Meditation cured my depression: Here is how
In this blog we will discuss the various ways meditation can help improve depression.
We will also breifly discuss what medication is, the various types of meditation, and how meditation improves mindfulness.
Meditation cured my depression: Here is how
Here are some of the ways in which meditation as a practice can help improve depression and reduce depression related symptoms:
Meditation reduces stress
The brain is made up of billions of neurons, which communicate with each other through chemical signals called neurotransmitters.
These chemicals can either excite or inhibit the neurons they’re connected to so when you’re feeling stressed out, your body releases cortisol and adrenaline, which makes your heart beat faster and increases blood pressure.
This increase in heart rate and blood pressure can cause changes in your brain chemistry specifically, an increase in dopamine and serotonin levels.
These neurotransmitters are associated with feelings of pleasure and happiness, so when you’re stressed out about something, these chemicals release endorphins that make you feel better temporarily but only until the stressors return again.
Meditation helps reduce stress by helping you control your breathing patterns and focus on positive thoughts instead of negative ones.
It also helps regulate cortisol levels by lowering the production of this hormone during stressful situations (which means less bodily stress).
Meditation leads to positive changes in the brain
A 2014 research from the University of Toronto found that there are several ways in which meditation can improve your mental health.
The researchers found that meditation created structural changes in the brain, including increased gray matter in the hippocampus which is linked to memory, reduced gray matter in the amygdala which is linked to stress, and a thicker cerebral cortex which is associated with attention.
In addition, research carried out compared people who had extensive experience meditating with people who had never meditated. They found that those who meditated exhibited higher levels of gamma-wave activity when not meditating.
Meditation Increases mindfulness
The practice of meditation can help develop a greater sense of self-awareness, Reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, Manage feelings of depression and trauma, Enhance your ability to focus and concentrate, Improve your sleep quality
Mindfulness is a powerful tool for mental health. The term “mindfulness” refers to being in the moment, being aware of your thoughts and feelings, and being aware of your body. This type of awareness can help you relax, it can reduce anxiety, and it can even improve your focus.
Mindfulness is also linked to improved mental health. When people are more mindful, they are able to identify their emotions more quickly and accurately than those who are not as mindful.
This means that those who practice mindfulness tend to be better at regulating their own emotions which is crucial in reducing stress levels and preventing depression or anxiety disorders from developing.
Another benefit of mindfulness is that it helps people become more aware of their bodies as well as their thoughts. By becoming aware of what’s going on inside your body (such as a racing heart or tense muscles), you’re able to identify physical sensations that may be causing you distress before they escalate into something bigger—like an anxiety attack or panic attack.
Research has shown that mindfulness meditation can: help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties
Meditation Increases focus
Studies have shown that meditation can be an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety. When you meditate, your brain produces more gamma waves, which are associated with focus and learning.
This helps you stay focused throughout the day. As well as this, meditation helps you to reduce stress levels and increase overall happiness.
According to an article from the American Psychological Association (APA), “research has shown that meditation increases activity in areas of the brain associated with focus and attention.”
The benefits of meditation don’t stop there: it’s also been shown to impact the immune system, help people sleep better, improve blood pressure control and reduce oxidative stress (the damage caused by free radicals).
What is meditation?
Meditation and mindfulness have a great impact on an individual’s mental health. It not only provides relaxation to the body but also to the spiritual realm. The practice of meditation has been around for centuries, originating in Asia and India.
Traditionally, meditators sat on the floor in silence for hours, clearing their minds and focusing on their breathing patterns. It was believed that this kind of meditation helped practitioners achieve mindfulness: a state of calm awareness of one’s body and mind.
Today, meditation is still practiced by many from all cultures and walks of life, but there are several different ways to meditate: from guided meditations to transcendental meditations to yoga.
The most important thing about meditation is that it helps you achieve mindfulness through relaxation and deep breathing. One of the most common forms of meditation is mindfulness meditation, which consists of focusing on your present experience with an open attitude.
Another form of meditation called mantra meditation may also help to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
What are the various types of meditation?
There are two main types of meditation: focused attention and open monitoring.
Focused attention involves focusing on a single object, such as one’s breath or a candle flame.
Open monitoring involves non-judgmental awareness of all thoughts and sensations that arise in the mind as they occur.
Meditation is a practice of mental focus, usually involving techniques such as breath control and focusing on a single thought or image.
How is meditation related to mindfulness?
Mindfulness can be said to be the practice of being aware of your current thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
Mindfulness means paying attention to your thoughts and emotions without judging them as good or bad, but instead seeing them as they are.
Mindfulness is a state of being and more proficiently a way of life where the individual actively imagines in the act of cultivating full awareness of the present.
This awareness of the presence is related to both the world outside and around the individual and the world within the individual in terms of thoughts and feelings.
A person who practises mindfulness may begin with putting effort to bring about all of their senses to focu on what they’re experiencing right now however, over time, it becomes a way of life- done without much effort and with a greater understanding of one’s self.
Mindfulness is the experience of being present with the here and now. The state of Mindfulness is an experience of your present feelings, thoughts, and behaviour. It is the act of paying attention to yourself, your body, and the world around you.
It is the complete opposite of living in an autopilot mode of existence which can cause various problems, mental health related issues, stress, and an overall poor sense of well being.
Being mindful requires you to let go of the past, and the worries of the future and simply focus on the present and the things you can do in the present. This can help you move past unnecessary anxious and depressive thoughts that are unnecessary and often causing dysfunction.
Mindfulness is widely accepted and encouraged by philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual guides, and has garnered traction in mainstream society with various gurus and social media influencers talking about the practice.
Although originally articulated as a part of Buddhism, it is often taught independent of religious connotation and it is now seen as a lifestyle choice that can help improve well-being.
There are Buddhist themes in modern-day mindfulness, such as meditation, breathing exercises, and being one with the world- however, in modern or secular mindfulness, there is no need to connect religious or spiritual meaning to one’s practice of mindfulness.
Meaning that one does not have to adhere to the Buddhist faith to be mindful. Infact, there has been a rising trend of mindfulness now being part of the science of wellbeing where mindfulness practises has been studied scientifically and empirically to help researchers understand what mindfulness does and how it impacts wellbeing.
Both meditation and mindfulness have been popular for thousands of years, but in recent decades they have gained a lot of attention in the Western world for their many benefits, including stress reduction, increased focus and attention span, improved emotional regulation, and enhanced creativity.
What are some meditation activities?
Various meditation activities include:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Relaxation exercises
- Guided Imagery and Visualization
- Focused Attention Meditation
- Loving-kindness Meditation
- Progressive Relaxation Meditation
- Body Scan Meditation
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Awareness of the Breath Meditation
- Transcendental Meditation
- Zen Meditation
- Yoga Meditation
In this blog we have discussed the various ways meditation can help improve depression.
We have also breifly discussed what medication is, the various types of meditation, and how meditation improves mindfulness.
FAQ related to Meditation cured my depression: Here is how
Can meditation get rid of depression?
No, meditation cannot “get rid” of depression nor will it make all the symptoms of depression disappear but will help you manage them.
Meditation has been proven to reduce stress, increase mindfulness, as well as lead to changes in the brain all of which has a positive impact on recovery from depression.
Does meditation improve mental health?
Yes, meditaiton has positve benefits on mental health. It improves focus and concentration, improves self-awareness and self-esteem, lower levels of stress and anxiety, and fosters kindness.
Can mindfulness decrease stress?
Mindfulness practices can help lower stress and stress related symptoms that can harm well being because the act of staying in the present can help curb anxieties related to the future.
Worrying about the future or fretting about regrets of the past can cause an individual to remain stuck in life and stop them from making effective choices that can help them improve the conditions of their present such as choosing to manage stress.
Being mindful and engaging in the act of being in the present can help individuals make note of the positive things in their life, relax, and choose healthier ways of coping.
Can mindfulness make you happy?
Mindfulness improves your senses and helps you find greater enjoyment in the world around you and this can be refreshing especially for people who are part of a busy world.
The practice can be a reminder to help people take notice of what is around them and this way of life can be helpful in developing a sense of happiness and appreciation.
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Weil, A. (2019). Three breathing exercises and techniques. Dr. Weil. Retrieved on 30th April 2022.https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/stress-anxiety/breathing-three-exercises/
30 Meditation Exercises and Activities to Practice Today. Positive Psychology. Retrieved on 30th April 2022.. https://positivepsychology.com/meditation-exercises-activities/#:~:text=3%20Exercises%20to%20Help%20with%20Anxiety%20and%20Stress,stress%20and%20anxiety.%20…%203%20Progressive%20Muscle%20Relaxation
Getting Started with Mindfulness. Mindful.org. Retrieved on 30th April 2022.. https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/
Ackerman.C. 22 Mindfulness Exercises, Techniques & Activities For Adults (+ PDF’s). Positive psychology. Retrieved on 30th April 2022.. https://positivepsychology.com/mindfulness-exercises-techniques-activities/