Mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, are surprisingly common. It has been estimated that between 3% and 6% of the UK population suffer from depression.
Patients with these mental health conditions should find effective treatments and coping methods.
One of the best coping mechanisms that you can try for depression is meditation. You may notice a significant alleviation in your depression symptoms once you have started using meditation.
Meditation is a technique that is designed to clear your head by encouraging a state of heightened awareness.
This guide will explore how meditation for depression works, as well as how you can utilise it.
How Does Meditation For Depression Work?
Many people will be understandably sceptical about using meditation for depression. The main way in which meditation is an effective treatment is that it combats two of the main causes (see also: Low Estrogen – Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & More!)of depression, namely stress and anxiety.
Another way in which meditation becomes a successful treatment for depression is by altering how you respond to negative thoughts. For sufferers of depression, these negative thoughts are a common symptom.
Meditation is not about ignoring these negative thoughts or trying to bury them to pretend that they don’t exist. Meditation will help depression sufferers to come to terms with these dark thoughts.
It’s worth noting that these benefits are primarily reserved for practitioners who continue to follow these meditation programs. As a result, you will need to maintain these efforts if you wish to experience the benefits of meditation.
How Do Use Meditation For Depression
If you are interested in using meditation to treat your depression, I recommended that you follow these simple steps:
1. Create A Calming Environment
Meditation is all about creating a calming mental state. To get into this calm disposition, you will need to try meditation in a relaxing environment.
For example, you may want to meditate in a quiet space with minimal distractions.
You may also wish to remove any clutter. Instead, you should meditate in a space with natural light and a connection to the environment, as many people find these settings to be calming. Use objects like blankets and cushions to enhance comfort.
If you live in a busy and noisy home, it may be worth meditating outside. Many people enjoy meditating in natural spaces, as they find these spaces to be naturally relieving.
2. Comfort Is Key
Once you have established this environment, you should try to get comfortable. The truth is that you can use practically whatever meditation position you prefer.
For example, many people will choose to sit cross-legged. Alternatively, you may prefer to lie down on the floor, though you might also wish to stand during the meditation process. Closing one’s eyes also typically aids with meditation.
3. Try Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises are a fundamental component of meditation. These exercises can heighten relaxation and slow down your heart rate(see also:Normal Heart Rate When Doing Housework?). There are a multitude of different breathing techniques that you can try for stress reduction.
A simple breathing exercise that you can try will involve:
- Gently inhale through your nose.
- Hold your breath for approximately 5 seconds.
- Exhale through your mouth.
- Repeat these steps as many times as desired.
Diaphragmatic breathing techniques have been found to offer a whole host of benefits for practitioners, such as reducing the impacts of stress.
4. Include A Mantra
To improve your concentration and improve the desired effects of this meditation, namely to reduce depression, you could add a mantra to the program. These mantras are especially effective at dispelling negative thoughts.
One of the benefits of using a mantra is that it is super simple to customise. You should try to find a mantra that is tailored to your personal life. However, some of the mantras that you can try for depression include:
- “I will be happy”
- “I am relaxed”
- “I am enough”
- “Positive thoughts guide me”
You can either say these affirmations aloud when you are meditating or you can merely think about them repeatedly. If you are not comfortable saying these mantras, you can instead just repeat the phrase “om”. This is a sacred sound that is used to guide the meditation process.
Alternatively, you can add visualisation to your meditation, which is the process of imagining something you wish to achieve.
5. Meditate Consistently
As stated, consistency is key when it comes to meditation. Even if you merely meditate for around 5 minutes a day, it is important to meditate frequently.
It’s also worth pointing out that the time of day can affect the success of your meditation. For example, a study found that people were more likely to keep up with a meditation app if they consistently meditated in the morning.
If you can’t meditate in the morning, this will not matter too much. Instead, you should merely try to consistently meditate at the same time every day.
6. Experient To Find What Works Best For You
The last tip is that you should experiment with different meditation techniques to find what works best for you. The reason for this is that certain practices will be more effective for you than others.
For example, you can experiment with different positions. As mentioned, a cross-legged sit is one of the most common positions, though you should feel comfortable experimenting with others.
You can also experiment with different environments so that you can find the most comfortable place for meditation.
What Are The Benefits Of Meditation?
Understanding the benefits of meditation is crucial to comprehending how this technique can be used to manage depression. The benefits of meditation include:
- It can give you a new perspective.
- You can reduce stress and anxiety.
- You can become more focused on the present.
- Good emotional health will be promoted.
- It can encourage self-awareness.
- Meditation can reverse the impact of early memory loss.
- Additionally, meditation can enhance the quality of your sleep.
Alternative Methods Of Treating Depression
Though meditation is an effective treatment for depression, it’s worth bearing in mind that other treatments should also be taken into consideration. This way, you can find the method that works best for you. Some alternative methods for depression include:
- Antidepressants, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
- Physical activity programs.
- Talking therapies, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
It’s important to consider what treatments will work best for you. It’s worth consulting with a medical professional to determine which of these treatments are right for you.
If you suffer from depression or another serious mental health condition, it can be worth exploring different coping mechanisms. Meditation is one of the best methods that you can use to treat your symptoms of depression by instilling a clear mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
You shouldn’t expect meditation to work immediately. Usually, it will take approximately 8 weeks for you to experience the benefits of meditation. A study found that it can take 11 hours of meditation to rewire your brain.
Research has found that meditation is comparable to antidepressants in terms of its benefits for reducing stress.
Of course, it is important to take antidepressants if you have been prescribed them by a medical professional. Moreover, you can try meditation alongside your antidepressants.