More help via mindfulness, this time for elementary school kids in Watts:
Mindfulness has been found beneficial for stress reduction, anxiety and depression, dietary challenges, addiction recovery, and many other conditions. Now it has found its way into a classroom where children as young as three are using its techniques to manage emotions and stay calm.
Using a strategy called Calm Classroom, Los Angles students, ranging from transitional kindergartners to fifth graders, are being guided by teachers three times during the school day through three-minute mindfulness exercises. The drills call on students to refocus their attention on deep breathing, relaxation, and body awareness.
Haven’t tried it? For some free, short, guided meditations, check out UCLA’S Mindful Awareness Research Center.
From the Recommended Reading page, a couple of titles worth highlighting: The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety and The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Depression, a matching pair of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) workbooks.
Instead of trying to take on and eliminate difficult thoughts and feelings, ACT encourages accepting them and getting on with what’s most important to you. Identifying what’s most important to you is a big component of the approach.
For a reading-free sample of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, try one of the audio exercises linked here. A whole sidebar full of free ACT audio and worksheets awaits at Live Mindfully.
A history, from Scientific American:
[Season’s of a Man’s Life author] Levinson felt that midlife crises were actually more common than not and appeared like clockwork between the ages of 40 to 45. For Levinson, such crises were characterized primarily by a stark, painful “de-illusionment” process stemming from the individual’s unavoidable comparison between his youthful dreams and his sobering present reality. For most men, life moves so swiftly that, by the time you look back at what’s happened, you realize you’ve already suffered an irreparable loss of chance and opportunity. This life review causes depression, anxiety, and “manic flight,” a sort of desperate, now-or-never fumbling to experience the pleasures one has long denied oneself and an escape from stagnation.
Go Easy on Yourself, a New Wave of Research Urges (NYT):
[R]esearch suggests that giving ourselves a break and accepting our imperfections may be the first step toward better health. People who score high on tests of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety, and tend to be happier and more optimistic. Preliminary data suggest that self-compassion can even influence how much we eat and may help some people lose weight.
A unsurprising study says that where you live affects your mood.
“One of the things we tried to assess was essentially community support — to what extent people in that neighborhood turned to others for child care, other forms of assistance — and whether they socialize and know each other. And it’s clear that in these negative neighborhoods there’s this inverse relationship in terms of their various problems and lack of strong ties.”
False negatives in assessing depression occur with the outgoing and bubbly, a study says.
“When a person who has enjoyed socializing and whose mood normally is positive becomes depressed, friends and family often don’t recognize it. Depression is inconsistent with the expectations that people have…”
An infopage from the New York Times all about depression. Symptoms, causes, treatment.
Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods. True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for an extended period of time…
The NYT’s Health Guide index is here.
CFAH: In Cyber Bullying, Depression Hits Victims Hardest
Young victims of electronic or cyber bullying – which occurs online or by cell phone – are more likely to suffer from depression than their tormentors are, a new study finds. Traditional bullying, the kind that occurs in the school building or face-to-face, is different. Victims and bully-victims – those who both dish it out and take it – are more likely to suffer from depression than are those who are bullies, but not victims.
Science Daily: Addressing Negative Thoughts Most Effective in Fighting Loneliness
[T]he four interventions that helped people break the cycle of negative thoughts about self-worth and how people perceive them were the most effective at reducing loneliness. Studies that used cognitive-behavioral therapy, a technique also used for treating depression, eating disorders and other problems, were found to be particularly effective.