Mindfulness Online Therapy for Anxiety and Depression


Over the past several decades, research on
mindfulness has had a major impact on the treatment of depression and anxiety. One of
the pioneers of this research is Jon Kabat-Zinn, whose classic book, Full Catastrophe Living,
which I read 15 years ago, changed my life and the way I do therapy. I no longer see
myself as a “psychotherapist” but rather as a teacher and coach, and what I teach is mindfulness.
In this video, I will explain how mindfulness decreases depression and anxiety while improving
self-care, stress management, and emotional regulation. Most of my clients who are struggling with
depression and anxiety live in their thoughts. They chronically ruminate in specific patterns
of thinking, such as feeling hopeless, being hard on themselves, or expecting something
terrible to happen. Yet, if they could step back and see the bigger picture, they would
realize that the vast majority of the moments in their lives are OK or even good, but they
do not know how to efficiently find that bigger picture, which is why I teach them mindfulness. For example, you might be walking in a park
on a beautiful spring day, but you’re unable to experience the beauty around you – the
fragrant honeysuckles, singing birds, caressing breeze, and puffy white clouds. Why? Because
your mind is ruminating on the cancer you fear will kill you one day even though your
doctor says you’re in excellent health. So, you continue walking through the park, safe
and sound, yet on the verge of a panic attack because your ruminating mind has hijacked
your attention from the here and now and transported it into a self-created world of catastrophe. Here is a simple truth: No matter how good
things are in the present moment, if you obsessively focus on the scary stories in your mind, then
you’ll develop an anxiety disorder, and if you constantly ruminate about what a horrible
failure you are or how hopeless your life is, then you’ll become depressed. So, why do some of us suffer from such depressing
and scary patterns of thinking? Well, most likely we acquired them in childhood from
growing up in a painfully dysfunctional or tragic environment, such as alcoholism at
home, bullying at school, or even living with a seriously ill parent. For example, if you grew up in the chaos of
family alcoholism, then most likely your immature brain interpreted your father’s abuse as meaning
you were bad, and the constant chaos as meaning life is just one disaster after another, filling
you with shame and fear that became your lower brain’s automatic thinking that fueled depression
and anxiety. Of course, those upsetting emotions were natural reactions in childhood because
you were trapped in a depressing and scary environment. However, these same patterns
of thinking can continue fueling your depression and anxiety, particularly during times of
stress, for years or even decades after you’ve escaped childhood dysfunction and established
your own safe environment because they’re so well ingrained in your brain and so automatically
triggered in certain situations. So, how can mindfulness help? To answer this
question, we must understand the difference between our mindful brain and our lizard brain.
Our highly evolved, mindful brain resides behind our forehead, sees things as they really
are in the here and now, and has the remarkable ability to observe itself. Our ancient lizard
brain, however, sits above our spinal cord, is stuck in the past, is knee-jerk reactive,
and operates on automatic pilot according to simple stimulus and response, and is always
on the lookout for threats based on past pain. Thus, when we operate from our mindful brain,
we are using the full power of our astonishing human brain to help navigate life’s challenges,
but when we operate from our lizard brain, well, we are not much smarter than an iguana. Thus,
when the alarm bells go off, our lizard n has no ability to step back and ask, “Is this
a real threat or a false alarm?” However, our mindful brain has that ability, if we
know how to find it, which then brings the full power of thousands of years of human
evolution to the challenges of the present moment. So, to summarize: Anxiety and depression are
programmed into your lizard brain, so when they’re triggered, you become lost in a part
of your brain that is not much smarter than an iguana. So, by learning to operate from
your mindful brain, which can be difficult during stressful times, you can bring the
most powerful part of your brain to the challenges of depression, anxiety, and other problems
of life. The difference between operating from your mindful brain or lizard brain is
like the difference between using a scientific calculator or your fingers to solve a complicated
math problem. So, by learning mindfulness, you can learn to use all of your brain to
cope with depression and anxiety. If you found this video helpful, please click
the Thumbs Up button. And if you want to hear more from me, then subscribe to my channel,
Counselor Carl. I will be publishing a new video every other weekend. And if you’d like
help in learning to bring mindfulness to your depression and anxiety, then visit my website,
serenityonlinetherapy.com, to learn more about me and the services I provide. Thank you for watching this video, and keep
paying attention to your life. Until next time.

10 comments

  1. Anyone know what is Atoractove Secrets about? I hear most people end
    their social anxiety safelywith Atoractove Secrets (just google search
    it).

  2. Colleen M.

    I have learned and understood more about my problems, than ever before, by watching your online therapy clips.
    They are informative and extremely helpful. I am looking forward to the counseling, I realize I need. Thank you.

  3. i am 11 and I just overheard my step mom and my dad talking mean about me and I am just pouring down tears it's like they don't even notice and I live in my room and they don't wanna even try and check on me I have many other depression causes but you probably don't wanna beat them so bye

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published