Dr. Henry Emmons has a background in both western medicine and an integrative combination of mind-body therapies, natural therapies, mindfulness and other Buddhist therapeutics. He now practices general and holistic psychiatry.
Dr. Emmons thinks highly of the Buddhist practice of mindfulness. As a matter of fact he thinks so highly of it that he advocates using this practice of mindfulness to overcome depression and anxiety. He has found it very rewarding in his own practice.
Transcribed from video interview
Mindfulness itself is a centuries-old Buddhist practice, or comes out of a Buddhist practice but the practice of mindfulness is very straightforward, which isn’t the same thing as saying it’s easy to do. It’s very straightforward.
It really just means paying attention. It means being more present from moment-to-moment and enhancing that ability to be with and see things as they are as they are unfolding.
And so it’s just a practice. It’s something that we can be good at if we do it intentionally.
If we wait for it to happen, you know and just hope that we’ll become more conscious or more aware as we age, a lot of us will be disappointed partly because there are so many things pulling us in the other direction.
There’s so many distractions, stresses, all the electronic stuff that we love so well and that has made life great in many ways, in a sense it very often pulls us out of the present moment.
So having a practice to counter that and then when it comes to depression and anxiety, what mindfulness can do is so profound because it can really help get at the very roots, the very underlying causes of those conditions and the things that happen outside of our conscious awareness that are constantly reinforcing or bringing us back into depression and anxiety.
Mindfulness gives us an opportunity to get in there and see that process as it unfolds.
So to see how the thoughts, the certain patterns or repetitive networks of neurons firing that create these thoughts, we reinforce those without intending to over the course of years and they become very deeply embedded.