RUBY’S Mag­i­cal Mind­ful Mo­ments

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Known for her ra­zor sharp wit and vi­va­cious­ness on and off screen, no-one would have guessed that for years Ruby Wax suf­fered from de­pres­sion. Seven years ago, fol­low­ing a par­tic­u­larly bad episode, she de­cided she’d learn to “lasso my wild mind”, as de­scribed in her book, A Mind­ful­ness Guide For The Fraz­zled.

Never one to do things by halves, she threw her­self head­long into a Masters De­gree in mind­ful­ness­based cog­ni­tive ther­apy from Ox­ford, in a bid to gain a deep un­der­stand­ing of the sci­ence be­hind de­pres­sion.

“Ob­sessed, I plunged into re­search mode and found that with de­pres­sion, for those who’ve had three or more episodes, mind­ful­ness­based cog­ni­tive ther­apy yields a 60 per cent chance of pre­vent­ing re­lapse.”

She is now a mind­ful­ness devo­tee, prac­tis­ing daily med­i­ta­tion ex­er­cises.

“I do mind­ful­ness be­cause if you have your ear to the ground, there are cer­tain clues. You have a fore­warn­ing that a re­lapse could be com­ing.

“I take med­i­ca­tion for my de­pres­sion, but if an­tide­pres­sants car­ried a guar­an­tee, no-one would ever re­lapse, yet most of us do. This is why I’ve added med­i­ta­tion to my med­i­ca­tion. It’s not easy but when the real stress drones come in, you can dodge the bul­lets.”

“I’m able to fo­cus much more eas­ily, par­tic­u­larly when I’m up on stage.

“Mind­ful­ness doesn’t mean I don’t get an­gry or that I never snap. It means I

“When the stress drones come in, you can dodge the bul­lets”

don’t get car­ried away.”

In her book, Ruby dis­cusses the ef­fect manic mod­ern life is hav­ing on all of us and gives plenty of prac­ti­cal tips to avoid feel­ing burnt out and fraz­zled.

“Try to recog­nise your tip­ping point and then do some­thing to dis­tract your­self so you don’t go over the top. It can be look­ing at a pic­ture of your cat or sim­ply breath­ing – it doesn’t re­ally mat­ter, as long as you are fo­cused, pay­ing at­ten­tion.”

Ea­ger to help oth­ers, Ruby has done a run of walk-in ses­sions where stressed mem­bers of the pub­lic can come and chat to Ruby and other ex­perts for ad­vice.

“I’m go­ing to roll th­ese ses­sions out fur­ther; I want to open a walk-in cen­tre. Do­ing that for the pub­lic and giv­ing them a place to park… it makes me feel good!”

Ruby with her daugh­ters

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