Can Meditation Help With Depression?
Abraham Lincoln, Dickinson , Edgar Allen Poe, Dickens , Churchill , Vincent van Gogh , J. K. Rowling, Adele and countless other artists, bereaved individuals, recent mothers, and John and Jane Does struggled or struggle with depression. In today’s intensely demanding world, stress may be a major contributing factor to the present increasingly common malady.
The symptoms of depression vary from one person to a different . However, if you’ve been feeling “blue” for several weeks, can’t quite find the energy needed to face the planet and find that your emotions are interrupting your normal lifestyle, you’ll be affected by depressive disorder . If this sounds familiar, we strongly urge you to hunt professional help. And you would possibly also try meditation.
Meditation for depression
First off, how does mindfulness meditation affect our overall mental health? Meditation helps us become more conscious of what’s happening within. It also allows us to relate more directly – with benevolence – to the emotions that are delivered to light, including anger, stress, anxiety and craving. There are zillion distractions and pressures within the times which may persuade us to lose touch with our emotions and feelings. If we don’t concentrate , we could find yourself suppressing them, and this is often never healthy. Meditation connects us to a way of spaciousness, which successively fosters well-being.
How can meditation help?
The awareness – mental, spiritual and emotional – that meditators achieve helps them identify the early signs of anxiety, stress and depression. This makes it easier to deal with and treat these issues before they snowball. Those who train in mindfulness practice, for example, learn to recognize and distance themselves from unwholesome thoughts and emotions without judging or censoring them. This benevolent distance from harmful emotions allows meditators to discover inner resources they may not have been aware of – resources that inform their lives and make it easier to focus on the well-being of others.
An article recently published on Health.com describes 11 types of meditation that may help people cope with and even overcome depression. Mindfulness, breath awareness and walking meditation are three of the techniques mentioned that are easy to put into practice. The article also reminds the reader that when it comes to depression, meditation is most effective when combined with other treatments and “should be used as a part of conventional medical care under the supervision of a physician.”
Effectiveness of meditation in managing depression
Still wondering does meditation (really truly) help depression? A review study published within the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2014 found that mindfulness meditation was about as effective as medication in treating depression. This study, which was notable for its scope and rigorous methodology, raised yet one more voice in favor of a multi-remedy approach to helping alleviate the disorder. As Johns Hopkins’s Dr. Madhav Goyal, who led the research team, put it, “Also relevant for physicians and patients is that there’s no known major harm from meditating, and meditation doesn’t accompany any known side effects. One also can practice meditation along side other treatments one is already receiving.”
Research also suggests that methods like Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) help prevent relapse. a piece of writing from the American Psychological Association says that “one characteristic of depression may be a habit of thinking negatively about experience, one’s self or the longer term . Mindfulness trains people to be more conscious of these thoughts and to face back and easily observe their thoughts passing through their minds rather than trying to regulate their emotions.”
Symptoms of depression
Here are the signs to look out for if you suspect that you are (or someone you love is) depressed:
- Restlessness and feeling slower than usual
- Constant irritability, sadness or tension
- Reduced ability to concentrate or make decisions
- Reduced interest in common hobbies and activities
- Feeling hopeless, worthless and/or guilty
- Feeling tired all the time; loss of energy with no valid reason
- General change in sleeping pattern
- Significant change in appetite which can be accompanied by weight gain or weight loss
- Thoughts of death or suicide
In tandem with proper counseling and other remedies, meditation can help sufferers overcome this agonizing condition. But the benefits aren’t only for people who struggle with the blues. In fact, meditation gives just about everyone who is willing to sit for a few minutes a day access to a happier and more balanced life. According to Maggie Lehnert Kossowski, meditation is a journey to a life of hope and meaning.