Meditation for depression treatment

There were over 50,000 studies done in 2018 almost all of which showed that meditation for depression treatment works! This was a major clinical study done in the field of stress management and personal development. We can now see today that some of the most common ways that lead to depression and anxiety are rooted in an unbalanced lifestyle. Today we are always on and ready to work and do what we have to do to make a success of ourselves and our families and our businesses. What we have not recognised in the last two decades is just how important taking a break actually is. You cannot continually go without also practising regular stopping. Balance is key and cannot be neglected.

What we need to realise is that anxiety and depression for the most part are created by the way we think feel and act. I don’t believe in accidents after being in the medical profession for so many years. I can now see how easy it is to create unhealthy thinking patterns and how easy it is to hide our emotions from others and ourselves. This has dire consequences. It creates the depression and anxiety and stress that we are experiencing today in this mental health epidemic. We need to realise that self management and personal development are no longer an option but a necessity. End of story! Mark L Lockwood BA(hons)(psy) says that “Medication is not working well enough, at least not on its own, and people are finding this out way to late because they think it is working for the majority of other people, which it isn’t…..people need to change the way they think, tap into their emotions and then learn new and healthy ways of being and operating. Then they must practice all of this daily for proper and lasting change and transformation.”

Meditation for depression treatment
Mark L Lockwood BA(psy)(hons)

Stress and anxiety are major triggers of depression, and meditation for depression treatment consciously practiced will alter your reaction to those feelings. “Meditation trains the brain to achieve sustained focus, and to return to that focus when negative thinking, emotions, and physical sensations intrude — which happens a lot when you feel stressed and anxious,” says Dr. John W. Denninger, director of research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

Meditation for depression treatment has been found to change certain brain regions that are specifically linked with depression. For instance, scientists have shown that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) becomes hyperactive in depressed people. The mPFC is often called the “me center” because this is where you process information about yourself, such as worrying about the future and ruminating about the past. When people get stressed about life, the mPFC goes into overdrive.

Another brain region associated with depression is the amygdala, or “fear center.” This is the part of the brain responsible for the fight-or-flight response, which triggers the adrenal glands to release the stress hormone cortisol in response to fear and perceived danger.

Starting Meditation for depression treatment

Meditation, or “sitting,” needn’t be complex or esoteric. It is an essential part of recovery from depression, disorder and dis-ease. It is, as the name implies, merely sitting with a few simple guidelines. We would speak of “our 11 o’clock ‘sit’” or that our “meditation sit’ might consist of two twenty minute sits with a walking meditation in the middle. This will develop over time. At any rate, making plans to meditate is relatively easy. Actually doing meditation for depression treatment can prove more challenging. Sitting can be uncomfortable. The physical act itself is enough for most of us to feel a hip, lower back or knee within 5 minutes into a meditation and, of course, the other side of meditation relates to our minds that have been unmanageable with racing thoughts, obsessions and compulsions. This means it may take some time for addicts in early recovery to get the best out of the practice. It is however this practice that will make the progress better. Specifically, our mental activity, our unique proclivity towards perseveration of thought (or not) and how we choose to see and define ourselves and lives by what we are “thinking.”

Thus, first off, we teach that comfort is foundational and essential to the process of meditation. We are attempting to quiet the body as much as possible, get it out of the way, so that we aren’t distracted by a tight hip flexor or a foot gone numb and asleep. So, whether you are sitting on the edge of your bed or in a folding chair, or hovering 6 inches off the ground in a full lotus, get comfortable and find this comfort and ease in a posture of attentive receptivity. Attentive to the moment and receptive to insight and information flowing in a space of non-judgmental and kind observation. We visualize this posture as rolling the tail under, rooting the sits bones into the earth and stacking the vertebrae, tucking the chin, extending the crown into heaven and folding our wings long onto our back as the side body melts long, to forearms folded in hip creases, hands palm-in-palm with thumbs gently touching. This posture says, I am awake, I am here, I am ready and I am humbly receptive and accepting to all. Once we are sitting and reasonably comfortable, there’s nothing “to do” per se, we simply try meditation for depression treatment as follows: 

Starting Meditation for depression treatment
  • To not fall asleep and remain in open receptivity.
  • To breathe (best way to connect to your spiritual self).
  • To become the observer…and not get carried away on a tide of branching thoughts or judgments, or fears, or past or future…and when we do, we try again (practise).
  •  TIP: At the end of practising to quiet the mind, you would do well to then take 2 minutes, just 2, and forgive every single person who comes to mind….yourself, Donald Trump, A relative, an abuser, a future self or a past self, the 12 year old you…any name that comes into your mind. …it is a way to give back spiritually, which may do you more good than you realize. 
  • TIP: If you cannot stop the racing thoughts, use affirmations. Say them over and over again, and this will be the only head noise you have to deal with.

Good meditation for depression treatment Affirmations

  • I can choose peace rather than this. 
  • It is my time to recover, grow and heal.
  • I am more than a body, I am body, mind and soul. 
  • I do not limit myself in how I see myself, what I will do in this world
  • I choose to forgive myself for mistakes made and learn from each and every one
  • Every day, in every way, I am getting better.
  • I can and I will.
  • I am becoming a better me.
  • I am worthy of great things. I like the person I’m becoming.
  • All of my worldly problems have a spiritual solution.
  • I press on because I believe in my path.
  • The past has no power over me anymore.
  • I have many strengths. I am in charge of my life story.

For more information on meditation for depression treatment or to heal depression, stress, anxiety and more please get in touch with centerforhealingandlife@gmail.com or call +27824424779.

Published by Mark L Lockwood

Mark L Lockwood (BA)(Hons)(psy) teaches spiritual transformation and is the founder of Contemplative Intelligence. Author of The Power of Contemplative Intelligence, Autotherapy and Recovery Magic. Our work is about the science of finding your spiritual self.

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