5 Quick Tips For Is Meditation Good For Depression Depression has continued to become a prevalent medical issue for older adults. According to Harvard studies, around 20% of adults with ages 65 and above experience regular depression, leading to severe heart diseases and other chronic illnesses.
It affects health and has a major impact on the individual’s social life as well. It hampers all social activities, isolating oneself and affecting cognitive functions.
There is a multitude of ways of treating depression, antidepressants and psychotherapy being the first ones in line. However, research suggests that meditation can be a key approach to treating depression. It alters how our brains react to stress and anxiety, as they are the primary triggers for depression.
Can it really help?
When the question is, is meditation good for depression, it might seem a little skeptical, but actually, it is a great way to improve depression. It can help make your symptoms a lot more manageable and turn them towards treatable.
Here’s what it really does:
Changes your response to pessimism
Depression involves a lot of negative thoughts that might make you feel lonely, worthless, or angry at yourself and in life. In this case, meditation can be counterintuitive as it revolves around increasing self-awareness regarding thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
In reality, meditation allows you to encounter those thoughts and feelings and let them pass through without having to judge yourself. Instead of pushing them away, face them, accept them and let them pass through without reacting to them. This is incredibly beneficial in disrupting the cycle of negative thoughts. This awareness gets away from the distressing thoughts and keeps you going.
Helps in the effective management of depression
Meditation allows you to notice your emotions more quickly at the moment. With this, you can better pay attention to the moments where you feel dull, irritable, fatigued, seem to have less interest in things you usually like doing, or witness patterns of negative thoughts forming, then it’s time for you to focus on self-care.
At the same time, when you incorporate meditation into your life, you must try to opt for it as a permanent fix. The research concludes that meditation can help improve depression symptoms if you regularly incorporate it into your life. Opting as a temporary fix won’t help.
Kinds of meditation that can help
Here is a guide to some of the most popular as well as effective meditation practices that can provide a great affirmation to the question, is meditation good for depression.
- Loving-kindness meditation
Developing an attitude of love, kindness, and acceptance is supremely important when trying to battle depression. A number of practices have found out that this meditation can help with reducing depression and creating a positive outlook towards life. Alleviating self-criticism from life can have an amazing impact on your mental health. The research found out that the reduction in self-scrutiny lasted for another three months after the meditation sessions ended. It brings out greater compassion for yourself which succors in treating depression.
2. Mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation is also known to be the mother of all meditations. It is actually one of the most science-backed meditations anchoring the treatment of meditation. It creates awareness of the present movement and helps retain cognitive abilities.
Studies show that mindfulness meditation can help reduce depression, stress, and anxiety. The Society for Integrative Oncology recommended using mindfulness meditation to ease depression in cancer patients. Some studies have worked on showing ways through which mindfulness changes the way the brain functions. According to a study in 2016, it was founded that mindfulness meditation practices can reduce the chances of depression relapse.
3. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
This is known to be a subset of mindfulness meditation which creates a great combination of meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy—being one of the most prevalently used therapy which centers on the changing of damaged thinking and behavioral patterns. It was initially developed to prevent relapses in people with recurrent depression, but now it is also used to treat active depression.
A study that incorporates behavioral therapy with mindfulness practice found out that it reduces symptoms of depression-like changes in sleep, mood, and appetite.
4. Breath awareness meditation
Creating awareness of breath is the most fundamental aspect of meditation. It is used as an object to keep you focused during meditation to fortify your brain. It can also be called mindful breathing. You don’t have to take out a massive amount of time for this meditation. As low as 15 minutes in a day is more than sufficient to focus on inhaling and exhaling, mood benefits. You don’t even have to set out a specific time in a day to schedule this meditation; instead, you can do it anytime during the day, amid your work. Whether you’re standing or sitting or lying, you can do it whenever you get the time and witness the pacification that it yields.
Yoga and meditation go hand in hand. It includes different bodily postures with breathing techniques that have a positive effect on depression and anxiety. Studies have specifically found out that Kundalini yoga helps treat this mental health disorder. It banishes anger, fades away fear, and replaces negative thoughts with positive ones. Studies have also concluded that yoga eases anxiety, depression, panic, improves people’s sleep and general well-being.
2. Transcendental meditation
Instead of using the breath as an object of focus, this meditation uses sound or a personal mantra as an anchor. A study focused on people with high-stress jobs concluded that transcendental meditation could help with depression, anxiety, stress, and burnout. The benefits of this meditation lasted for months after the process was over.
Focusing on positive images inculcates calm in their mind. Visualization is a technique led by another person that uses scores of online recordings to treat depression. Imagery can be a great source of ending negative thought patterns. It enables you to focus on happy endings instead of the bad ones to help you lead a better quality of life which is the perfect answer to is meditation good for depression.
Depression is a widely spreading disease that adversely affects the lifestyle of people. As mentioned earlier, trying meditation practices can be supremely beneficial in preventing depression symptoms and living a happy and healthy life.