In this article we will take a look about one of the popular question that people usually asked ” Can Meditation Cure Depression?”. Moreover we will have a look around the general statistics of Depression.
You will also learn the benefits of meditation in curing depression and finally the different techniques that you can used to practice Meditation, even at home! Without further ado let’s get started.
What is Depression?
Depression is a prevalent and severe medical disorder that adversely affects: how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Lately, the World Health Organization categorized depression as the ruling cause of ill health and disability worldwide.
It is essential to understand that depression and sadness are NOT similar. It is not unusual to feel down once in a while, but if you are sad most of the time and it has an impact on your daily life, you may have clinical depression.
However, we are not mental health experts, and make no statements for any experience in the field of mental health in general, or with depression in particular. If you are concerned about suffering from depression, you should consult your doctor.
What Are The Types Of Depression?
There are various types of depression, namely:
You might have this type of depression if you feel depressed most of the time, for most days of the week. Some symptoms of major depression are:
- Less interest or happiness in activities you used to enjoy.
- Weight loss or gain.
- Difficulties falling asleep or feeling sleepy during the day.
- Feeling restless and nervous, or else very lethargic and slowed down physically or mentally.
- Being tired and with no energy.
- Feeling worthless or guilty.
- Having trouble focusing or making decisions.
- Thoughts of suicide.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Persistent Depressive Disorder occurs if you have depression that lasts for two years or longer. You may encounter symptoms such as:
- Change in your appetite
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Shortage of energy
- Poor self-esteem
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Feeling hopeless
Someone with bipolar disorder, which is also occasionally called “manic depression”, has mood swings that range from extremes of high energy to “low” depressive periods.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
It is an interval of major depression that most frequently occurs during the winter months when the days become short and you get less and less sunlight
Those suffering from psychotic depression have the symptoms of major depression along with “psychotic” symptoms such as:
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
- Delusions (false beliefs)
- Paranoia (wrongly believing that others are trying to harm you)
This happens to women who suffer from major depression in the weeks and months after giving birth.
Premenstrual Dysphonic Disorder
Women with Premenstrual Dysphonic Disorder have depression and other symptoms at the start of their period. In addition to feeling depressed, they may also have:
- Mood swings
- Feelings of being overwhelmed
- Trouble concentrating
- Change in appetite or sleeping habits
You can experience a depressed attitude when you are having problems handling a stressful event in your life, such as a death, a divorce, or losing a job.
It describes a pattern of depressive symptoms. If you have atypical depression, a positive event can provisionally ameliorate your mood. Other symptoms may include:
- Increased appetite
- Sleeping more than usual
- Feeling of heaviness in your arms and legs
- Oversensitive to criticism
A general overview of the statistics of Depression
How beneficial is meditation in curing depression?
So now let’s take a look at the benefits of Meditation in Curing depression. There are illustrated in the infographics below
9 Ways To Use Meditation To cure Depression
One of the most popular way to use meditation to cure depression is to perform the simplest techniques which is Breath Based Meditation.
Numerous meditations can aid with depression. The most straightforward is breath-based meditation. This is when you focus the mind on the breath and you mute your thoughts.
You can devote 10 minutes trying this simple exercise. It will clear your mind and help you to start feeling relaxed. Here are the steps:
- Find someplace quiet and peaceful where you will not be distracted and interrupted.
- Sit with good posture.
- Close your eyes and focus your attention on your breath.
- With each inhalation, visualize bringing new energy into your body.
- With each exhalation, picture breathing out any negative and depressive thoughts.
Loving Kindness Meditation
It pays particular attention on constructing an attitude of love and kindness towards yourself and others.
Several studies have found that people who practice this type of meditation have less depression, a more positive outlook, fewer negative emotions and greater compassion.
Below are the steps to follow for an effective loving-kindness meditation:
- Close your eyes and think about someone (begin either by thinking of yourself or someone close to you whom you like)
- See this person happy and smiling.
- List 5 things they have done for you in the past, things that made you feel supported.
- Imagine extending love and kindness to this person.
- Imagine the person sending loving-kindness back to you.
- Repeat the process with a second person.
- Try to aim for 10 people.
Some people have said that practicing Loving Kindness Meditation have help them to cure depression.
Zen Walking Meditation
In Zen Walking, you walk up and down a path while meditating on the movement.
This allows you to get some fresh air.
It also clears the mind and brings calmness and relaxation. You can also meditate before or after walking, for as little as 10 minutes at a time.
This Meditation techniques can help to cure Depression.
Visualization meditation is one of the more advanced forms of meditation for depression.
Basically, visualization can be explained as picturing specific things to produce specific results.
For example, imagine standing on the beach by the ocean. See the waves lapping to and from your feet. Hear the sound of the waves. See the horizon. Feel the sand at your feet. Taste the crisp air and say: “I am relaxed and calm. It is a good day”.
Visualizations like this train the mind to think about positive and relaxing things. This brings calmness and inner peace.
Body Scan Meditation
When you are depressed, you lose touch with the present moment.
Depression makes you get lost in those negative thoughts.
Body Scan Meditation gets you in touch with your body and puts you back in the present moment. It includes concentrating on different parts of your body chronologically.
You can do this lying down, sitting or in other postures, and with your eyes opened or closed. As you shift your attention to different parts of your body, you also focus on inhaling and exhaling deeply. Body scanning seems to be linked with a better observation of thoughts, feelings and sensations and less intense reactions to stress.
To do a body scan meditation, you move your focus around your body. You may also consciously relax your body as you go.
- Begin with your feet and focus your mind on your feet.
- Notice any sensations in your feet.
- If there is tension, ask your feet to relax.
- Imagine breathing air into your feet and having them relax.
- Continuing this process, move your focus progressively up your body, from feet to ankles to legs to pelvis to stomach, chest, arms, hands, neck, face and head.
- Reverse the process from head to toe.
It makes use of your breath to create an anchor to keep bringing your attention back to the present moment and help with cognitive retraining.
Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation may reduce depression. When you practice mindfulness, you teach yourself to let go of thoughts and to focus on the moment. This is very powerful for depression and will help you flee your thoughts.
A mantra is a holy sound that is meditated on. There are two types of mantra, both of which are applicable to depression.
The first is a sound mantra, for instance, the mantra “Om”.
- Close your eyes
- Focus on your breathing
- Recite the mantra “Om”
- Feel the sound echoing in your body
- Focus 100% on the sound
The next form of mantra uses a sentence. You can use any sentence you like, for example “I am feeling calm and relaxed.”
You then recite this mantra over and over again while focusing on the words. This helps you to create the authenticity of the words.
Buddhist Meditations for Depression:
Most of the best forms of meditation come from Buddhism.
Buddhist meditation techniques help train the mind just like you train your body when you exercise. With these techniques, you will be in control of your mind and halt depressive thoughts and painful emotions. Below are some Buddhist Meditations which can help you:
Smiling Buddha Technique
It is a practice precisely designed to generate happiness. It includes a combination of hand position and mantras to create deep relaxation and happiness. Here are the steps to practice the smiling Buddha technique:
- Sit comfortably with your legs crossed and your spine in proper alignment. You may also sit in a chair if you prefer.
- Put your hands in the Maha Gyan Mudra by moving the tip of your ring finger under the thumb while extending the other finger straight up.
- Move your hands so they are at shoulder height and about 10 inches from your shoulders. Your elbows should be bent and your 2nd and 3rd finger should be pointing straight up.”
- Close your eyes and move them so you are looking at your third eye chakra (middle of the forehead). Be sure not to strain your eyes.
- Chant the mantra “Sa Ta Na Ma”. This mantra means “Infinity, Life, Death, Re-birth.” Meditate on this mantra.
- To finish, warm your hands by rubbing the palms together, and place your hands over your eyes.
- Open your eyes.
We hope you get a complete overview on curing depression by making use of Meditation. Don’t forget to Share and spread the awareness. You can check other useful article below.
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