Depression is a common mental health condition that can show up in a variety of ways.
If you live with depression, you could have chronic symptoms, like a generally low mood you can’t shake. Or you might have major depressive episodes a few times a year. You might also notice symptoms changing or worsening over time.
Sometimes, depression treatments start working pretty quickly.
- find a great therapist
- have success with medication
- make lifestyle changes that help relieve symptoms
Depression symptoms can linger, even with treatment. If the above methods haven’t helped as much as you hoped, you may want to consider adding meditation into the mix.
How can it help?
Meditation for depression? If you feel a little skeptical at the suggestion, you’re not alone. You might even think it sounds like a recommendation from the people who say depression will improve if you just “Smile more!” or “Think positively!”
Sure, meditation alone won’t make your symptoms vanish, but it can make them more manageable. Here’s how.
It helps change your response to negative thinking
Depression can involve a lot of dark thoughts. You might feel hopeless, worthless, or angry at life (or even yourself). This can make meditation seem somewhat counterintuitive, since it involves increasing awareness around thoughts and experiences.
But meditation teaches you to pay attention to thoughts and feelings without passing judgment or criticizing yourself.
Meditation doesn’t involve pushing away these thoughts or pretending you don’t have them. Instead, you notice and accept them, then let them go. In this way, meditation can help disrupt cycles of negative thinking.
Say you’re sharing a peaceful moment with your partner. You feel happy and loved. Then the thought, “They’re going to leave me,” comes into your mind.
Meditation can help you get to a place where you can:
- notice this thought
- accept it as one possibility
- acknowledge that it’s not the only possibility
This article was originally posted on healthline.com. To view it in its entirety, click here.