How casually we sometimes take depression and make fun about it, isn’t it? Well, have you ever thought about why it has become such a common term? It is because depression is so prevalent that WHO has listed it as the leading cause behind the disability and ill health worldwide(1).
But, is there a way to cure it which is beyond the tiring medical therapies and harmful side-effects of medications? Yes! There is, and it is none other than practicing meditation for depression. How does meditation help depression? If this is the next question running on your mind, read on the below meditation techniques that can help to cure depression.
Meditation is an advantageous technique that works for all brain-related disorders. Harvard medical school has found that if a depressed person practices meditation for eight weeks, positive changes incur in those individuals.
It is a major finding as depression affects almost 20% of the adult population that is above 65 years of age. Read ahead as we tell you all about practicing meditation, its techniques and the best medication for depression.
Can Meditation help to fight Depression?
Meditation is a practice that involves mindfulness and focuses on a particular point to guide one’s attention and thought process to achieve calmness and peace. Since meditation is in practice across the world from many centuries, it has been known to reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and pain.
Regular practice of meditation can make your brain defy stress and anxiety which leads to depression. Studies have shown that regular meditation practice brings an evident change in the way your mind reacts to stress and anxiety. It guides your brain to achieve a sustained focus which keeps your mind healthy and unaffected by a negative aura.
[Also Read: Natural Remedies to Treat Depression]
How Does the Brain React When You Practice Meditation for Depression?
Depression is a serious condition that affects your physical and mental well-being. It is more than just feeling low and sad on some days; depressed people go through frequent mood-swings and low feelings without any apparent reason. Meditation helps to channelize your thoughts in a positive direction. It does not let negative thoughts affect your psychological well-being.
The sustained focus that one gets from practicing meditation in a regular manner does not let your mind succumb to stress and anxiety. And hence it prevents from causing depression. Stress and anxiety are the primary factors contributing to depression. Whereas meditation helps you in maintaining balanced and fret-free life and so it keeps depression at bay.
[Also Read: Music for Depression]
What are the Different Types of Meditation Techniques for Depression that can Help?
Every individual today is struggling with their own sets of problem. Similarly, individuals struggling with depression had ‘their own set of issues leading them to a psychological breakdown.
Depression is a condition which affects one’s physical and psychological condition. It equally affects your body and mind. It is important to let your thoughts flow freely and to be vocal about the issues bothering you. Depression is a curable medical condition which includes a combination of talk therapy and medication.
There are different types of meditation techniques that you can practice for curing anxiety. Some of the techniques are enlisted below:
1. Breath Awareness Meditation
Breath awareness or to be aware of your breath is an important part of meditation. It lets you control exhalation and inhalation and accordingly synchronizes your thought process with it. As mindfulness meditation uses an object of breath to concentrate on, breath awareness meditation is one of the forms of mindfulness meditation.
The best fact about this meditation is that it can be practiced at any time of the day to give you absolute relaxation instantly.
[Also Read: Yoga Poses for Depression]
2. Transcendental Meditation
This form of meditation uses sound or a personal mantra, often one or two syllables to anchor your concentration. It is known to help to a great extent in conditions of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Does yoga for depression work? Yoga is said to provide a complete packaging of mental and physical well being. Yoga practice is inclusive of different postures and positions are known as ‘asanas’ which are combined with breath awareness meditation and mindfulness. It not only helps you to keep your body fit but also helps in gaining peace and serenity and maintain a balanced life.
4. Loving-kindness Meditation
It works on the basic logic of creating a loving and kind environment around you. Studies have found that people who create a loving and giving atmosphere around them are less depressed, they have a positive aura around them and a positive outlook.
5. Repetitive Activity
Basic activities like dishwashing are a form of meditation provided the doer does it mindfully. It involves repeating the same sets of activity without using any thoughtfulness. This process gives a calming effect on your brain by removing all the extraneous thoughts.
6. Guided Meditation for depression
It is a process by which one or more participants follow and meditate in response to the guidance provided by a teacher or a trained practitioner. Through verbal instructions, the practitioner guides how to regulate and channelize one’s thought process to attain peace and calmness.
How to Practice Meditation Techniques for Depression at Home?
Depression is a difficult state to be in but at the same time, one cannot miss the fact that the cure to depression lies in practicing meditation regularly. Most type of meditation techniques can be practiced by oneself at home. One needs to have a quiet place, a comfortable space, and readiness to meditate.
While meditating make sure you find a quiet place in the house, sit comfortably, regulate the room temperature as per your needs and meditate. Since meditation requires you to be calm and focused, it is important to find a suitable time and space when no one would intervene in your peace. Slow down your breath and relax, close your eyes, and meditate.
In the current scenario, you can perform guided meditation also at home conveniently. There are ample of YouTube audios and videos available which teache you or guides you for your meditation session. All you need is a willingness to begin.
[ Read: Essential Oils for Depression ]
What is Mindfulness Meditation for Depression and How to Practice It?
Mindfulness technique of meditation is the supreme form of meditation. It involves a moment-to-moment awareness of the present moment. It anchors your thought process to your breath and keeps bringing your attention back and forth from past to the present. Many other forms of meditation have evolved from the technique of mindfulness. This technique is said to ease depression and anxiety in cancer patients.
Mindfulness meditation revolves around the idea of regulating the breath, observe how it comes and goes and accords our thought process accordingly. When you concentrate on the rhythm of your breath, you tend to produce a feeling of detachment.
Another subset of mindfulness meditation is Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). MBCT blends meditation with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This therapy focuses on changing damaging thoughts and behavioral patterns in the patients. MBCT was developed initially to prevent relapses in people with recurrent depression. It also helps people with active depression.
To sum up, you can say that depression is a difficult state, but a lot is being done in the current scenario to beat depression. It has become a very common condition among young children who face peer pressure, heartbreaks, and failure at an early stage and hence end up being depressive. What helps the most at the initial stage is speaking. It is important to talk about your problem, to let out your feelings and feel relaxed