Mindfulness: Scientific Evidence For Solving Depression [Research]
What is the scientific evidence for the effects of mindfulness? In this article you will learn how mindfulness has a scientifically proven effect on depression. Read along…
Mindfulness is the alternative to years of antidepressant treatments. That is the result of doctoral research from 2016. At the moment 5% of western people suffer from severe depression, according to figures from the Brain Foundation. This chronic condition can therefore be treated with daily applicable mindfulness and attention exercises .
Mindfulness scientifically proven: the research on depression
Joël van Aalderen (1982) carried out the PhD research at the Psychiatry department of Radboud UMC, within the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences (RIHS) research institute . He treated 205 patients weekly with two and a half hour sessions of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for eight weeks.
Before this study, it was only thought that mindfulness would only work against relapse in people who had already cured their depression. In his research, Van Aalderen discovered that mindfulness practitioners who are in the middle of a depressive disorder experience just as much effect from mindfulness as practitioners who no longer have a current disorder.
This is because patients with current depression experienced an equally large decrease in worry complaints and depressive symptoms compared to patients without current depression.
This is how you bring the results of this mindfulness research into your life
The research zoomed in on large parts of the 8-week MBSR curriculum. If you look up and follow this curriculum, you can test it for yourself.
By following such a program you can learn to feel , acknowledge, express and accept negative thoughts and emotions completely . Then a miracle takes place: you have created space! You no longer suppress or avoid these feelings.
Those feelings are basically energy. And sooner or later that energy will have to flow through. If you don’t do this consciously, it will surface in all kinds of unwanted, unconscious ways. This can lead to physical ailments, but also to depression .
The ‘spiritual’ angle: Mindfulness is all about the here and now
It’s actually very simple, and it seems pretty obvious at first sight, but mindfulness meditations are performed in the present moment in which you live. The here and now . In fact, you can only do things in ‘the now’. Solving a depression and becoming happy again is therefore only possible now. You can only be mindful in the now!
Here, in the present moment, is a gigantic source of life energy and joy. So there is no process in which you work towards healing and fulfillment in the future. That healing and joy of life can be achieved by taking away the sense of time. You think you will find salvation in the future, but only ‘now’ can you find salvation and really do something.
Life is now. Suffering takes time and therefore cannot survive in the present. You can always deal with the now, but you can never deal with the future or the past, and you don’t even have to. All the resources you need are already within you and they are accessible through the present moment.
How exactly? Pay attention to all your actions
So, during mindfulness exercises you are going to perform your actions one by one with full attention to that one action that you are performing in the present moment. Do you resist what is there and deny it now? Then you create tension and dissatisfaction.
Suffering is often self-created and unnecessary. Suffering is always a form of non-acceptance, resistance to ‘being’ and resistance to the now. It’s judgment and negativity. Don’t worry about the fruits of what you do. If you act based on your awareness in the moment, everything you do will radiate quality, care and love. The result will then come naturally. Presence and attention is the key to freedom.