How Mindfulness Is Helping Ruby Wax Manage Her Depression

Maurice Richmond
By Maurice Richmond,
updated on Feb 8, 2018

How Mindfulness Is Helping Ruby Wax Manage Her Depression

Ruby Wax has revealed how mindfulness has helped her tackle her depression before it becomes "a storm".

The comedian, who has spoken candidly about her mental illness, has likened the practice of it as "taking her temperature".

Speaking to Mind mental health charity’s magazine, the 64-year-old believes it is important to stay ahead of depression.

She said: “Mindfulness is about taking a thermometer of your mental state and pulling it out and saying, ‘Is it average today, is it below average?’ but not judging yourself.

“The point of mindfulness is to be able to say, ‘Where is my mind?’ It’s a discipline to be able to observe your own thoughts so you can manipulate through the world better. That’s a pretty good tool to have.”

Ruby, who says has previously said she would "spend days in bed as a teenager", not knowing she was battling depression, believes her experience has helped her predict when the illness will take hold.

She said: “I can now tell, more or less, when something’s coming my way before it becomes the whole storm.

“You can’t wish depression away, but by not panicking and not thinking, ‘Oh my god now I’m depressed,’ you can help bear the pain because you’re not bringing it on.

“It leaves much quicker than when you start to panic. The storm does come though; you can’t ward it away. These things are chemical.”

Having recently signed off her latest book How to Be Human: The Manual, the self-confessed "poster girl for mental health" revealed how she collaborated with a monk and a neuroscientist.

She said: “It’s pretty much a look at everything I wanted to know about. Like are we what evolution hoped we would be?

“Or where did it go wrong, and how come everybody is still reading these self-help books? The interesting thing about neuroscience and Buddhism is that they agree on the idea of your reality being problematic.

“There isn’t a ‘channel you’ that you can really trust. If you harp on your negative past, that becomes embedded in your brain and becomes who you are right now.

“I’m the first to say my childhood was horrifying, but if you keep repeating that story it defines who you are right now.”

Main image credit | Southbank Centre

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