Combat anxiety, depression with this 8-week mindfulness program

The Medical City

Posted at Jul 16 2019 06:16 PM

We’re all about fitness nowadays – signing up for gym memberships, trying out new workouts available, eating cleaner, piling ourselves with good stuff, clocking in sufficient hours of sleep at night, and so on. 

But the trend isn’t solely focused on the physical. If anything, wellness is undoubtedly on a steady rise, too – and for a reason. A healthy mind equates to better living, where one carries a more positive mindset and purposeful movement.

And with awareness on mental health thriving in modern times, people are more open to discuss this once-shut down topic. 

One may be suffering from endless anxious thoughts, or a loved one is currently experiencing depression. Or you yourself are stressed keeping up with the fast-paced life. So we try to cope with different wellness methods and a tweak on our present lifestyle.

One way to combat ill feelings is what we call mindfulness. 

A popular approach in achieving wellness, mindfulness is more than just what we assume as simply a meditation technique. It is a form of attention that we cultivate within ourselves and attending to the present moment with purposefulness and a non-judgmental attitude, as Dr. Jannel Cleto from The Medical City’s Center for Behavioral Health describes.

"The present moment is very important because our minds are usually in the future, and a lot of thinking about the future can develop anxiety. There's fear of what will happen, a want to control things, or an avoidance of the difficult. Meanwhile, the feeling of being stuck in the past causes a lot of regret and what-ifs, thus one developing depression as well. So being more aware of the present moment can, hopefully, help you feel more alive," she said. 

Putting your focus on the 'now' prevents what she calls 'living in the head,' and highly improves your perspective and quality of life.

Of course, bad days are inevitable. We're all too familiar with life's wheel, and low moments can take a toll and brings out the worst in us. That's why The Medical City launched a new program that advocates mindfulness in daily living and supports mental wellness. The Center for Behavioral Health now offers the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), facilitated by Cleto and Dr. Shynney Munar. 

The program is a combination of mindfulness, which focuses on shifting the relationship to experience using the body, (sensations, breath), emotions and thoughts, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, which identifies thought content (and the meaning ascribed) contributing to suffering. 

It utilizes learning through stabilizing attention, enhancing observation, increasing openness and receptivity and improving awareness or insight to present moment experience. The result? An increase in self-regulation, prevention of relapse, enhancement of mood, and decreased anxiety.

But MBCT does not only cater to those with mental health conditions. It’s also open for people just seeking wellness, as the module’s activities are perfect in combating stress. 

"Many are also attracted to it just because of wellness. Some have already acquainted with mindfulness and would want to learn more about it to be more adept with meditation practices, while some are aware of the cognitive-behavioral and want to develop a different relationship with how they think and feel," Cleto said. 

She said the main goal is to develop the capacity to be more compassionate with oneself.

The 8-session program includes formal meditation practices, such as sitting meditation, mindfulness of breath, body scan, and mindful movement. 

Also expect to take home practices, as well as a half-day retreat in the later part of the course. The first batch of sessions for MBCT participants is ongoing, and The Medical City will soon open slots for the next batch later this year.

Welcome a more mindful point of view with The Medical City’s Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Program. 

For more information, you may call TMC Center for Behavioral Health at 988-1000/988-7000 ext. 6135/6132 or email [email protected] .

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