Mindfulness can be a powerful key in reducing depressive and anxious thoughts and feelings

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 5:38 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The COVID pandemic has forced any already existing mental health crisis to the forefront. And because resources for improving our mental health are limited -- like going to the gym and being social overall, there’s something you can practice in the comfort of your own home, or any time for that matter, that has shown many benefits to mental health.

Dr. Brian Weiland, a psychologist at Behavioral Health Clinic in Wausau, joined NewsChannel 7 at 4′s Deep Bench on Monday. He said mindfulness is about becoming an observer in the moment.

“When you think about what is going on in your brain at any given moment, it’s probably just a lot of thoughts and a lot of feelings. So the practice of mindfulness is allowing those thoughts and feelings to come and go in your awareness and outside your awareness, but just focusing on this moment,” Dr. Weiland explained. “How is your body reacting to the environment around it? Mindfulness is really about being right here.”

He added that there’s been plenty of research over the past several decades that backs up the benefits of mindfulness to mental health.

“Worries and fears and depressive thoughts.. a lot of times they’re about the past or the future, and rarely are those things about right here in this moment.”

Dr. Weiland said practicing mindfulness is a preventative step for your mental health, much like going to the gym is a preventative step for your physical health.

“If we practice mindfulness, over time, there’s actually studies that show that the activation in the emotional centers of the brain get less, so you’re a lot less emotional and reactive.”

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