By the time you have finished reading this post you are a big step closer of using meditation to combat depression. But first things first – let´s talk a bit about depression.
Long-term clinical depression is a mental condition that is serious, and usually requires the help of a counselor or therapist. For those who suffer from periodic bouts of mild depression, or for those who want help treating their depression without the use of drugs, there is a very effective, free method available to all of us. There is a way to reign in our emotions, increase our happiness, release stress, and restructure our thoughts as we go through a spiritual cleansing to fight or end depression for good. Although it is still being studied, daily twenty-minute meditation to combat depression looks to be a very promising cure.
While most people use a combination of drugs and therapies to treat depression, science is discovering that twenty minutes of daily meditation may be the most effective treatment of all.
Breath and mindfulness meditation, as well as a Buddhist technique called meta-bhavana, or loving-kindness, meditation help us overcome unhappy thoughts in a number of ways.
First, meditation takes us out of our misery and emotions, providing a needed reprieve.
Second, meditation inspires feelings of peace, connectivity, and well-being.
Finally, especially in the case of loving-kindness meditation, it helps us create new thoughts and emotions inside our brain.
Since our minds are patterned and habitual, we tend to think the same thoughts over and over again. Purposely introducing new, loving, happy thoughts, means we are more likely to re-experience them later. Incorporating these daily positive thoughts also gives us an alternative or a way to counter our negative thoughts.
It is true that depression is not made up entirely of thoughts, but good thoughts and peaceful mental states can counter impression by releasing certain hormones and chemical reactions that counter those which are prevalent in a depressed person. The biology of depression is mainly chemical. Luckily, so is the biology of happiness and contentment. Here are a couple of simple, twenty-minute meditations that can be done at home, to combat or prevent depression.
Try the Twenty-minute Meditation to Combat Depression
The loving-kindness meditation is meant to cultivate feelings of love and good-will toward the self and others.
We begin the meditation with ourselves, by wishing ourselves to be happy, well, and free from suffering.
Then, we think of a friend or someone we love and wish to be happy, well and free from suffering.
Next, we think of someone we barely know, or feel neutral about and extend our wish to that person.
Then, we consider an enemy or someone we dislike and wish them well, happy, and free from suffering.
Finally, we wish the entire world to be happy, well and free from suffering.
While meditating for the twenty minutes, we actually in our minds, over and over, “may you/I be happy, may you/I be well, may you/I be free from suffering”
Some people find it impossible to start with themselves. If you do, start with someone you love and care about, then someone neutral, then yourself, then an enemy, or save yourself for dead last, or include yourself when you wish the whole world to be free. This meditation is extremely good for depression, anxiety, and anger. Use it often, and you will become a happier, more loving person.
Normal Breathing Meditation
The meditation is done by simply focusing on our breathing for twenty minutes. This can be done through counting the breath, alternating between counting the in breaths and out breaths, counting to ten breaths and starting over, then counting to just five breaths and starting over, then two breaths, then dropping the counting.
Counting keeps our minds occupied enough to stop them from wandering too far, and gives us a tool for bringing them back when they do. As our minds become more disciplined, we can begin to focus on breathing without the counting. The stronger our minds become, the less attached we will become to our thoughts and emotions, and the more peaceful and at ease we will be.
Science has actually seen meditations such as this increase happiness in the human brain. Meditators generally have fewer mental and emotional disorders, and suffer less from high blood pressure, hyper-tension, obesity and other diseases.
Have you tried meditation to combat depression – please share your experiences in the comments below.
Be so kind and share this article about using meditation to combat depression – your friends will appreciate the knowledge.
Author: Jamila Gorman
Jarmila is a writer in the personal development niche with a strong – and ever-growing – desire to help people create their dream lives. She is a passionate student of the amazing abilities and potential of the human mind. From her lifelong love of athletics came an interest in finding out just what the words “limit” means; and how to get the mind past its whining to push on and do more. Years of ultra-cycling and an attitude of “bring it on, I can do this” have honed her ability to overcome self-imposed limitations in other areas of her life, a skill she now shares with a worldwide audience. Jarmila is a writer with a goal to inspire you to LIVE your life, on purpose, out loud and with a big smile on your face. You can find more of Jarmila’s articles on meditation at the Silva Method Life. When she is not writing, Jarmila is outside taking photographs, hiking the Colorado mountains or cycling to the far horizon.