skyrocket. Again, as I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to live with depression. Get the right treatment,[5] and you can have a whole new lease on life.

Final Thoughts

Depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by feelings of sadness for a long period of time. Many people throughout their lives will experience some depression in varying degrees. If you notice that what you are experiencing resembles any of what I have described above, please know that you can make changes and you can live a life free of depression. Getting help, support, and treatment is essential to addressing the depression or changes in your life that might need to be considered.

More Tips on Coping With Depression

Featured photo credit: Paola Chaaya via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The World Health Organization: Depression
[2] NCBI: The DSM-5: Classification and Criteria Changes
[3] OASH: Office on women’s Health: Effects of domestic violence on children
[4] Mental Health America: Suicide
[5] Upside Down Flan: The Best Treatment for Depression

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