Meditation - A Treatment for Depression
If you or someone you know is living with depression, you know all too well that the symptoms can be chronic, come in major depressive episodes a few times a year or notice the symptoms changing or worsening over time. When suffering from depression, we have emotional symptoms like sadness, tearfulness, hopelessness, frustration, and angry outbursts over small matters. We experience physical symptoms like reduced appetite or overeating. Sleep disturbances like insomnia or sleeping too much. And even unexplained physical problems like back pain or headaches. Depression symptoms can linger, even with traditional treatments like medication and talk therapy. However, there is another proven method to manage depression, meditation.
Meditation for depression? If you feel a little skeptical at the suggestion, you’re not alone. You might even think it sounds like a recommendation from the people who say depression will improve if you “Smile more!” or “Think positively!” Meditation alone won’t make your symptoms vanish, but it can make the symptoms more manageable.
Reprogram Negative Thought Patterns:
Our depression can cause a lot of dark thoughts. It makes us feel hopeless, worthless, and angry at life and ourselves. Mediation will increase awareness of thoughts and experiences, making it seem somewhat counterintuitive to treat depression. However, meditation teaches us to pay attention to thoughts and feelings without passing judgment or criticizing ourselves. Meditation doesn’t teach us to push away these thoughts or pretend we don’t have them. Instead, it teaches us to notice and accept the feeling, then let them go. In this way, meditation can help disrupt cycles of negative thinking.
Still not sure? Here is an example. Say you are experiencing a peaceful moment, and you suddenly have a dark thought. First, visualize grabbing that dark thought from your brain. Next, imagine placing the thought into a slingshot. Feel the weight of the thought in the sling as you pull it back. Then, release your grip on the sling and release the thought from your mind. Then immediately replace that dark thought with a positive one.
Manage Depression More Effectively
Meditation can teach us to stay present when we notice warning signs of a depressive episode early on. Meditation will make it easier to pay attention to our emotions as they come up. When we incorporate meditation practices into our daily life, we will find it easier to challenge unwanted thoughts we experience and keep ourselves from getting locked into the negative thought spirals that often make depression worse.
Try our audio program, Up From Depression, and let us guide you to lift your spirits and have a new, more positive outlook on life.