Mindfulness and Depression: Things Are Looking Up
From yoga studios to cancer clinics, from preschools to college campuses, mindfulness is quite the buzz. Law schools are offering courses in mindfulness as a tool to help in mediation, and business consultants are pouncing on mindfulness as the latest surefire path to better client relationships and higher sales figures.
I find all this interest in mindfulness quite thrilling. It's fun to see people looking at ways to pay attention at work as well as at play.
Of course, most of the approaches focus squarely on meditation and its role in providing clarity in a variety of settings. The higher the stakes, the more it seems that meditation is considered the only right path to mindfulness, and the most dire circumstances seem to encourage the most brow-furrowing effort. It would appear that serious problems require serious solutions.
I beg to differ.
Sometimes the lightest approach is the one that lifts those who are in the deepest pit of despair. Those suffering from severe depression have the most to gain from mindfulness, and there is no reason to believe that meditation is the only way to get there.