Mindful attention allows us to know and experience what is going on inside of us moment to moment.
With mindful attention, we can be aware of what is going on in our body, our feelings, our emotions, and our thoughts.
We can begin to make sense of them and recognize that they are always changing.
In the case of depression, we often think that it will never go away.
But this is not the case.
Everything is impermanent and mindful attention to the changeability of our depression can help alleviate our suffering.
“A mindful approach to our health is particularly effective for ‘chronic’ conditions. For example, consider depression. When people are depressed they tend to believe they are depressed all the time. Mindful attention to variability shows this is not the case, which itself is reassuring. By noticing specific moments or situations in which we feel worse or better, we can make changes in our lives. If every time I speak on the telephone to Bob I feel worthless, for example, the solution may be obvious.”
The Dalai Lama puts it this way:
“One begins identifying those factors which lead to happiness and those factors which lead to suffering. Having done this, one then sets about gradually eliminating those factors which lead to suffering and cultivating those which lead to happiness. That is the way.”
—His Holiness The Dalai Lama
By bringing mindful attention to the factors that lead to happiness, we can dispel our fears and worries about always being depressed.
How will you apply this to your practice and your daily life?