Do you often find yourself restless, tired, apathetic, anxious, and pessimistic? Then, you might be suffering from depression. Depression is a serious illness that must be addressed right away as it often leads to suicide. However, experts suggest that anti-depression meditation as a way to help the depressed. There are several benefits of meditation that contribute to an improved overall well-being of a person, thus reducing depressive episodes.
There are actually several effective meditation techniques that you can use to cure depression. You just have to find one that works for you.
Can yoga and meditation cure depression? A lot of people think that both practices are about sitting quietly and doing nothing. However, they are actually an active training for the mind. The main goal is to increase awareness of the self and of the environment. How do they help with depression?
Yoga and meditation actually change the way your brain thinks and how your body responds to stress. Moreover, rhythmic breathing patterns promote a state of deep relaxation. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which leads to better blood flow to the brain. It also lowers heart rate and respiration rate. The combined effect of these benefits of meditation and yoga is better control of depression.
Several studies, including one published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, have proven that yoga and meditation can rival antidepressants when it comes to easing signs of depression.
8 Anti-Depression Meditation Techniques
If you want to try yoga and meditation for depression but can’t spare an hour a day to enroll in a formal class, you don’t have to worry. Allotting at least five to ten minutes a day to meditation will already do a lot to boost your mood, improve your sleep, and strengthen mental clarity. Here are 8 meditation techniques that you can easily slip in your daily schedule:
Instead of devouring your food as fast as you can, why don’t you take your time to enjoy the food? Turn your mealtime into a time of meditation. Put away your phone so that you won’t be tempted in using it.
Take deep breaths and try to identify the different scents of each food on your plate. Time your breath so that it coincides with each bite you take. If you find that your thoughts wander from your breath and the food, slowly bring them back.
When you’re taking a shower, it’s easy to get lost in your thoughts. However, you can use this private time to meditate. How?
Set the water to your desired temperature. Also, pick a soap with a scent that you love. While you enjoy the sensation of water dripping on your skin, try sitting comfortably on the floor. Pick a pose from kundalini yoga meditation for cold depression. Inhale deeply. Let go of your breath. And relax.
Even when you are cleaning the house, you can still meditate. You just have to find a pattern that will not hinder with your concentration. For instance, sweeping the floor involves repetitive movements of the broom. You can sync your breath to these movements. Washing the dishes can also be grounding. It allows you to feel the warm water on your hands.
The most important thing when doing chore meditation is that you find a sense of presence and acceptance of the tasks.
As you may have deduced, you don’t necessarily have to stay still to perform anti-depression meditation. You can find a peaceful place where you can take a walk. The place should be away from the crowd and noise. If you can walk barefoot, then it’s much better.
Once you find a place, stand upright with your shoulders relaxed. Take deep breaths and bask in the calm energy of your environment. Then, take your first steps. Sync your breathing with them. Inhale when you put your right foot forward and exhale when you put your left foot forward. Your goal is not to arrive at a certain destination but to simply experience walking.
Full Body Breath Scan
You don’t need anything for this meditation technique. You just have to inhale through your nose. Take notice on how your stomach expands while you hold your breath for five seconds. Then, exhale through your lips.
In every inhale, imagine a warm light enveloping your feet. And as you exhale, release all tensions you’ve held inside. Repeat the process for other parts of your body. Once you’re done with this exercise, you’ll notice that your body feels lighter. This is one way of freeing your energy and defeat depression.
Your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is responsible for protecting you against threats. It puts your body in a state of alert, which usually comes with panic. On the other hand, the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is responsible for putting you at ease.
The easiest way to activate the parasympathetic nervous system is touching the lips with two fingers. Why? According to Rick Hanson’s Buddha’s Brain, there are parasympathetic nerve fibers in the lips. You can control these to calm yourself.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
One of the benefits of meditation is that you can do it anywhere and anytime. This is true for the Alternate Nostril Breathing exercise.
For this, you only have to hold your left nostril with your thumb, so you have to inhale through the right nostril. Then, you have to repeat the same process by holding your right nostril with your thumb and inhaling through the left nostril. To exhale, you have to release your nostril. You can also close both nostrils and hold your breath for a second. Then, release them to exhale. Repeat these steps until you feel more at ease.
The 100-Breaths Technique
Sit comfortably. Feel your feet pressed on the ground and close your eyes. Bring yourself to the present moment. Then, you can start breathing. Start counting as you take each breath. Inhale and exhale. One. Inhale and exhale. Two. Inhale and exhale. Three.
Repeat this simple process until you reach 100. Once done, open your eyes. Move your toes and fingers. Then, be grateful for the short mental space you’ve created.
Anti-depression meditation techniques are easy to practice. You don’t need an instructor, money, or a gym to do it. Practicing the above-mentioned meditation techniques can already help a lot.
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