« Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

#303: Depression and Anxiety: Your Old Enemies, Your Best Friends| Zindel Segal

2020-11-25

Winter is coming. Not to get all Game of Thrones on you, but... while there are some optimistic signs on the horizon in the form of vaccines, it looks like we could be heading into some dark months of rising caseloads and restrictions on our lifestyle. Consequently, we are launching a 2-part series to help you ride this out. Next week, we will talk to happiness researcher Laurie Santos (host of the Happiness Lab podcast). Today, my guest today is Zindel Segal, a clinical psychologist from the University of Toronto and a pioneer in developing and studying ways to use mindfulness for depression and anxiety. While not all of us will experience clinical depression or anxiety in the coming months, we may well experience significant doses of sadness and worry. In this conversation, we talk about: what the science shows about the benefits of meditation for depression and anxiety; the importance of establishing and maintaining routines as a form of antidepressant; the differences between depression and anxiety; and how to treat depression like an old friend.

Where to find Zindel Segal online:

Website: https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/psych/person/zindel-segal

Twitter: https://twitter.com/zindelsegal

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Zindel-Segal-955303284518859/

Book Mentioned:

Lost Connections by Johann Hari: https://thelostconnections.com

2020 has been a doozy, so this year we’re offering Ten Percent Happier subscriptions at a 40% discount. Get this deal before it ends on December 1st by going to www.tenpercent.com/november.

Take Part in the New Year’s Series

To submit a question or share a reflection dial 646-883-8326 and leave us a voicemail. If you’re outside the United States, you can email us a voice memo file in mp3 format to listener@tenpercent.com. The deadline for submissions is Monday December 7th.

Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/zindel-segal-303

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For maybe see. This is the ten percent happier podcast Harris Higgins before we get started one item of business, twenty twenty, as we all know, has been, let's just say interesting, so this year were offering ten percent happier subscriptions Eddie forty said discount. We don't do discounts of this size all the time. Of course nothing is permanent. I think the Buddha said something about that, nothing, being permanent, so get this deal before it ends on December. First, By going to ten percent dot com, Slash November that's ten percent! One word all spelled out dot com, Slash November for forty percent off your subscription to the ten percent happier app One more item of business, and it is an invitation for you to participate in the show for New year's. We hear at ten percent are gonna
do a whole series of episodes where we say goodbye to the dumpster fire of twenty twenty and kick off twenty twenty one. By taking or intuitive approach to the whole new year. New. You narrative, which strongly implies that you have to completely reinvent yourself that line of thinking is off, based on shame and self loathing. Our line of thinking is that perhaps we can flip the script a little bit. We're gonna be exploring the science based case for the rather cheesy notion of self love and then we're gonna take the crucial next step of helping you operational lies there idea in your life. Obviously there are a whole lot of questions you might have like. If you love yourself, will you slide into sloppy resignation, You do self love, anyway, is just an empty platitude, etcetera, etcetera. Hence this invitation. We would love to hear from you and we will answer your car
during the new year's series right here on this podcast, so to submit a question or simply to share your reflections dial us at six hundred and forty six, eight hundred and eighty three, eight hundred and thirty, two six thousand six hundred and forty six, eight thousand eight hundred and thirty, eight three hundred and twenty six and leave us a voicemail. The deadline for submissions is Monday December. Seventh, if you're outside the United States, we've put details in the show notes on how to submit a via and alternate method to be clear. Alongside the special podcast series, we're gonna be launching around new year's were also doing and ears The station challenge on the ten percent happier Abso feel free to ask us lots of meditation questions as well right business concluded, let's get to today's episode winter. My friends is come
not not to get all game of thrones on your ear. But while there are some optimistic size on the horizon in the form of vaccines, it looks like we could be heading into some dark See here where we see rising case loads and restrictions on our lifestyle. So launching a two part serious today to help you ride this thing out next week, we're gonna talk to happiness, researcher, lorry Santos who's, the host of the really popular happiness lab podcast. Today, my guess is Indoors Siegel, whose a clinical psychology, from the University of Toronto and a pioneer in developing and studying ways to use meditation unmindfulness for depression. Adding eighty, while not all of us, will experience clinical depression or anxiety in the coming months. Many if not most of us will probably experience significant doses of either sadness or worry or both So in this conversation, we talk about what the science shows about the benefits of meditation for depression and anxiety.
Importance of establishing and maintaining your routines as a form of antidepressant the differences between depression and anxiety, which I had never really heard parsed as well as he does, and how to treat depression, and this is counter intuitive. How to treat depression like an old friend so here we go into a single zenda hello. Thank for doing this to be with you. I appreciate it. I'm curious by way of background. How did you get interested you personally in using my fulness in meditation for depression, my way into it was a little different them. A lot of the narrative that you hear of people who are not working prominent in this field a lot of people, I think, feel like. they had a very personal nature, its formative experience, which led them to want to
advocate more fully or more vocally for mindfulness in meditation, but my way in came through soda following my empirical knows and as such while recognising that mindfulness meditation, can be a very direct, a reliable way of helping people encounter in practice state of mind that can be entirely antithetical to the places where the pressure and anxiety and other kinds of mental health challenges automatically take their minds this is something that I saw that sometimes happens in psychotherapy. People can develop a way of getting a little bit distance, a number of patients from the kinds of things they say to themselves. The current believed that they have about themselves the waste which they see themselves in their self worth. But happen consistently and depended on current affairs that you were in caught a carriage you received and when we
this work, the fair to shield itself, was sort of in a state of flux, with conflict between more traditional forms of treatment and new reforms of treatment that protocol her. Then the vote was evidence and seven didn't seem to me like. I was gonna, be sure fire way of helping people to develop better cognitive abilities to watch the contents of their minds and yet mindfulness. meditation, is sort of a part exactly about how to do that, but not just saving it for negative thinking or judgmental ways of to solve its about doing it for every possible moment did we can counter the resistance when you first started talking about bringing my fulness into the picture. Their resistance serve in a war. A career suicide and general no start of antipathy to choosy, The years of you know things
were popular in the sixties. Being used with vulnerable populations are never initially having a meeting with one of the psychiatrists who is at the researchers. Will that I worked out, and he was sitting in front of me behind this massive walnut beautifully filigreed a desk Any fly on this research article across the desk at me and said you know he redressing the really influence your paper, that suggested for anti depressants to be continued three years after people who had the Prussian had recovered in order to keep them well, almost like a kind of insulin model of frog and he's got diabetes, we gotta keep taking it for a long time to protect yourself in The arguments made with anti depressants and the house, I'm gonna, convinced or even sort of ask someone like this to consider the possibility that the same patients could benefit from learning. My for this time,
to preventing relapse and oppression, and really the only leverage I had in my colleagues had was to provide evidence that the practice from his crew really impact these harder outcomes of people living for longer if you follow them without relaxing than if you dont teaching this or she before antidepressant. Then you take it away, you give him a placebo. You compare them to folks who have been trained in practising Michael Estate. Survive longer. Then the folks honourable C4, when it wasn't just our work, that it was the rapid, creation of this work. The country's crossing them of other labs and with more and more people but I think, eventually got people to pay attention to the proposition which I think in the early nineties was seen a somewhat her local or unusual a best. So key workers through what the data show. What kind of evidence have you been able to provide
sure. We were able to show that I think an issue in your strategy was life. Is there anything here at all like if you develop a treatment for people that have recovered from the oppression and the idea is You ve gotten better, but you still at risk. You mean, we feel in a lot of symptoms, of depression, you're, negative thinking, more here. Judgments may not be super intense, but there still is a way in which a small setback Some small said: moods could end up taking you back into it and that's really. What you want to guard against there were a lot of ways for people to learn to maneuver and manage small setbacks if they were vulnerable. So first thing we did was to see if we just compare people who were in recovery even usual care, and if we added to Saint Weak Programme, my father's based caught her therapy to their usual care, and we follow for a year we found it,
the people they had her usual care and myself as common therapy, ended up having about thirty five percent lower. relax those who just had usual care and so did that we replicate it at the first was the three sides study Toronto, whales and Cambridge in the UK And under the subsequent application in the UK, with a smaller study, so now it said that there is a signal here and known, couldn't stay definitively, that it's the mindfulness meditation peace, but we could say that folks are doing better. If they take me skills on borders, they practices skills. If they more sessions, the next thing that was instrumental was comparing it against the standard of care at a time in which it still continues to be anti depressants And so, when we tested against anti depressants, we found that we did just as well as people who were maintain on an anti depressants for eighteen months. for two years compared to peace.
Were taken off antidepressant. and receive embassy to answer that was really important. We never really set out to be better than anti depressants or get involving sort of polarized arguments about no we're good or bad or whatever. But there's something people, for whom anti depressants really are no longer an option once they were covered even was, recovery nominating oppressing people, something have a sunset burden that really tough to tolerate women who are present our are very Lillian of continuing on anti depressants, even if they had passed depression episode. sometimes anti depressants themselves, lose their potency Sunday technical axis, waiting for while they worked for a while. Now, all of a sudden, the server stop working is enough. People out there who are solid risk, they need some kind of protection. So embassy t really, I think,
was able to show that there is enough territory for all of these different treatments to well and also there for people who can continue in an anti depressants or something else it provides equal protection. Is it either or, though, is it possible that my less and meditation would work well in concert with antidepressants I'm a bit of a reactionary decision. People are the pushing me to say now like to stick sums depressed who started the city right away. I really think that's really been shown in any convincing way, so my senses that very one way of doing it is the sequence, he's different forms of care so that you can help get better on an antidepressant. Then you do something only different by and into a myspace cover. Thirty class tell them stay well, I think
wireless internet will be familiar with em bs are, which was founded by John Cabot's. In has been on this show several times my fulness base stress reduction, which is Johns insight was buddhist meditation can be really helpful, but it's hard to introduce into medical setting, because its religious- and there are many- Physical clams and religious lingo associated with it. So he came up with something called mindfulness based stress reduction, which with just a revolutionary move and because he was a replica, or protocol out scientists research what it did to participants. So you guys came up with an b c b, T every seat, rare embassy, to your guess, so my from this base, cognitive behavioral therapy, will see walkers through what that is so loafers. Better cover, thirty basically started in dialogue with job and go
to tell them jobs, classes and some of the senior teachers at the center? For my fathers who were teaching my fullest, they stress production, and we were interested in leading John and talking about this, because we felt like the mind from this element was really important- the kind of general panacea for people, but because my phone, was a very direct route to training the meadow cognitive capacities that we thought were the antidote for many people with depend. better cognitive, just means being able to decide to sit back and watch your thinking without identifying with it. Only two Jones vision in some ways was evolutionary. I would also say it was subversive in the sense that you know you and participate in teaching people has stressed reduction protocol. Did you not also be teaching people doorman, other things that use? You might have interesting attachment to women.
True teaching people down there wasn't why we got into it, but we do think that there is a very important way at this. Could reliably delivered a folks, the capacity to watch and observe metal contents that were helpful in not being looked into what about parents had her triggered by the pressure for us, the barrier was really getting a view of meditation and mindful of that was compatible with what we have is our pre exist, framework
we're coming into obvious are already have no barriers to connecting with the limitation and the conclave aspects of the work. And then I think these two strands really dovetail very nicely as a way of just helping people deliver to themselves the capacity for care that was kinder and very different from what might be achieved just through your psychotherapy alone, because the capacities the get opened up to the practice of right from the start of a lot more about. but it was Sunday IBM reflecting back at my own nontrivial amount of psychotherapy, one of the things move, one of the things that happened with a good their business, they will reflect backing do your own thought patterns rights? Are there
taking on the role of mindfulness and what you're teaching people to do in this programme is to kind of be their own therapist. And yet you say it more vast, I think you're right. I think one of the things that important is what you said with a good therapists working with a good service, I think, generally therapies do try to provide people with a capacity to stand back and Watch their experience from a different vantage point than being fully identify with The trouble is, there's no direct training for how to do that So whether you're watching yourself be critic, Poland Judgmental or whether reading an orange for Saint morning with mindfulness, both of those moments providing with an opportunity to watch to immerse yourself and sensations and where slowing down time and building the capacity to develop this day centred quality,
that can really serve you when you're a moment of conflict. I think the therapy what's missing is that the practice is really good for moments of conflict what's the training foreign just the everyday, where conflict may not be ever present, but you still want to be close to your experience and connect with more fully I think that was the real appeal to us for mindful it's like these people who have recovered from the pressures that are at risk in practice, every single day, the silver they might need if one day someone rejects them, if one day someone custom off and traffic, if one day they do something really wrong and start a beacon, us up over it. You know it'll be available to the commission, are able to practise it, really keep it fresh inaccessible. Did you have meditation practice going into this. You know I have a couple of things going into it that I cast off when I was young. I one point
and was initiated at TM practice For a little while slipped away from it when it became a burnt, no disrespect contain but when it started to sell sort of extraordinary powers relating to what you can do for you like additional trainings levitation that kind of stuff, I didn't believe that stuff any longer. Second, following one point, I was getting these little bottles for a member part, California and Brown paper wrappers, which Although I was an adolescent, they weren't pornography from Sweden, but they were This thing called concur, which was called the size. The sole travel talked about existence on these different planes, Astral plan. I checked it out for a while I didn't travelling before it. In a lot of frequent flyer, pointed soul travel it. So I slipped away from them. Well, so I had that lets say when I was eighteen, nineteen, twenty twenty one, twenty two and then
sent away from her until No, I guess what they forties when we went and started to work. this common therapy, initially my view of my fill us with something akin to relaxation training. Where There was something that I can give people a cassette recording away hears us every corner. Jorgensen doing you know life on us. tell me what you find when you come back. My first pilot herbs really were me doing that and then finding out very quickly that I really ran out of runway to talk to people about how this could help them regulate difficult emotions, difficult and so was always from my own practice. A line from us which I started, a new have kept up ever says that I could thumb really understand the stuff from the inside. Have you suffered from depression in Europe? This is a personal issue for you.
I don't know for sure from depression, I think probably a moral news. I respect him, but the people in my family pass offered from depression. Some close within that. Why? What is that? what's between depression and anxiety, and how often are they serve cold, morbid or co occurring. If you think about the kind of my states that depression triggers verses, warning sign chairs, you can think of them. Dichotomy, softly ass state of mind that relate to loss and self judgment. Critical self judgment is characterizing, depression and threats, then catastrophe is characterizing anxiety and then you get into circles where one can feed the other, and things can really sort of elaborate themselves into a place of being very, very overwhelming.
in terms of comparability, sometimes depression, guess treated and some of their results Oh symptoms that are left out, it seems that relate to anxiety and can show up in terms of insomnia other ways in which people have physical concerns, even under that say appetite and sleep have been, restored to some extent, and then I think that some of the anxiety disorders, chronic anxiety disorders Tom, if people find it they're functionality, their ability to conquer around the world is really severely restricted. They can start to become very depressed and certainly agree that as well, so there are interlinked that they can also be very distinctive fish or in some other carpal signs in his NBC t. Does it work for anxieties? Well, It does it does, and part of that is it because it's very rare to have,
who only has that they may have on the diagnosis of depression enough. In that sense, I notice that required to come into our studies that if they have a diagnosis of depression and secondary diagnosis of, say, social inside your generalised anxiety disorders, they wouldn't be left out of our studies, and so when we look back at me, he was not. These folks had been there. They do equally well in one of the reasons for that that, I think, is because there are these underlying processes that actually tied oppression and exciting together in certain ways- and I think that's what's been touched by the mindfulness practice, which is something like learning: how to relate differently termination. Turning out a really differently, to worry and catastrophize ation those things around underneath all kinds of disorders- and even you know for all of us to show up from time to time, and it's trying to find a way of developing a different relationship. To that
Yeah I mean there's some you, it seems to me- and I am not in any- but his mind on the planet. But it seems to me that there is some universality here, because you described some of the hallmarks of debris. And at some of the hallmarks of anxiety- and it's just sounded like an average Tuesday. For me, and I don't know that I am in I've had but I've been in clinical. I think I've reached clinic Depression and anxiety of sharp points in my life, but I dont think of their right now, so I would imagine that we all deal with gradations of these yeah. I mean this is the big debate right now. This happening in psychology It's a kind of psychiatry. Psychology Mixed martial arts contest because psychiatry. There is this belief of discreet illness, syndromes, so look at depression. They see, you know everything. Feel. So everyone can feel like days. Our struggle,
but not everyone has sleep. That's disordered where the waking up before and I can't go back to sleep. Not everyone is losing ten pounds, knowledge and eating out. Everyone is turning down social engagements because they just don't you like they want to be with other people and say. While there are some people like, if you're business in your about to launch and open a new store and your boss is asking you to like you got to work four days in a row and we got to work at night. You might have some of the symptoms if all the symptoms, can you for a minimum of two weeks, your mouth, then they would say or indifferent territory, and so the clinical parliament depression isn't just the symptoms. It see persistence and the apparent that comes for like not being able to recover. If you stay up three nights in Iraq is your car For example, you can get to sleep the fourth light, but if it's twenty nights in a row you probably into different territory
and in psychology there's right now, I'm effort to really talk more about dimensions. so everyone who said that some people are further along a continuum of sadness and they are arguing against these sort of nature. He no cutting nature its joints into the street syndromes insane around these dimensions. Some of us have more than some of us have less of it, but I think that people that I've seen really candlesticks amplifying the present disorders are really really suffering in a way that is very difficult for them to turn around. So what is I guess? Apparently mistaken? We called it m b c B. T mobile spaced cognitive, Beira therapy. You'd, like me to my fellows, based cognitive therapy, what is cognitive therapy is different from cognitive Beira therapy. What are we talking about here and how is what
would learn in NBC T different from what you would learn and if you downloaded a meditation happened, started meditating that way related to this Second question first was, I think, that's more interesting problem when you learn anything really different our teaching my promises by exposure, to learn. My first came initially from the work, the chair in Salzburg, unjust, ghosting, put out, which is a fundamental, We're gonna came was about eight cassette. Tape, strives to listen to. And I was just a personal mindfulness meditation. I think the wrinkled as different here is that. the practice of mindfulness in and of itself in OECD is then used as a way to investigate the press of states Tat people become increasingly familiar with so the aversion and many people have with our own disorder. Is
confront elements of it and to develop different relationship to be Fred aspects of their sufferer. My fullest provides them with way of crowning, the mine stabilizing them and then allowing them to reproach almost like you're pushing of little bruising your to feel how bad it is- you don't push to hard- can arrange yourself. But you can approach a certain degree of. unpleasantness, and then you learn a different relationship where ten, so embassy ts teaching people by these are the states of mind that character depression resided these in the thought that come up in people's might even have a exercise that has people imagine that they're kind of making parading playlist for spot a fight with their most popular negative thoughts, which of the fact that you personally playlist, which would be number which number to be number three to waive approaching.
Holding some of these thoughts with a different relationship then aversion nor just pushing them away and there's a wonderful quote from a Billy Collins poem that are, you I'm imagining Novelli Collins, he used to be a permanent right of the. U S and he wrote this poem call Insomnia or he writes about his struggles, which insomnia and one point and saw me my own worst enemy, my old friend, and it's really that attitude of recognised thing. The pervasiveness and capacity for wait and ship the phenomena of depression or anxiety that we try to teach
That comes out of the ability to use the space created by Thomas Practice to us on these elements in and what people are able to develop a different relationship to them. They ve got away more options to choose how to react when those things are. Even if there are men and c b t v, to see tee, not much of a difference. I think city has, moreover, focus on identifying thoughts of people have internal looking for evidence to support your doesnt support. Those thoughts gathering evidence conducting surf experiments, making predictions does predictions you're not see BT is adding behavioral element where you're doing things to expose yourself too. Fearful situations you're doing things to purposely
engaged in activities that are pleasurable, even though you might not anticipate that they would be so its color nuance, yeah after I had when I started working with the Tec address where, after having had some panic attacks, we did a little bit of that. You don't try to expose me two things that would give me panic to meet. You get back to you said a moment ago The befriending of these did. You know that it's my old friend and some new did you get a lot of pushed back from people who say, click this insomnia or this anxiety, or this sadness has been dog and me my whole life. I do not want a befriend it. What is the point? The earth for sure you get people saying that, because insisting some possible and the other actions like why the hell whenever want. I want to get rid of the stuff, and so there is the possibility that is being off
two people, another solution like every self help us all, but I get rid of conflicts and problems onto that kind of stuff. she also, I think, have in their implicit promise of eliminating negative aspect for seriously scarcely reducing its intensity. and I think the purchaser mindfulness there's a different alternatives that can be explored, which is too approached something without a strategy of fixing it, but approached with a strategy of investigating and learning that through that investigation, there are elements of it that are entirely undervalued and unconsidered based on what people think about it in advance, any that discrepancy between the actual moment to moment, experiential learning and the mind is forecasting. What things are. There is a tremendous option for things.
to be, and even to feel liberated from the mine always telling you that the Mai has what's that I know it's a move, also limited. Let me give you an example: someone someone with anxiety, for example, no the ministers, I don't really want to drive. My car is busy highway because is really dangerous and I'm not going to drive a car, get anxious, look in heart of investigating that anxiety with some as their driving might be to say. Can you give me a reading of how anxious you feel for a year or two hundred hundred being worshipping- the least anxious and people can knows that their anxiety, Gaza, There are many times when there are ninety tonnes on her and eighty. Maybe there are seventy jumped back up to ninety There's this movement even inside a static idea of exile, there are these moments of movement of flocks and change there.
Hardly experiential reality what's happening, But the mines ossifies that into an idea of my anxiety, will be here and I'm going to be no locked down by and I can't do any amongst those really encourages people to step inside the moments of the experience to notice that flux and change, and there is that discrepancy what the mind is telling use actually going on in your ability to actually experiencing quite differently inside, now whether that eating an ice cream, whether that dealing with a moment of being frightened by something were responding to a dinner, tells you about something happening is negative to you that I think, is really the opposite point inside the practice of mine from a step,
allows people to learn differently from me? There was a huge shift in my own practice between investigation, which I did in a journalistic clinical way of my when patterns etc etc. Would you know Andrew had arrived and I would look it shown up my body, etc, etc, and friendliness now that with a huge shift because- and I have said this before- but I like it so say it again. There is this notion of slave the dragon in western myth, actually hugging. The dragon is a much more effective form of disarming seeing you can do a cognitive lay like oh yeah, this self critical voice that is and just bring in me love since sentience is actually trying to protect me, not so skilful,
Will that actually can bring me to a state of friendliness, and I have found that that approach is a much more effective way. Then feeding at fighting it or even just sort of investigating it. But with some sort of subtle, often unseen aversion. Nord detachment in their the full on friendliness, move has been really helpful. To me is any of that makes us you yeah. I think that this, the Billy calls for my own worst enemy, my oldest friend his party. What you really describing is how the ability to investigate can be done in a cold. Way. I caught a clinical, noting. Oh here's take us in my chest, oh here's throbbing in my forehead, but here's hardware. and you're, like you're just cut of taking off. things are less, but the real way of bringing
Curiosity also has embedded in a kindness so that as he sees fit, show up in your body, has also kindness to the person was experiencing this. And your investigating a lot to try to get rid of them. I go if I pay enough attention to the players in my chest: it'll go away what happens is that it? Actually, I think, possible communication that you are actually bigger, that is bigger than the tightness in the chest that is bigger than the throbbing in, providing an intentional space in which these things can exist. But they're, not all of you and when people do who experienced some of these very difficult. Sensations are frightening thoughts. They feel like that's, really all that there is in front of them and they really need a double down and get rid of this or its content destructive so being able to have a larger attention, a field in which you can watch the rising arresting the passing through the mind of these things.
Suggests reminders, larger and not defined by any one of them in that, very, very, very helpful because is watching the movement that gives you a different place to stand when these things sharp and then you can choose what you want to do much more. My conversation with and a single right after this staying informed has never been more important. Information is coming in us faster than ever. So how do you make sensible start here? I'm bread milky from ABC News, and every week days we will break down the latest headlines in just twenty minutes. Straightforward reporting, dynamic. Mc interviews and analysis from experts. You can trust, always credible, always solid start here from ABC News. Twenty minutes, every we get smart speaker or your favorite podcast app. Just to go back to them.
You said a while ago about we're trying by this apparently controversial notion that anxiety, depression may exist along a spectrum. Uniform, don't qualify as clinically depressed your clinically anxious. We may have depressed thoughts or states of passing state of mind or anxious thought, so dankness days, even we are now in the middle of a pandemic and winter is setting in, and I would imagine that these are all anxiety, depression again, whether were clinical or not, and whether that even matters or not we're all a rinsing, I would imagine some tastes of both of these states. So what advice you have for us, as we enter this potentially difficult period of Human history yeah, I think everyone's
feeling a shared burden is not local. It's not nationalists international, and I think with that comes the casting about for solutions, everything for some food, It was a little bit easier to try and find a way of dealing in coping with the pandemic because it started in the spring and it went from spring to summer to fall. People had more options at that point too, Do things outdoors and to be with people in a way or at least to see people were not going to have a lot of that in them. And her as we have done go down, and temperatures really cold and there's a lot less available to us. So I will say, is if you have retains that served here. Be aware of how increase
feelings of worry, increasing feelings, assize increasing shillings and disconnection may begin to persuade her to let go of your retains dynamic. Those routine seem puny compared to the troubles in the world troubles in your neighborhood. They may make those thirteen seam in, but in fact, the lot of those cars and ways of relating to your retains the things that have been helpful to yours which had been able to show yourself kindness or connects you kindness to other people, are the very things that I think we need to hold onto. and so recognising that some of these narratives around needing morning. The friend and maybe the anger or other ways in which those reasons We can show up if they start to chip away at routines, sometimes could be more of an effect or side of moves, rather than something that's no, truly inadequate about the routines that you have been follow.
Just speaking for myself, my routines around exercised meditation increasingly routines well random. both nature and making sure engineer some sort of social connection in listen or not. Those routines have really been helpful for me. Throughout this whole disaster,. And usually the that come to allow us to give up or to consider giving up their retains their fuelled by a kind of estimation that they won't make it
friends for that situation is much more grave than any routines can undo. What I think of fatigue of going through the same old routine said. I wish for something there friend and something a little bit more vigorous, but with all kinds of restrictions in place both do whether and may be due to the need to control infection rates. Sometimes those routines thing that we can do what about social connection? We had a gentleman on the show an eighteen months ago, His name is Johan. Hurry he's journalists to you, wrote a book called lost connections and his thesis if I'll try to reproduce it, and I apologise to Johann if a missing it but there seems to be a consensus, he's arguing that a big part of why were seeing so much depression globally. Is that were undermining face to face
Oh sure, connection, meaningful relationship. You agree with that and, whilst our that you agree with that, I think I know his work. I think I've seen them already. Parts of his book where he's actually talking about depression is as being curable through enhanced, has institutional assistance for software connection and not necessarily for medication, for other forms of therapy rolled out on a kind of massive national scale. You know, I think that there, is a way in which has probably gonna be helpful to anyone but as a national depression treatment initiative. I think there are people who have a lot of others random to care for them and that are connected to but that there are certain brain regions and other parts of their physiology that are really locked into cycles that sometimes can just be held by you know people around her or people willing to listen to people willing to
Supportive diamond interesting position cause? I haven't read his book, but I have sat interviewed him when I did interview him. He made a pretty clear that he's not against antidepressants he's against their will. Reuse of them and thinks that often were missing the social. Connection piece which could help a lot of people? I don't know if he uses the word cure, It depends on how you also see the social connection saturation social media. On the one hand, things like Facebook and other social media apps allow people to be connected to more individuals in abroad network. but as the people that also suggested it's a different type of social interaction, and is it a proxy for the kinds of social interactions a we used to have? Does it take the place of having you know socially distance dinner with friends or something like that?
other kinds of social connections that are more enhancing then does that mean face to face in person verses, online So I don't know. Nice is not something that I've really given demonstrate. Two, although I know that there are a lot of people who, when they have a problem with the pressure, is already of the first places they go to to social disconnection as we we into these dark winter months, made more dark by their appears to be perhaps a period of sort of decreased option when it comes to movement and social icing. Do you think it would be important for our mental health for us to find ways to connect with other people, safely and if so, what would you recommend? I think that actually imperative ago, I used to go to other classes honour on Sunday, more eggs, and so what I ve done is
I now watch other classes on Youtube and take myself through downstairs with the heat or next to me, to try to stimulate more warm environment. And I could see that is like up your facsimile to anything else have experience of the past, but at the same time I'm not gonna. Let that go away for a person to start up again. I think that's really the challenge for us to stay connected in this way, so that one way of doing that, I think you there. doing it is via the video conferencing platforms are available that everyone is using for work too. Can use some for social meeting people staying connected. The other people that I know who have a weekly standing meeting with parents who might be living in another continent could have done that in December parents who still live in the same place, but the only started doing adjourn pandemic
because somehow it's like a well. This is a good way of staying connected, because now we need to. So I think these are things that ought to be continued and support. It. In terms of an anti the present. Let me make a pitch for something and see what you then, I'm using antidepressants thy lay way here, I'm not talking about medication, though I have nothing against medication I have found in and again you can tell me from off base year, but I found regularly investing in getting outside to be extremely helpful. But my imagining that. no you're, not imagining it. There's really go down evidence. Actually, if you look, What might seem trivial cases, networks for your instinct that you spot on A number of studies show of people spend time outside that they show increases in Recognition recall memory.
but there's something that enhances their ability to see cells from a wider perspective like their embedded in something? That's not just themselves, not just your head, and sometimes I can loosen the group, very entrenched static views of the cell for the eager have on us. By giving us an experience, all senses, spaciousness tat can be very hard to create through, that's right. Yes, and then you have these other benefits, like, I think, even going for nature. Walks in and of themselves, has been shown to have some antidepressant benefits. Now I think part of it is because it's just like in the practice of mindfulness, you start to see the self as much bigger than what concepts and ideas or euro narrative about self is an detaching, it will, experience actually carried with you forever, but when you ve ever known, is there to be a plugged into back again.
it's interesting, I'm taking you. You may have said this earlier, but I'm only met. Maybe it's only now really hitting me belatedly, but. There seems to be a real self centered near to depression, and I mean it certainly interpolating back to my own experiences of depression, which started pretty young it. Certainly that rings true for me and this mindfulness, which allows you to cut a step into view. self in a little bit in a different way, where you're not so caught up in all of the terrible ideas you know, the voice in your head is serving up it, kind of shaves down the solidity and all encompassing nature of the ego. That's that right, you once again spot I'm glad I like gold stars. Thank you I mean you definitely trendy
the reason that I think what you think is really important. Is that. so much of what the mine does when people are depressed. Is that self becomes a problem to solve the domain to fix people are continually reminded of their imperfections ways in which not worthy waste oil shock at enough ways in which they made mistakes, and so much of rumination there's a kind of motion. Inflected Saul of ways of fixing the self- and you know where she could just do this. He be okay. If you can just get this thing to gear, you can just go so there is purposefulness and problem solving perspective that we take on board in a kind of a vain hope that if we can cut off get these things sorted will be ok and learn from this offers. This entirely different perspective, which is you can work, at having an experience for its own intrinsic sake And now at how they experience will serve self service, like your team
himself out of the equation and you're just now The thing throbbing in your leg, for what it is, and then what's in work and the next moment, and what's it like in the next morning, and what's it like in the next and started, noticing, quality start noticing, movements, donors, intensity, self is in part of the equation. So here you have these two different ways of enhancing self reference, which use a certain brains, are now much more midline front, all and very well tuned to an end, her and then we might for this using brain networks that are a little bit more at the back of the brain, where you're just dealing with sensation in your kind of looking at a flow of sensory import self, part of that. That works as these networks in the back start to forward to the networks of the front and then sell, starts to make sense of these things. So
yeah and depression and anxiety to a man. I think self is a big parliament as well in terms of protection and threaten all of that. I'll, lay out another sort of technique. That's been helpful for me in terms of dealing with. The various slings and arrows that revolving suffering through- and I say this in part because now one another gold star, but in part also because I think we might actually be helpful for people in a really judge with everything else we ve been discussing here. I don't know if you're familiar with the work of Christian Neff psychologist, to talk a lot about self passion self compassion. So she has a three step sort of free range. You you can do this sort of you know in the middle of everyday life, when you noticed something coming up. That's painful! Since you get this
step exercise and I'm going to add a step which will gibe with what we have just been discussing about the self. The first three steps, if one is just a notice that this is a moment of suffering. I often like to use the phrase this sucks, so in our work faster reflective, surface notice that I've got a whole story about how bad I look never step one. This sucks step to Caen to the fact that you are not alone, that this is at this very There are untold millions of people who are having the same thought pattern that this is you're, not you know the victim of some serve bespoken lunacy. The third is to send yourselves and friendliness which we ve been talking about before witches serve hugging. The dragon, may I be, may be free from suffering. Maybe you some some of the phrases from loving kindness, meditation or compassion meditation. So those are her three steps. I would add a fourth which I think,
Which I've been doing lately and I think, really jobs with what we ve been talking about? The self which is this is nature. These thoughts that coming up that feel like so me, they feel like vintage. Sudan are just nature. I did not ask for them. They are the result of sort of beginning lists, causes and conditions. from the culture from my family from whatever then you're just you're really out of being trapped in this sector, and seeing if, from a much more with so much more helpful perspective in it, isn't dissimilar to the kind of perspective you can get from nature walk Ah a w e can set in, and you seem like your part of a bigger system that sells greater need for you to be able to bring yourself to that more extended view of it.
moment is really it's: it's been off for me, so throw that out there in the spirit of things that maybe we can all try as we had into what could be an even more difficult period Are you willing to try something a little bit different from that, but equally aimed at the same moment the exploration always bring it on. so this is called the three million breathing space and It's just so interesting because I don't know. I want to do anything about it, I want to just drop into it and then maybe we can try to take a look at what the crest enough before his practices compared to this great sir, Let's just take that moment, if you can even bring the mind a moment where you just passed by a reflective surface and you just like the spot popped into your head, if that's, where we are he's up, is it possible not hard to conjure, Laura within reach? Ok, so
We had a closing your eyes if you feel comfortable and just taking a second to feel the body sitting in the chair settling in. If you needed for just a few seconds, then in the first step of the breathing space. Seeing if you can look into the mind and just ask yourself what saucer hear what feelings are present but bodily sensations are making themselves known for a so. I thought about seeing your reflection and the other emotions Sensations come along with that, just holding them watching them from one moment to the next, but leading to change or alter them in any way.
And now, seeing if you can let go of the contents of the mind, bringing your attention to a single point of focus on the breath of the belly and feeling the belly rises, you breathe in feeling the belly fall, as you breathe that had just killing the mind is one thing to do saying: with a focus on the breath, the gentle rhythm of rising and falling moment to moment Empress by breath. And never see if you can expand your attention around them, around the press
your attention, irradiate, outwards into the whole body and feeling the whole body sitting and feeling the whole body breathing from the crowd of your head to the tipps of your toes one breath and one hole by if you're willing, even allowing the tension to move beyond the body to feeling the air caressing, the body or the clothes lying on the body, or even sealing the space of the room itself. That you're sitting in holding all of this is best you, Canada, a liner, were open awareness.
And then, when you re just allowing us to up, did you notice anything about that practice? My soul travelled he has now getting up at your name down? So, yes, I did notice something. I noticed that. conjuring the moment, From this morning, as I was getting it The shower and had lots of judgmental thoughts about the reflection.
really conjuring it and then dropping it and sucking on the breast in the whole body than the space around the body, it exposed to thoughts as nearly thoughts so much better or worse than what you described as the other approach. But here's a taste of spaciousness and how fast can sit in the spaciousness isn't the concept that comes from feeling spaciousness as you create a sense of connection with the body and the brass and then all the sudden, not just the belly whole body sitting all by breathing in this field, is a place where you can drop a thug like that and then noticed what it brings up, but you're such as you're entirely that fought, and you got to do something about it and what's your next move and how you going to fix it?
and what does it say about you? It's just a place for these thoughts can show up and you can then we'll watch ever do other things, but that spaciousness is really close at hand if we travel there through sensation. Yes, and so this is one of the core practices, an embassy to use what we teach people to do where's the turf way of responding to things that are going to come up for them. Inevitably, green eyebrow. Thank you for doing it sure didn't closing, hear you. This you you're, coming on the show, was the result of an email change. We had about the FAT Your increasingly doing some think about how to get NBC tea out to folks who. can't necessarily do it in person, so what's happening there yet This is very relevant because you probably know a lot of people who are not able to access care during these days,
a lot of surgeries, other kind of just routine mental health care, so so the division and I've been working for a number of you because we recognise that is much is embassy. Tee is well supported and there's a really strong evidence base friend. It's really really hard to basically find an embassy. Therapist. If you want one, and so we developed a digital version of every city, that's available all mindful logging dot com and that's a company that we started to enable the public to have access to the same kind of treatment that you could only really get if you're in one of our planet. Trials and its essentially synchronous digital version of the treatment people can take himself through that, their own convenience, and ironically, one another. I guess positive aspects of the pandemic is that online care is now considered
the legitimate, whereas before it was considered a sort of consolation prize and the evidence we have is that its effective and people are using as more and more as a way of helping themselves and working for exactly the same things we ve been speaking about. We think this is really the next public health challenge and we hope that this is on our part of her small way of trying to address. mindful noggin dot com. You will linked to that in the show notes that there is there any thing else I should have asked, I think we're gonna need. I feel this has been terrific. I really appreciate the opportunity. Now it's been great in time. I can get gold stars I'm after considering the wind I really appreciate your time thanks for coming out. Ok,
good to see that take care of yourself, big thanks to handle and don't forget next Wednesday, will be posting part two of the series with lorry Santos from Yale and the happiest lab podcast. She is just overflowing with ideas, so that's coming up in one week. Before we go. Let me just say: thanks to the team who worked so hard to make the show a reality. Samuel Johns is our senior pretty Sir Dj Kashmir is our producer. Jewels Dodson is our AP are sound designers met bulletin from ultraviolet audio. Maria were tail. Is our production coordinator? We get an enormous amount of incredibly helpful input from our Tpa colleagues, such as GNP nay, Toby been Reuben, endless Levin and, of course I would be remiss if I didn't think. ABC News, comrades, Ryan, Kessler and Josh CO hand was On Friday. For a bonus, the Disney Plus. I don't hate and like almost like that
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Transcript generated on 2020-11-29.