Everywhere there are reports of increased stress, depression, and anxiety. The World Health Organization has referred to it as an epidemic, and has reported that the burden of depression is increasing globally. Depression and sadness are not the same. Depression is a mental illness and symptoms can range from mild to severe and must last more than 14 days to be considered a true depressive symptom.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, symptoms can include:
- Feeling sad or having a persistent depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Changes in appetite that affect weight
- Sleeping Problems
- Increased fatigue or Lack of Energy
- Feeling worthless
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Suicidal thoughts
One of the challenges of diagnosing clinical depression is that other medical conditions – such as thyroid problems, brain tumors, or even vitamin deficiency – can present with the same symptoms as depression, so it’s important to rule out any other medical causes. visiting your doctor.
Depression – Some facts
Once it is believed to be an adult condition, symptoms of depression can appear at any time, but it usually makes its first appearance during the late teens or early 20s. Women are more likely than men to suffer from depression, although some hypotheses say that this statistic speaks more about the social acceptance of a woman to get help than of a man who could be seen as weak or less masculine for allowing emotions affect performance.
“Some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime. And one in six people will experience depression at some point in their life,” notes the American Psychiatric Association.
With the incidence of depression so prevalent, can meditation help with the symptoms of depression?
1. Feelings of Sadness
One study specifically examined the impact of mindfulness meditation on happiness and found that meditators had significantly higher levels of subjective well – being , which is the scientific word for happiness. Meditation was shown to significantly increase positive thinking.
There have also been many proven connections between self-declared wellness and mindfulness. One study noted a change in sadness processing in the brain as a result of meditation. Meditators were better able to process and move beyond sadness than the control group.
2. Loss of Interest or Pleasure in Activities
Participation in an activity or exercise requires both motivation and commitment. The connection between motivation and meditation is still a work in progress. Common sense says that you return to a task because it is enjoyable.
Barbara Fredrickson is known for her expand and build theory , which shows that the experience of positive emotions leads individuals to try new things or start new relationships, which in turn leads to building personal resources such as friends and positive experiences. These changes lead to better physical and mental health, which leads to more positive emotions. She calls this the upward spiral. Her research also connected this upward spiral with loving-kindness meditation .
Commitment levels have been shown to improve in meditators. Participants reported changes in felt experience and experienced improvements in goal-directed behavior – they showed themselves more easily and took pleasure in the tasks at hand.
3. Appetite Changes
The conscious eating is a way to focus on what you are feeding your body. Using this type of approach can help meditators focus on what their body needs and how much it is consuming. Finding the right balance of foods and amounts that create health for your body can help increase or suppress your appetite.
4. Sleep Issues
Suffering from depression can cause too much or not enough sleep. The end goal is to fall asleep easily and wake up feeling refreshed. Professionals often view sleep disorders and depression as deeply correlated without knowing which came first: lack of sleep or depression. According to Harvard Medical School , meditation prepares the body for restful sleep and helps prevent the mind from wandering to places that keep you awake (or wake you up) at night.
5. Increased Physical Movements
Increased self-calming movements, which are often considered a sign of depression, is also a tell-tale sign of increased stress and anxiety. In one study there were significant decreases in distress as well as increases in positive moods in the group of meditators.
6. Focus or Concentration Issues
The results of a seven-year study show that meditation practice is linked to lasting improvement in sustained attention. Meditation helps you focus better and for longer. It is not yet clear if improving concentration reduces symptoms of depression, but the impact of positive states of engagement and flow, that feeling you have when you are “in the zone”, and its impact on you is being investigated. the Depression.
7. Suicidal Thoughts
Whenever you or a loved one has suicidal thoughts, the first priority is to get to the emergency room where medical professionals can assess and intervene. In a non-emergency situation, a study (largely of veterans and others with PTSD) showed that meditation encourages a reduction in suicidal thoughts.
How to Start Practising Meditation
Given the clear connection between better psychological health and meditation , the next step is to figure out the best way to encourage someone who is experiencing depressive symptoms to start a meditation practice. Different strategies work for different people. Below are some ways to use meditation on depression.
Local Meditation Groups
Almost everywhere there is a yoga class, there is a meditation sangha (gathering). Whether you are a complete beginner looking to learn to meditate, or a more experienced meditator looking for a group of like-minded people, finding a (virtual) group that fits your lifestyle is a great way to train or solidify your practice. Convenience of location matters. Feeling a sense of connection or belonging to the group will also help act as a responsible partner to get you there. You may want to bond with a partner, which can help both of you be accountable.
Work with a Meditation Instructor
There are many types of individual meditation instructors and finding one in your region is a good way to start. Having the insight and experience of an instructor can be key to supporting you when questions arise, obstacles appear, and consistency is difficult to follow early in your meditation practice. For a list of Primordial Sound Instructors near you, click here.
A solo meditation retreat can be one day, one weekend, one week, or longer. They can be silent. And sometimes they include yoga and a detox diet or spa treatments. Although retirement may seem counterintuitive to overcome depression, sometimes a retreat is a gift to yourself in which you re-prioritize your self-care role in recovery. Check with your doctor to see what he recommends.
The meditation and depression can be a well balanced couple, but in no way meditation is the only tool in your toolkit. Therapy, exercise, nutrition, and medical intervention play an important role in helping you thrive and manage your mental health. Finding the right tools for your mental well-being is a unique and individual journey that requires time and effort.
Writers Note :- The information in this article is intended for educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness or other health programs.
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