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The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  3,178 ratings  ·  167 reviews
Overcome the cycle of depression by building life skills for resilience, peace, and lasting joy. Featuring guided meditations by Jon-Kabat Zinn.
Audio CD, Abridged, 4 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Sounds True (first published June 1st 2007)
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Jan 24, 2011 Jillian rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jillian by: my therapist
Shelves: nonfiction
With a heavy heart I returned this book to the library today (and requested it again!). I might need to buy it, it has so many aspects that can be returned to again and again.

My therapist recommended this book because it presents some mindful ways to deal with pain. It's much more than that though. It's effectively a roadmap for getting out of depression which I think could actually work.

It beings by explaining why we can't "think" ourselves out of depression, and trying to do so just exacerbate
I have spent years working with people who have some pretty terrible pasts to recover from, and I'm always looking for new approaches to help me help them.
There are as many books for 'self-help' as there are people with problems, and many of them are (insert your own rude word here!). I read them and imagine the reaction of my clients, who are in the middle of their own storms, to the platitudes and empty promises within.
I was delighted and surprised then to discover this book. As a strong belie
A helpful book in understanding how depression works. The book may also provide you with some useful tools in living with depression and lessening its negative effects. The book borrows many of the techniques from the practice of meditation and applies them to the witnessing and recognition of negative thoughts generated by depression. The theory is that sadness or gloominess or the various physical sensations associated with depression are not in themselves what causes depression. Depression is ...more
*Being more, doing less*

Contrary to popular belief, all the analysis and problem-solving in the world can not break us free from unhappiness. The core of this book teaches how "another mode of mind altogether is required when it comes to dealing with unhappiness....being mode is the antidote to the problems that the doing mode of mind creates."

Although it may at first seem counter-intuitive, the most effective way to deal with unpleasant thoughts, emotions, and feelings is to work with---and no
Piotr Kalinowski
I found this book truly revealing and, in a way, life changing. Even though I was already familiar with concept of mindfulness meditation, I clearly needed to read this book to connect all the dots.

As authors explain at the beginning, the first part of the book contains description of thought processes and patterns that result in people being trapped in negative self-talk and low mood. I read it in sheer amazement over how accurate it is. Seeing it written in plain English allowed me to be much
I am finding this book very helpful. I picked it up after listening to a series of podcasts called The New Psychology of depression produced by Mark Williams available from Oxford University or from iTunes for free.

Apparently there is a positive correlation between the patient's interest in a treatment and it's likelihood of success so you're best off having a listen to the podcast in which Mark Williams explains the various treatments developed to cope with depression, their relative strengths
Feb 02, 2009 Heather rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: meditators, those suffering with anxiety, depression or chronic illness
Recommended to Heather by: Amazon
Shelves: nonfiction
I decided to read this after reading " Wherever you go, There you are" by John Kabat-Zinn who is one of the coauthors of this book. I wanted a more in depth discussion of using mindfulness techniques with depression, anxiety, rumination and chronic pain. I found what I was looking for. I discovered several useful techniques to enhance my mindfulness practice and to especially help with those specific areas. I don't think mindfulness practice is a cure-all but I think that it is a very useful too ...more
Forget evidence-based medicine. Let's meditate against depression. I confess I am utterly biased against all types of meditation techniques and only read this book since it was work-related. I say "read" but I skimmed through two thirds and abandoned it because it was simply too painful to read such repetitive drivel and then listen to it on the accompanying CD as well.

I admit I am not a member of any of the target audiences for this book - I'm not depressed, nor anxious, nor do I read self-hel
The basic premise is that we (the depressed) try to use critical thinking to solve our sadness, but we end up just brooding. Rumination doesn't work--we can't problem-solve our way out of sadness. The other way to respond is to cultivate mindfulness.

"Mindfulness is the awareness that arises from paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally, to things as they are [...] It means that we suspend judgment for a time, set aside our immediate goals for the future, and take in
Sarah Delacueva
This book is a bit dry and hard to get into at times, but it was certainly helpful for me. The authors explain the what happens in the mind and how our best-intentioned attempts to reason or cheerlead our way out of a bad mood can actually contribute to our spiraling farther into it. The book includes a CD and several mindfulness exercises, which are designed to be used in different combinations to develop a long-term and personalized mindfulness practice. The book contains a number of vignettes ...more
The Mindful Way Through Depression is a well explained self help book for guiding yourself through depression using mindfulness practices and meditation. The exercises given in the book are easy to follow, although the practices themselves may be somewhat difficult. There are a lot of examples of people in given situations and their experience with mindfulness.

I gave this book four stars mainly because the examples given tended to become very repetitive. I think that because I may have a more ac
I'm a big fan of Jon Kabat-Zinn and his research into the effects of mindfulness on stress reduction. This book provides an excellent look at how mindfulness can help address the negative thought patterns that tend to spiral out of control and lead to long-term states of unhappiness. Also, the audio tracks of guided meditation on the accompanying CD are very good. I tend to be very wary of guided audio anything because I'm fairly sensitive to the sound of the narrating voice--it will be difficul ...more
First let me state that I believe the most effective treatment for my loved one is medication coupled with group and individual therapy, with that disclaimer out of the way I chose this book to read because I also believe in mindfulness. No doubt there are those who will use the techniques outlined in the book sans medication and therapy, however for my loved one that is not an option, but The Mindful Way Through Depression offers my loved one yet another tool toward healing and not suffering fr ...more
The book's title may be a little misleading. It should say "The Mindful Way through Negative Thinking". It's well written and gives guidance not just about negative thoughts and depression, but a perspective that our thoughts and feelings are not 'bad', it's how we react to, think about, and or over analyze them that gets us into trouble. The book then provides methods for becoming aware of what is going on in the present moment for exactly what is happening, not merely what we are imagining is ...more
Glen Grunau
This book represents for me an intersection of 25 years devoted to helping children and youth with anxiety and depression and a 5 year personal journey into Christian contemplative living. It also represents a compatible joining of the essence of both Buddhist and contemplative Christian traditions. The language is just different. Inspiring reading - both personally and professionally.

I have to pinch myself to realize that at this point in my counselling career, I now have a unique opportunity
I think it took years of reading similar material, but this and one other really transformed my life. Highly recommended.
This book was assigned reading for an eight week mindfulness class I took. The class and this book were my first foray into mindfulness and formal meditation practice.

The Mindful Way Through Depression has an academic feel, but explains mindfulness, formal meditation practice, and their benefits very well. They include patient experiences that were very useful to me. I could relate to these folks as I went through the program and they provided some coping methods.

Although I read this book as par
Kelly Martin
This book is changing my life. It is clearly written, a very graceful easy read. Soothing to anyone with depression or anxiety. The authors know exactly what someone with depression or anxiety needs to hear and the layout and tools are not pointless like some self help books, these tools and guidance actually really work amazingly well.

Instead of many self help books encouraging positive thinking this encourages presence, allowing the feelings and this has made me so much more compassionate tow
Robert Bacal
Aug 02, 2013 Robert Bacal rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Great SIMPLE introduction to mindfulness and meditation. The print book comes with a cd with the all important meditation exercises, the longest being about 25 minutes, while the others are much shorter.

These guys ARE the real deal, since they did a lot of the research on the positive effects of mindfulness, and they are is no talk of spirituality, as you would find in some other books (Eckhardt Tolle, for example), so it's accessible to all, regardless of beliefs.

I have been using this for some
Jul 03, 2009 Sophie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who is interested in mindfulness as a mental health program.
This book isn't exactly a quick read, but it does a great job of explaining the way in which negative thinking patterns make (and keep) people depressed, and how to overcome them. Do you ever find yourself feeling bad about feeling bad? This book explains that such an approach just creates more suffering, and it's better to accept the first bad feeling without piling more bad feelings on top of it.

For the record, I do believe in medication and therapy (and use both), but I also find mindfulness
This book is well written, well-organized, helpful, and not terribly repetitive.

Being familiar with mindfulness and meditation, a lot of these concepts were already familiar to me. And they're very helpful concepts. What was new to me is further insight into how our most valiant efforts to pull ourselves out of depression can feed the rumination cycle. Our aversion response often backfires and sends us further from where we want to be. What we resist persists.

I'm looking forward to using the i
I highly recommend this book to anyone who suffers from any kind of depression. It is written by a man who used mindfulness training to help chronic pain patients at the University of Massachusetts and published his successful results. If you aren't interested in the religious aspects of mindfulness this book is good because it only covers the process from a practical viewpoint - leaves out the buddhist dogma. I've found it to be extremely helpful. The book comes with a cd of guided exercises wh ...more
This book explained how mindfulness works and I could really relate to the kind of problems that lead to depression (such as focusing on "fixing" problems that you might have little control over, and heavy rumination). I am a very obsessive person and obsess over my problems and it's true that never helps. I only start doing better after I give up on trying to make sense of everything. I don't deal with discomfort well and tend to get very anxious and upset, so there is a lot I need to work on i ...more
An empathetic read with careful, expansive explanations of each step. No evidence is given for the effectiveness of the steps. The repetition of the themes borders on annoying for the non-depressed reader but may be useful for those with depression. (Although the book repeatedly, repeatedly states that a person with depression should not attempt the program's steps until recovered). The sprinkling of short case stories helps to break up the how-to dryness.
May 24, 2010 Margie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Margie by: Dr. B
Another reviewer mentioned that this should be titled "The Mindful Way through Negative Thinking" and I'd have to agree. I couldn't read this until I was past my latest bout with depression. And the book points out that this is so - they don't recommend reading it when you're really stuck.

Once I was able to read it, I found it very easy to put into practice. The accompanying CD is very useful.
I listened to this as an audiobook as part of an app on my iPad. I have also been practicing the Body Scan meditation for about a month now, and attempting a few of the techniques in my day-to-day life. I am really finding it helpful, not just in terms of my mental health, but in other areas of my life. I am more aware of what and how I eat. I am tuning in more often to how my body feels and my surroundings.

I have caught myself at the point of reacting and observed, allowing me a more considere
Alma Jylhä
Kun mietimme ankarasti, miten pääsisimme eroon surumielisyyden tai eristyneisyyden tunteesta, tunnemme käpertyvämme kokoon. Keskittyessään uutterasti mutta tuloksetta karkottamaan ikäviä tunteita mieli sulkeutuu. Siloin koemme koko elämän entistä kapeammin. Tunnemme olevamme ahtaalla, pääsemättömissä. Vaihtoehdot näyttävät käyvän vähiin. Laajempi mahdollisuuksien kirjo tuntuu pakenevan ulottuviltamme.
s. 52-53

Kun alakulon aktivoimat ikävät muistot, ajatukset ja tunteet ovat tunkeutuneet tajuntaan
♥ Ibrahim ♥
It is an excellent book, well-written; however, it offers no guarantee that depression would be ended by the practice of mindfulness. On the other hand, living mindfully is far better than living ruminatively. It always amazes me how much Buddhism is contributing to the advancement of modern medicine and psychology.
My doctor assigned me this reading. He says it's good for anyone who wants to practice mindfulness--people with depression, with chronic illness, stress, or all of the above (and more). I'm looking forward to acquiring it!
Drew Harvey
An absolute must for anyone struggling with anxiety or depressed feelings or bouts of unhappiness.

Comes with a cd for mindfulness practices.
Scientifically proven yet an easy read. I read this book once a year.
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How has this book assisted you? 3 46 Sep 25, 2008 04:11PM  
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J. Mark G. Williams, D Phil, is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Wellcome Principal Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. He holds a joint appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Experimental Psychology. He has held previous posts at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, the Medical Research Council Applied Psychology Unit (now Cognition and Brain Sciences U ...more
More about Mark Williams...
Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World Mindfulness: Diverse Perspectives on Its Meaning, Origins and Applications Cry of Pain: Understanding Suicide and Self-Harm Guided Meditation Practices for The Mindful Way through Depression Cognitive Psychology and Emotional Disorders

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“Get out of our heads and learn to experience the world directly, experientially, without the relentless commentary of our thoughts. We might just open ourselves up to the limitless possibilities for happiness that life has to offer us .” 12 likes
“Start living right here, in each present moment. When we stop dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, we're open to rich sources of information we've been missing out on—information that can keep us out of the downward spiral and poised for a richer life.” 7 likes
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