Meditation is an effective treatment for depression
The only effective treatment for depression is meditation which can be known by reading the following content. Depression can be a devastating experience for sufferers. It is caused by two reasons: external events and brain chemical imbalances as in the case of manic depression or bipolar disorder. Can meditation be an effective treatment for depression? Research convinces us that meditation can not only alleviate depression but also prevent relapses back into the dark emotional bouts.
Meditation as a Treatment for Depression
The two most effective techniques for treatment of depression are mindful meditation and metta bhavana (loving kindness). Researchers at the Mayo Clinic opine that meditation can at least be used as a complementary method to treat depression. Do not mistake meditation for depression as the only possibility. Bipolar disorder, manic depression and other severe cases need the help of a qualified professional.
Advantages of Meditation for Depression
Compared to other treatment methods, meditation is an effective treatment for depression which has the following benefits:
- Low or no cost as you can buy books or read about techniques online.
- No dependence on insurers or therapists.
- No side effects as medications are not used.
- Saves healthcare expenses for the nation and society.
Mindfulness Treatment for Depression
The technique of mindful meditation has been used successfully to combat depression. This method is called Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). During a research study at the University of Exeter, 75% of the patients stopped taking antidepressants after undergoing MBCT. The researchers say antidepressants are only effective as long as they are used, and once they are stopped, the patient can relapse back into depression. MBCT prevents relapse and hence is an effective alternative to long-term use of antidepressants.
How MBCT Works
MBCT uses the following mindfulness meditation technique: Patients are required to close their eyes and try to focus on their breathing. As they concentrate on their breathing rhythm, they start to feel detached. With practice, you realize that thoughts come and go automatically. You need just to detach and observe them with equanimity without getting attached to them. We thus realize that depression hijacks our attention and we tend to remember only bad things which drives us downward into a spiral of sadness and deeper depression. Once we detach from the ever-flowing river of constant thoughts and observe them objectively half the battle is won.
Simple Mindful Meditation Technique
- Sit comfortably and keep your back straight.
- Shut your eyes and try to focus on your breath as it comes in and goes out of the nostrils. Observe your mental sensations objectively.
- Your mind will automatically wander, this is natural. Gently bring your mind back to the breathing.
- The key feature is to realize that your mind is wandering and bring it back to breath-watching.
- With practice, your mind will slowly become calm.
- Practice this technique for about 30 minutes every day.
Meditation, the powerful treatment for depression is a simple yet effective technique that improves awareness and helps us realize that conquering depression is all in the mind. Once mind triumphs over matter, the battle against depression and other mental disorders is easily won.