Are you drowning in depression? Fret not because meditation is the life boat that will save you from it. It is a smooth and safe rescue without any hindrance. What more can you ask? Yes, because meditation instantly turns off the region in your brain that facilitates depression. And, whoosh goes your depression. Leaving you permanently happy and without any side effects!
We are not just saying it. World-renowned Harvard neuroscientists studied the brains of meditation practitioners and found that their amygdalae or ‘depression center’ shrunk considerably!
What more reasons do you need? Fight depression with the help of our meditation guide below. NOW.
What Is Depression?
Thanks to Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone, we are all more aware of depression now. But, what is it, exactly? Let’s get it cleared here.
Depression is quite complicated. We cannot just break it down to one definition. It occurs due to a mixture of biological, psychological and sociological factors.
To make it clear, let me explain it to you in a simple manner. Your brain has information communicators called neurotransmitters that help carry messages across the body.
Among them are the serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters which are crucial brain chemicals. When the levels of these neurotransmitters fall, you feel overwhelmingly sad which leads to depression.
Various reasons can trigger the lowering of serotonin and norepinephrine levels in your brain, or it could just happen for no reason at all.
Let’s have a look at some common factors that trigger depression.
Causes For Depression
- Abuse, yes, you guessed it right. Any ill-treatment whether physical, emotional, sexual can lead to depression.
- Some medicines that you take can increase the risk of depression.
- Fights, arguments, and conflicts with loved ones and close friends can put you down and lead to depression.
- The death of a loved one is a major trigger for depression. If the grief you feel is prolonged, then that could lead to depression.
- Depression can even be genetic. As scary as it is fascinating, right? So, if your family has a history of depressed people, then you should be careful.
- Any significant changes in your life either good or bad can cause depression. Be it graduating, finding a new job or getting married. Or losing a job, getting divorced or retiring.
- Feeling lonely or ignored by others also puts you down and can lead to depression.
- Coping with serious illnesses can be exhausting and draining. Depression sometimes becomes a consequence of this.
- Those with substance abuse problems also suffer from depression. In fact, they are more inclined to do so.
Meditation For Depression
Although it is not easy to pinpoint the exact reason behind depression, there are certain authorized treatments that work well and help you overcome it. Thank god.
Apart from the Harvard study mentioned previously, even a research conducted by the University of Montreal proved that meditation increases the serotonin and norepinephrine levels in your head keeping, depression at bay.
Fantastic, right? To know that simple meditation can solve the problem saving you from numerous pills and sessions with the psychiatrist.
But among the various kinds of meditations, which one suits well for treating depression?
Mindfulness meditation is known to be effective in decreasing the symptoms of depression. Let’s learn its procedure, then?
Set your heart on mindful meditation and learn it well to conquer depression.
- Sitting Position
- Placement Of Limbs
- Breathing Manner
- Flow Of Thoughts
1. Sitting Position
Sitting upright is important. It either could be in the Lotus position or the Half-Lotus position. Or even on a chair. You can lean on a wall and use cushions.
Whatever it is, make sure you are comfortable and able to concentrate on your breathing instead of getting distracted by an uncomfortable seating position. Sitting upright makes breathing easier.
Also, do not face anything that will stimulate your mind like TV or a window. Choose a place with no distractions or face a blank wall in the corner of a room.
2. Placement Of Limbs
When you sit down, make sure that your hips are higher than your knees. You might need a cushion for this. Place your hands on your thighs facing downward.
Keep the eyes half-opened with the gaze down. Get used to and feel comfortable in your sitting position. Spend some time to focus on the present moment.
Concentrate on your body posture and surroundings. Gently bring back your mind back to it whenever it wanders.
3. Breathing Manner
Shift to observing your breath, after you spend some time focused on your position and place. Feel and become aware of the natural process of breathing. Notice the air coming in and out of your being.
Give your complete attention to it. You do not have to breathe in a particular manner or be conscious of it. Breathe naturally and observe the process, keenly.
As you do this, keep in mind to be aware of your body and surroundings too. Stay at the moment and breathe. Get back to focussing on your breath if your mind wanders.
Diaphragm breathing is another good option if you want to slow down your emotions and feel calm. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your lower abdomen.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Your stomach should rise and fall while the chest remains still. Breathe in this manner till you calm down.
4. Flow Of Thoughts
After awhile, let your mind flow. Do not ignore its thought flow by concentrating on your breath, body, and surroundings.
Let your mind be. Allow it to wander and have ideas flowing in and out. But remember not to judge or analyze them.
Do not control the thoughts whatever they might be. Either long-lost memories, something you saw on TV, worries, concerns, etc. Most importantly, do not judge your thoughts.
If you meditate in this manner regularly, symptoms of depression slowly disappear, and you are back on your feet.
You must remember that meditation is a part of the depression-treating regime and is not a one-point solution to it.
Make it a point to consult a psychiatrist and a yoga trainer before you try anything on your own.
Now, let’s answer some common queries on meditation for depression.
What if the calmness I feel after meditating hurts my depression?
That could be a possibility, and you should be wary of it. It is best to initially practice under the guidance of a certified yoga teacher till you stabilize and become good enough to manage on your own without any glitches.
How often do I practice Mindfulness Meditation?
Practice Mindfulness Meditation every day for a certain amount of time that works well for you.
You are not alone in your battle with depression. One in 15 adults suffers from this. Depression pulls you down, negatively affects how you feel, think and act. It decreases your ability to live well. It is not a good place to be, and you must fight it. Try mindfulness meditation. Here’s hoping that it will work for you.