Searching for meditation to treat depression? Well, you’re not alone in your doubts about the suggestion. You might even think it sounds like a recommendation from those who suggest that if you just “Smile more!” or “Think positively!” the depression will go away.
Sure, meditation won’t make your depression just go away *pooofff*, but it will help you manage them better.
Best Type of Meditation for Depression
Meditation, which has been practised for centuries in India, is now popular worldwide as it is showing promising results as a therapeutic option for depression. There are hundreds of various forms of meditation, all of which aim to achieve a state of increased consciousness. It’s no joke that it takes time, effort, and determination to learn how to control your thoughts.
What you should know is that starting a guided meditation for depression does not mean you can stop taking your medications or other therapies for depression. Meditation, especially mindfulness meditation for depression, has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of depression. Still, it can only be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan under the guidance of a physician, not as a replacement for it.
Another great option is mindfulness visualisation. Visualise a bubble if you have a nagging feeling that won’t go anywhere. Consider adding the nagging thought to that bubble. Now sit back and watch it float away. What’s left now? The sky is bright and blue. And, hopefully, a more clear mind. For the time being, at least!
Many people felt that concentrating on positive images instead of negative ones helps them to relax. Another person can lead you through visualisation or guided imagery therapy, or you can direct your own session using one of the many recordings available online.
Pictures may also be used to alter the way you remember traumatic experiences. In at least one study, picturing happy endings in place of those memories–a method known as rescripting–resulted in improved quality of life and self-esteem. The participants were instructed to imagine past events, visualise their moods as images of animals, then turn them into something more positive and substitute negative phrases and words with positive ones.
Does Meditation Help With Depression?
Benefits of meditation for depression include better attention and focus, increased self-awareness and self-esteem, reduced stress and anxiety, and the cultivation of kindness.
1. Improved concentration and awareness
Mindfulness meditation for depression helps you focus on the present moment, which may help you concentrate more on other activities.
There are effects of mindfulness meditation on the brain, as well as a connection between mindfulness and information processing. Mindfulness meditation for depression will help you focus and make better decisions.
2. Self-esteem and self-actualisation will improve
Guided meditation for depression helps you to calm down, allows for more in-depth self-reflection, and may aid in the discovery of good qualities about yourself.
Meditation helps with depression and improves self-esteem by increasing self-awareness by enhancing the ability to explore one’s thoughts and emotions without judgement. Social anxiety sufferers can benefit from mindfulness meditation.
3. Decreases stress
Meditation to overcome depression can also make you feel more comfortable by lowering cortisol levels, the stress hormone.
During meditation, repeating a mantra — such as a word or a phrase — can also help you relax, and by focusing on your mantra, you can divert your attention away from distracting thoughts.
Transcendental meditation has a similar effect, in which you quietly repeat a word or sound to keep yourself concentrated and thereby achieve total stillness and stability.
4. Managing depression and anxiety
Mindfulness meditation for depression trains the mind to concentrate on the current moment, making you less likely to dwell on anxious feelings, which may intensify depression. Practitioners are taught to let go of past regrets as well as fears about the future in order to do this.
Meditation seems to help with anxiety, depression, and pain, but not with other issues like drug abuse, sleep, or weight loss.
Meditation is not recommended as a cure for conditions such as breast cancer. It’s just a form of supportive treatment that aims to alleviate the stress that comes with cancer.
Visualisations were among the techniques taught during the meditation class to help turn the focus away from anxiety-inducing thoughts. The body scan is one such technique.
Body scan meditation entails concentrating on various parts of the body one by one. You can do this lying down, sitting, or in other postures, either with the eyes open or closed, much like breathing awareness. You concentrate on inhaling and exhaling intensely as you switch your attention to various areas of your body. Body scanning seems to be associated with improved observation of emotions, feelings, and sensations, as well as less frequent stress reactions.
Meditation entails not only learning how to concentrate but also how to calm the mind!
5. Control the addiction
Meditation for depression has been shown to alter brain receptors linked to drug and alcohol addiction, potentially lowering cravings for these substances. Additionally, mindfulness meditation for depression will help you become more conscious of your cravings, and better control them.
That knowledge is extremely valuable because it allows one to ride the temptation or craving without falling victim to it. We can recognise the urge and acknowledge that it exists, but we don’t have to give in.
Mindfulness training has a beneficial impact that helps control how the brain feels pleasure and may help people with substance use disorders avoid potential relapses.
6. Balance the pain
Meditation has been shown to help people with post-surgical, acute, or chronic pain.
It isn’t going to be a solution for all illnesses, and it isn’t going to make the pain go away. We can recognise that pain is present, but we are not engulfed by it in the same way, which can be extremely helpful in coping with chronic pain.
7. Helps you be more caring or kind
Meditation on loving-kindness will help you develop compassion for yourself and others. It enhances brain areas that detect other people’s feelings, encourages selfless actions, and reduces the implicit or unconscious bias that promotes negative stereotypes.
Imagine a loved one in your mind and wish them happiness to begin a loving-kindness meditation. After that, you should extend that love to yourself and those in your life.
As you keep the person in your mind, you may use a simple phrase that you quietly repeat to yourself, for instance, “May that person get all the joy and happiness of the world”.
8. Fully Breathing
Many different types of meditation, especially mindfulness meditation, require you to be aware of your breath. To assist with mental preparation, mindfulness meditation for depression focuses on the object of your breath. Mindful breathing is another name for breath awareness meditation.
Focusing on inhaling and exhaling for as little as 15 minutes a day can improve mood and reduce emotional reactivity. You don’t even have to set aside time to focus on your breathing.
Many people find ways to integrate breath knowledge into their daily routines. It can be done while sitting, standing, or lying down, with or without your eyes open.
Meditation and Depression: Closing Notes
Meditation has a variety of health effects, including physical, mental, and emotional ones. You should give it a try and see if it’s right for you if you want to boost your concentration, relieve stress, or cope with addiction, depression, or chronic pain.
Not everybody is a good fit for meditation. It’s a discipline that necessitates daily focus and time. However, the findings concluded that meditation had no negative side effects. It’s also free and can be done from the comfort of one’s own home. So what’s the harm in trying, right?