Beat Depression with Meditation

How This Helps

In very simple terms, depression is when you feel disconnected from the divinity within yourself. Each one of us is a powerhouse of wisdom, experiences, knowledge, and awareness. The trouble occurs when we lose that channel to all of this and start feeling lost in life. Once this feeling sets in, every situation has the power to throw the balance off from us, to shake us and if these are not addressed in time, it can turn to what we call “depression” in our current day and age. Have we ever thought why so many people are depressed now­a­days? Why is it that despite the many options and choices we have, there is a constant feeling of discontentment, hopelessness or dissatisfaction? I recommend meditation to help cope up with depression.

Notes

Over the past 3­4 years, I have also received a lot of acute depression cases where the trigger is nothing really and I get responses such as “I don’t know.....nothing is wrong but I just feel lost/sad/depressed” These are classic cases of spiritual awakening. Let me explain how.

At some point in our physical life, the soul undergoes a realization of this planet being a foreign place and feels trapped in the denser vibration of your body. This is when anything “earthly” starts seeming futile and an effort. Spending time with people, socializing, the pursuit of money, family life, 
the need for marriage, grounding activities such as swimming, dancing, driving ­ basically all things which are constructs of the Earth realm. 

And this is when people term themselves as getting depressed. This is nothing but a Transcendence ­ so you must know the difference between this and depression. In this case, you need to hold tight and let it pass. If you feel like being by yourself, be by yourself ­ DO NOT be hard on yourself for your choices in this phase. You have to be totally in the moment, and totally accepting of what is arising for you as an experience.

If it’s tightness you are feeling or certain unhappiness and sadness in life, embrace it, acknowledge it and feel it fully ­ don’t push it away or try and shove it under the carpet. Be one with this experience. And when you do so, you may then stop defining it as some kind of judgment the ego has made. And once you stop defining yourself with it, you will step through it and out to the other side ­ almost like a doorway. And this is when 
you start making peace with what is and you start becoming okay with life for whatever it offers ­ because you understand that everything is an experience your soul asked for and the only way out of it is to see it through and move and not indulge in being self­ critical, self­ pitiful or self-
sabotaging.

So, to begin with, ­do this meditation every night before sleeping. After this, the path to healing will be unfolded and worked upon. :)

Instructions

Chronic depression can get suicidal at times first. In such cases, the first thing to crack is that one thing in your life that is keeping you alive. With the help of meditation and visualization work, we revisit and make that association within you stronger. So that the chances of suicide are minimized. Next, we begin reconnecting with the divine in each one of us ­ we take back our power to handle with simple meditation. We need to understand this “Your success in life depends on your capacity to handle life for whatever it offers, your only failure is when you stop trying”. This gives a sense of realization to the self that if I have managed so far, then clearly I am doing something right!! And that is the biggest hope we cling on to in therapy work.

Meditations and affirmations on accepting yourself the way you are and your life the way it is ­ is a very crucial step in curing depression. I have attached this meditation that anyone can do ­ depressed or not ­ to feel a sense of gratitude and love for yourself and for life. This is your anchor. 

It is only after these anchors are in place that does therapeutic work of revisiting the incidences that triggered off the depression begins. Through hypnotherapy, meditation and chakra work, one balances out the distorted associations and etheric cords that one builds and re­builds them from scratch.

Science and Research

On the face of it, there are many reasons for depression to occur. The loss of a loved one, betrayal, failure in spheres of life, fears and stress, familial disconnect are some of the common ones. However, in the work that I have done and researched on for over 8­10 years, the common 
thread I find in almost all depression cases is a dependency on the external environment for completion and a disconnect with the internal environment of one’s being.

Most of us benchmark our success, our happiness based on goals that we set with relation to the external environment ­ be it a certain amount of income, a certain promotion, a certain partner in life ­ whatever it is, we seek it in the outside. This is fine as long as it gets fulfilled. The problem occurs when it does not manifest in our outside world ­ we lose all sense of being and we enter a self-pity or victim mode. 

This mode is like quicksand ­ it keeps pulling you deeper into darkness and soon you see no way out. So, get on the journey to beat your depression with meditation.

How does meditation help manage depression?

How can it help?

There are several ways to manage and beat depression. Antidepressants and psychotherapy are the regular first-line treatments, but continuing studies have indicated that a regular meditation practice can help by changing the way the brain reacts to stress and anxiety. Meditation teaches you to listen to feelings and thoughts without passing judgment or criticizing yourself. Meditation does not involve pushing away these ideas or pretending you do not have them. Instead, you notice and accept them, then let them go. This way, meditation can help interrupt cycles of negative thinking.

See: Yoga treatment for Depression

Change your response to negative thoughts

Meditation can help you get into a place where you feel you can enjoy the moment without feeling a cycle of hopeless and negative thoughts. Stress and anxiety are significant triggers of depression, and meditation can alter your reaction to those feelings. Meditation trains the brain to realize sustained attention, and to return to this attention when negative thinking, emotions, and physical sensations intrude - that happens a lot when you are feeling stressed and anxious.

The goal of meditation isn't to push aside stress or block out negative thinking, but instead to observe those feelings and thoughts, all of them while knowing that you don't have to act on them. This might be as easy as closing your eyes and repeating one word or phrase, or counting breaths.


See: Naturopathic Medicine For Depression

How meditation changes your brain areas

Helps you learn how to manage depression more effectively

Meditation can also help prepare the brain for stressful conditions. For example, meditating for a few moments before a physician's appointment or social situation can help change the mind and body from the anxiety response and into a state of relative calm. Yet, as with following a proper diet and exercise, it takes time to feel results from regular meditation. Meditation can help people manage and control their responses to the stress and anxiety that often leads to depression. Meditation has been proven to change certain brain areas, which are especially linked with depression. Scientists have shown that the medial prefrontal cortex becomes hyperactive in depressed folks. This goes into overdrive when people get really stressed.

The other brain area associated with depression is the amygdala, or "fear center." This is the section of the brain responsible for the fight-or-flight reply, which induces the adrenal glands to release the stress hormone cortisol in response to fear and perceived threat. Both of these brain areas work off each other to cause depression. The "me center" has worked up responding to stress and anxiety, and the fear center response contributes to a spike in cortisol levels to combat a danger that is just in your mind.

Studies have found that meditation helps break the link between both of these brain regions. You're better able to dismiss the negative sensations of stress and anxiety when you meditate. Another way meditation helps the mind is by shielding the hippocampus (a brain region involved in memory). One study discovered that individuals who meditated for thirty minutes per day for eight months increased the volume of grey matter in their hippocampus, and other research indicates that those who suffer from repetitive depression are likely to have a smaller hippocampus.

See: Acupuncture treatment for Depression

References

1. Murri MB, et al. (2018). Physical exercise in major depression: Reducing the mortality gap while improving clinical outcomes. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00762

2. Smookler E. (2019). Beginner's body scan meditation. mindful.org/beginners-body-scan-meditation/

3. Alsaraireh FA, et al. (2017). Mindfulness meditation versus physical exercise in the management of depression among nursing students. DOI: 10.3928/01484834-20170918-04

4. Carpena MX, et al. (2019). The effect of a six-week focused meditation training on depression and anxiety symptoms in Brazilian university students with 6 and 12 months of follow-up. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.12.126

5. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019). Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress.

mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858

6. Dedovic K, et al. (2015). The cortisol awakening response and major depression: Examining the evidence. DOI:

10.2147/NDT.S62289

7. Kong L, et al. (2013). Functional connectivity between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex in medication-naive individuals with major depressive disorder. DOI: 10.1503/jpn.120117

8. Lu S. (2015). Mindfulness holds promise for treating depression.

apa.org/monitor/2015/03/cover-mindfulness

9. MacKenzie MB, et al. (2016). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: Trends and developments.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4876939/

10. Edenfield TM, et al. (2012). An update on mindfulness meditation as a self-help treatment for anxiety and depression. DOI:

10.2147/PRBM.S34937

11. Hölzel BK, et al. (2011). Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. DOI:

10.1016/j.pscychresns.2010.08.006


See: Panchakarma

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