Depression and Meditation

Meditation is fairly new to our Western culture. Although meditation has been practiced for thousands of years we in the west are fairly new to the practice of calming the mind and sitting in mindfulness. In many ways, it goes against our culture of ‘doing’ and ‘fast achieving’.

Studies have shown that meditation promotes significant changes in the brain and body: it enhances your focus, performance, immune system, mood, cognitive measures, memory, visual attention, and much more.

meditation and Depression by HaPe_Gera

Psychologists at the Wake Forest University of Medicine studying the effects of “mindfulness meditation” found that it only took four days of training for 20 minutes each day to have a significant improvement in cognitive skills, improvements that were more comparable to results after far more extensive training.

It’s a myth is that you need years and years of practice, when in reality 10 to 20 minutes of meditation a day can have a huge impact on your life.

Combat Depression Meditation CThe Combat DepressionCD is a good one to start with if you’re new (and even if you’re not) to meditation. It’s a guided meditation that focuses on healing and gathering inner strength, and really seems to work on getting my energy moving. There is a section on affirmations included, which is nice too. Play it while getting yourself really relaxed and breathing deep easy breaths.

The simple process of focusing on your breath in a relaxed manner, in a way that teaches you to regulate your emotions and calm your inner state is a major healing process.

I tend to group my yoga or exercise routine with meditation, finishing up my practice with 20 minutes of meditation. I find it’s the best time to do it because my body is tired from the exercise and my mind is much less active and more open to meditation.

You might find it easier to meditate first thing in the morning, or late at night. Or maybe even mid-day at the office, finding it a restorative break to your day. The point is that you do it.Meditation and Depression Breathe Me by Myles Smith

It’s important that you fix a time and a place, where you won’t be disturbed, and where you will feel comfortable and relaxed. Lying down in bed is not usually a good idea as you will tend to fall asleep.

There are many many ways to meditate, from sitting to walking, from open eyed to closed eyes, from silent to mantra-chanting.

The techniques are varied, but if you’re new to meditation I highly recommend you start out with something simple, and for 10 minutes a day until you feel you can work yourself up to 20 minutes a day.

Give yourself a couple of weeks of daily practice and see what a difference you’ll feel.

Here’s a great video to get you started.

 




Another valuable resource in healing in a natural and holistic way is this book that discusses a little bit of everything; yoga, meditation and exercise in general.
	Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way: Creating Happiness Through Meditation, Yoga, and AyurvedaHealing Depression the Mind-Body Way: Creating Happiness Through Meditation, Yoga, and Ayurveda
Here you will find a step-by-step program based on the ancient healing tradition of Ayurveda, that focuses on eliminating the root of depression from the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of your being. There is a detailed questionnaire, which identifies which archetype most represents your experience with depression, and then there is a tailor-made health program to combat that particular experience.