Meditation And Depression Relief
Is there a positive link between meditation and depression?
In the first place, what is meditation and how does one define meditation?
Meditation is a state of being relaxed and peaceful and is a purely internal experience. In a meditative state, one connects with one's own center, where one is able to effectively focus or concentrate on one particular object or a specific thought. Meditation need not necessarily start off by strictly sitting in one particular spot, closing one's eyes, and learning to control one's breathing. In today's extremely dynamic and activity-filled life, one might find it extremely difficult to shut out or block random thoughts from interjecting, making one restless and frustrated.
One of the best possible methods to start meditating is to remove oneself from the regular home or office settings and walk in a nearby park. And while walking in the park, it is important to "notice" nature - the green grass, the beautiful flowers, the blue sky, the birds, and of course the huge trees that stand majestically around us.
By connecting with nature, one is able to instantly calm the body and mind. Observing our natural surroundings, watching the colors of different flowers, feeling the texture of leaves, plus hearing the birds chirp most certainly takes our mind away from our niggling thoughts, worries, fears, and anxieties. If there are water bodies nearby, it helps to sit and just look at flowing water or waves that rise and fall, all of which is an attempt to reconnect with nature and thereby learn to connect with one's own inner self.
From here, the next step would be to learn to enjoy the walk in the park, the joy of appreciating nature's beauty, plus the sense of fulfillment from being part of the universe, which is vast, expansive, giving, and nurturing. During this process, one will learn to concentrate on objects externally like the blooming flowers, the gentle breeze, the falling waves, etc.,
After repeating this several times, one will be able to sit at home in a quiet place and, with closed eyes, visualize the park, see the distinct colors of the flowers, notice the birds flying, and live the entire experience again and again. This state of experiencing a connection with nature by sitting at a completely different location is meditative; similarly, one can slowly learn to connect with one's inner self by reflecting on what transpired during the day, one's reactions, how it could have been different, and above all learning to make peace and think positively throughout the process of meditation.
Practice such meditation and depression may be slowly relieved.
It also helps to chant any particular "mantra" or sound like "Om" slowly because the vibrations created while chanting also help one to concentrate and focus on what is being said, giving less room for distractions, random thoughts, and extraneous noises from interfering with the process of meditation.
For people suffering from depression, it is important to learn to break the negative thought patterns and introduce positive thinking. Through regular meditation, it is possible to help people suffering from depression to learn to relax, de-stress, and become less anxious.
People suffering from depression go through conflicting emotions and are sometimes unable to express their fears and anxieties to anybody. Through regular meditation, one is able to rest the mind from the emotional highs and lows, which helps them relax, improves concentration, and above all introduces the concept of controlling one's mind.
To reap the beneficial meditation and depression connection, one can start off by practicing meditation for five minutes and eventually increase it incrementally to about 30 minutes on a daily basis. Since meditation is mostly experiential, it is important to find out what form of meditation suits one the most.
It is also important to realize that what works for one might not necessarily work for another. Therefore, it is important to try various methods or techniques of meditation. While passive meditation which involves sitting in one place and concentrating on inhalations and exhalations might work for some, active meditation that involves walking, jogging, or dancing and listening to music or chanting might work for the rest.
Once the practice of meditation has been set, one can experiment with both methods, and practice active meditation during early morning hours and passive meditation before going to bed. Either way, it is important to remember that one must learn to surrender and let go of all negative thought patterns, fears, and anxieties, and reflect on positive events, circumstances, outcomes, love, caring, forgiving, affection, etc. Through the process of meditation, people suffering from depression will learn to become aware of their problem, accept these problems as part of life, and finally overcome them on a permanent basis.
When it comes to meditation and depression relief, it is also a good idea to try yoga, because some of the postures of yoga help stretch certain muscles and relax the body, following which meditation becomes easier, and in certain yoga postures it is easier to practice passive meditation.
However, it is important to ensure that one is wearing comfortable clothes, and is sitting, walking, or jogging in a quiet area that has plenty of fresh air so that the body can get plenty of fresh oxygen!
Try meditation and depression could become a thing of the past for you.
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