Mindfulness, Anxiety, Depression, Addiction and Healing

Mindfulness is a powerful practice for addressing depression, anxiety, and addiction, and inviting healing.

Mindfulness is paying attention to your thoughts, feelings and actions while reserving judgment. With anxiety and depression, the feelings are often frightening and sad. These feelings basically hurt. Addictions of all sorts are ways to find some pleasure despite the pain. Addictive pleasures often lead to more pain, anxiety, depression and other problems.

Mindfulness is most helpful when accompanied by a positive self-image. That can be a matter of faith. To develop faith in yourself, have faith in basic goodness. That is the belief that everybody is basically good despite their struggles. If you can believe that everybody is basically good, then it is not so hard to imagine that you are also basically good. Once you believe that you are basically good, then the painful thoughts and feelings that tell you that you are something worse than good will stand out as wrong. When you believe in your basic goodness and you feel painful feelings, you can recognize those feelings as painful feelings and not mistake them for a reflection of your abilities and worth.

Anxiety, depression and addiction are all related. Anxiety is the constant pressure that keeps you feeling off balance. Depression is the long term experience of negative feelings. Addiction is a generally harmful behavior that feeds the feelings of anxiety and depression. With mindfulness, you pay attention to all of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Then you can notice how they feed into each other and lead to joy and suffering. Developing a positive self-image will help the healing process and it will improve your ability to seek and accept help with your healing.

To practice mindfulness with anxiety or addictions, notice the feeling and story of your anxiety whenever it occurs. Notice your addictive behaviors whenever they occur. Do not judge what you observe and don’t judge yourself as you remember your basic goodness. Seek help and accept help when you find it. Offer help when you can.

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