Beat depression and boost your happiness by … changing how you think about your thoughts!

Beat depression and boost your happiness by … changing how you think about your thoughts!

via Thrive Global by Drake Baer

Everybody ruminates: It’s that familiar pattern of chewing over your thoughts and your feelings about them. For people with depression, it takes a turn toward the pathological: The spiral that comes from feeling bad about feeling bad (about feeling bad!) can be immobilizing. But a new therapeutic approach — called metacognitive therapy (MCT) — targets that process with Zen-like deftness, and it’s been shown to dramatically reduce clinical depression. It’s also useful to anyone who’s felt run over by an uncontrollable train of negative thoughts.

At the center of MCT is the understanding that you don’t have to do much of anything about your thoughts. Rather than trying to figure out if they’re right or wrong, you just observe them as they occur and let them float on by. Rather that being the thought, MCT helps you realize that you’re merely thinking the thought.

Right now, the go-to psychotherapeutic treatment for this type of never-ending rumination is cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, which focuses on training patients to examine the validity of their ideas and feeling. (Like, is it true that my boss hates me because she didn’t say goodbye when she left for the day?) But the literature on CBT’s efficacy with depression is mixed; as one meta-analysis suggested, reports of CBT success may be influenced by publication bias. (There’s reason to believe that psychoanalysis may come back in fashion, too.)

Unlike CBT, the metacognitive approach is full-on pacifist: Rather than blocking or analyzing the thoughts, you let them bubble up and drift or pop on their own. The point is to help patients recognize and readjust their own patterns of thought — thus the metacognitive bit — so that they arrive at a place of “detached mindfulness.”
This is not your traditional coping strategy, but apparently it works…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE