Understanding the mental processes which create mood disorders.

Understanding the mental processes which create mood disorders.

Comments Off on Understanding the mental processes which create mood disorders.

Psych Central

For more than a decade, researchers have known that all major psychological disorders — including depression, anxiety and even schizophrenia — are associated with an excessive tendency to rumination. When faced with depressive or anxious urges, your mind often goes into overdrive by becoming excessively engrossed in thoughts.

When faced with depressive or anxious urges, your mind resorts to engrossive thinking. For instance, a nervous public speaker’s mind is caught up in its racing thoughts rather than paying full attention to his audience. This tendency to become engrossed in thoughts rather than your surroundings is called inward-directed mental attention.

Occurrence of engrossive thinking could be for a few moments (as in social anxiety) or for extended periods (as in depressive brooding).

Frequently directing mental attention outward can help you to overcome the tendency to become engrossed in thoughts. An externally-directed mind is less susceptible and less influenced by the anxious and depressive urges generated in your brain. The simplest and the most effective way to direct your mental attention outward is to deliberately direct your visual attention at the surroundings.

The act of deliberately looking at your surroundings, even if for only a short time, is enough to significantly reduce the engrossing nature of your thinking. When you do so, the subjective intensity and the perceived importance of anxious and depressive thoughts will seem drastically diminished. This will make it easy for you to disengage from these anxious and depressive thought processes.

Performing this technique daily will train your mind to become more externally directed in the long term. Constant practice can cure depression, OCD and other anxiety disorders.

To apply this technique, all that you have to do is deliberately look at the external world frequently throughout the day and especially during times of psychological distress. (“External world? refers to your surroundings.)

Firstly, this guy is far too excited about this technique and has significantly over-simplified it. It’s NOT going to cure anxiety or any other mood disorder — yet it still is very much worth paying attention to.

We were never meant to live in a self created inner world and training your brain to see other people, to notice your world, to find passions to engage in, to care about the hearts of others and even to simply practice mindfulness of every other part of you then your inner planet can be a significant contributor to a much more balanced and healthy inner world.

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