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Ruby Wax – How Mindfulness Can Transform Depression & Anxiety

Ruby Wax On How Mindfulness Can Transform Depression, Overcome Performance Anxiety & Create A ‘Sane New World’

In this interview Melli and Ruby explore how the modern world affects our brains and how mindfulness can help. Ruby talks about her incredibly popular show ‘sane new world’ and about the importance of the de-stigmatization of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

Listen as she shares her own story of how mindfulness transformed her experience of depression and gives advice for those who are suffering with it now.

Also hear how Ruby uses mindfulness to overcome nerves before going onstage.

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Show Notes

Join The Mindfulness Summit Journey here

Come and join the community discussions at any time on our Facebook page

You can find Ruby’s website here http://www.rubywax.net/ where you can also find out details of her shows and her books.

Here is the website mentioned for depression in Australia https://www.beyondblue.org.au/




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165 Responses

  1. Enya Onah

    Thank you so much, Ruby. You really helped me just by talking about your experiences. I think you are brave and true. I can’t listen until my kids are off to school….sending you love

  2. Julie Sherratt

    I love Ruby’s comment about being less addicted to people……I have noticed this in my own practice….I grasp less at those around me, I am less demanding, less needy…..I am settled and comfortable with time alone, when I meet people who are not interested in engaging with me I can easily let it go, but when I meet authentic people it is a joy to communicate and share time with them.

  3. Mandy Humphreys

    Thank you Ruby. I can’t wait for your new book. You make so much sense and you explain the illness so clearly. I think you are amazing and a very special person ❤️

  4. Chrisy

    Brilliant interview. Milli you handled this so well and asked the perfect questions. Ruby, just to hear how mindfulness helped you with your last bout of depression was the best advertisement for mindfulness I think we’re ever likely to find. You speak so much sense. Thank you.

  5. Christina Papageorgopoulou

    Thank you so much Ruby! Several things that you said hit a chord with me but I especially like the following: “Not only do I hate myself but now I hate myself for hating myself”

  6. Cindy Caldeira

    Ruby, most of what you said resonated with me. the stigma, the projection, societal judgement is difficult to ignore…… Kindness and compassion is something i look for. a retreat and like-mindedness might be a ticket, but as i recently got told ” she’s turned” I have to accept this makes me buckle. Thank you for your frankness. xx

  7. Miss Karen+Ellis

    I was really looking forward to this interview, I love Ruby Wax and her work in this area. I actually laughed out loud numerous time reading Sane New World. Cannot wait for the next book. Thankyou Melli and Ruby.

  8. Tracy greenwood

    Thanks Rubi and Melli , great honest talk . . I got a card for a friend the other day, thought you would enjoy the sentiment . .

    I tried to be normal once
    It was the worst two minutes of my life

    So loving the summit

  9. denise higgs

    I think until the stigma of mindfulness being a HIPPY thing to do is changed and is for everyone as a part of life it will only ever reach out to the few. At the moment in the west we seem to be using it for conditions, mainly of the brain and people outside, just normal everyday people can’t engage in it and I feel that is the bigger issue. Yes most people that are troubled, whatever it may be chronic illnesses or state of mind from loss of something close, will want to try anything to feel better and it is great that Mindfulness is being used and working but it is sad that it took a person to be in such a place to find it. I think it would be good to educate everyone, surely this would help to overcome many conditions that they don’t have but may well have in the future. The question I have for everyone is how could this be achieved?

  10. Jessica Pape

    Thank you so much for a truly inspiring Interview. I can’t wait to read the books. A lot of things really resonated with me especially the addiction to people – I realise now that I am less ‘addicted’ since I am practising Mindfulness. Thank you Ruby your work sounds amazing!

  11. Ngaire Ashdown

    Thank you, Ruby and Melli for another fantastic interview or should I say chat? It just feels like you are in my lounge room with a bunch of friends.
    I had a question in relation to what Ruby said about the “Love Me Love Me” look before going on stage (before using mindfulness as a strategy for the nerves)
    I’m reading Robin Williams’ biography at the moment and these same words came up as how he was feeling in his early years of his career.
    Is this something that other comedians/ entertainers who suffer with depression/ anxiety feel? I understand Rowan Atkinson also suffers from depression.

  12. joyce parkes

    Mmmm Ruby’s gesticulating effected my ability to hear well.. Think I would prefer to hear her stage show on this subject.. But as always thank you to you all ✴

  13. Teresa

    I look forward to learning from these interviews every morning, thanks for this great Mindfulness summit Meli. Putting on the breaks is something that struck a strong chord ! great to hear Ruby share her experiences.

  14. nancy king

    Very enjoyable interview……………..Melli you did a wonderful job of keeping Ruby on track and getting her to focus on the topic. Ruby is an inspiration to so many and is very courageous in sharing her experience with depression and mental illness.

  15. Jim Bright

    Very interesting. I completely agree with Ruby’s comments about our perceptions of people and how we can fall in to the trap of projecting an idea of what someone is like due to past memories of someone else that may have looked like them. Interesting to hear her perspectives on life as a comedian too, and how people laugh before she has even said anything, and her story about John Cleese. Must say, I miss seeing Ruby on the BBC.

  16. Karolina

    Amazing interview! Well, each one of them is in its own way really 🙂 Thank you!
    So refreshing to listen to Ruby being so clear and honest, authentic and cynical. I had tears in my eyes a few times and felt so much love for her.

  17. Tobias Schreiber

    Thank you for sharing your experience, strength , and hope. There is light. Mindfulness helps us become aware of the light and then become the light.Ruby has tremendous courage and compassion. Thank You.

  18. Karen McMullen

    Loved this! I, too, laughed outloud. “…the Holocaust in my head.” Know that all too well! The true honesty and cynicism were refreshing, taking off our masks is scary. Thanks Melli for this Summit.

  19. Naphtali Zimmerman

    I found it interesting to actually watch Milli during all this. It is obvious she is centering herself and coming to her breath at 13:00, 19:00, and 20:30; actually I would be doing it more often.

    Well Days 6, 7, 8 this week have been absolutely awesome. Today was not my cup of tea.

    But hopefully, Mindfulness will be of use in mental illness.

    I think perhaps Shamatha, calming meditation, is more appropriate as opposed to generic mindfulness and this would be a great test case.

  20. Tilean Clarke

    I loved this session! Absolutely amazing and everything Ruby said resonated so well with me. Thank you Melli and Ruby for making this possible. I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to listen to this.

  21. Christopher K.

    Absolutely fabulous… that relatively brief conversation was the most I found myself saying an animated YESSSS EXACTLY …WOW …on so many levels during this kind of summit. Authentic stuff full of lived wisdom and really gettable context that stirs reflection and compassion. Thanks to you both for this dynamic healing conversation…

  22. Trudi Cherry

    Wow, loved to hear Ruby talking about how you feel as though you have made your depression up. I have felt like this so often, but never articulated it to anyone. Well done Melli and Ruby for another fascinating interview!

  23. V Jane+Windsor

    I saw Ruby in NYC speaking in the Women of Letters series. She is my introduction to the ideas of mindfulness. I think she will reach many people who are not inclined to come to the concept though religious practices. Thanks Melli for this interview and for this entire summit.

  24. Aziza Sami

    I absolutely loved Ruby Wax…so REAL…she is not anybody but herself…kudos to you Ruby…and to all authentic people. And like you…I am absolutely taken with Professor Mark Williams:)))
    thanks again Melli for the tremendous effort you are putting to bring these wonderful people into our lives…ALL your speakers have been very special..

  25. M

    So happy to learn about Ruby and her work. We need all different kinds of people to be speaking their truth, and how they did something about it, making themselves and the world around them better. We desperately need this ripple effect for personal healing if we are ever going to heal the bigger damage we humans have done to ourselves, each other and our only home, and possibly the only planet in the universe with life, the planet Earth. Thanks Melli and team for bringing in so many diverse voices so that hopefully there is at least one speaker who really resonates with everyone tuned in, so each participant is inspired to finally take action to learn how to change or heal themselves, their brains, and subsequently impact in a good way the lives around them.

  26. Jade

    Just loved listening to Ruby’s candor and openess to share herself with us today . It made me grateful to listen to the mindfulness summit and be ever learning …not just from the words spoken but from the examples and lives of those sharing.

  27. I grew up with the stigma of mental health, my mother was diagnosed manic/depressive or bi-polar as its called now – we just called it “Just another Manic Mum Day”. This is one of the reasons I’m promoting Natural Mindfulness – the combination of nature and mindfulness is a very powerful anti-depressant with only healthy and enjoyable side-effects. I think something I learned from my Mum that Ruby also teaches us is the power of being able to laugh at ourselves. Another insightful and informative interview. Thank you Ruby for sharing and caring and thank you again Melli for another fantastic job. Ian Cotswold Natural Mindfulness UK

  28. Pamela S.

    Thank you Ruby and Mele,

    There’s such raw honesty in this interview. One might imagine that a straight-forward assessment of ourselves would be awkward, but Ruby is clearly accepting of who she is.

    My objective in applying mindfulness to my own life, changed this morning to one of being a little more comfortable in my own skin. Thank you for that.

  29. Susan Cram

    Watching and listening to Ruby was awesome,she brought tears to my eyes when she spoke of her shows and the reaction to it by so many people who were relieved to know they were not alone or bad people. She is certainly different then most of your calmer interviews, she brought an exuberant , smart realistic approach to mindfulness. I think her statement about taking necessary medication for helping with depression was important because the ” bootstrap ” mentality is only for people who never suffered depression. We don’t choose to be sick and mindfullness is not a cure it is a way to recognize and help healing not a solution, it is a wonderful beginning to understanding yourself and others. When I take a moment for my practice I feel like I am looking through a magnifying glass it’s all there with clarity and grace. Thank you Meli for your incredible summit, everyday I learn or think of something new and another light turns on….and more to come Wow….

  30. Adrienne Dolberry

    I love Ruby Wax and her work. It’s a great surprise to hear about her journey into MBCT and using performance to share her journey.

    I’m skeptical of using the statement ‘qualified mindfulness teacher’ because she has a western label that is connected to a practice that can be taught by individuals from a wide variety of training routes.

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