Meditation and Depression: What To Know
Meditation has long been used as a practice for eliminating depression and getting rid of anxiety. Developing a consistent meditation and mindfulness practice is clinically proven to help you feel happier, more peaceful, and a general state of well-being.
In this post we’ll talk about how to use meditation for each of these conditions.
Please note that if you struggle with severe bouts of depression or any other mental disorder, you should consult with a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. Click here for a guide on when and how to get help.
Using Meditation for Depression Relief
Whether you suffer from occasional bouts of unhappiness or severe episodes of depression, there’s a good chance that meditation can help.
More often than not, depression is caused by one of two factors. Either your mind is overcome with negative thinking, or there’s a misalignment of your brain chemistry, and you aren’t producing the requisite proportions of internal chemicals to maintain a neutral or positive state of mind.
For many people, the problem is a mix of these two issues, and they tend to compound each other, creating a negative spiral in which negative thoughts cause you to stop producing happy hormones and instead produce unhappy ones.
Meditation can be a great way to stop this cycle, because it causes your mind to reset back to its natural state of joy. This gives you the freedom you need to jumpstart your way to a happier, healthier life. You can insert more positive thoughts, repeat positive affirmations, or use any of a number of different exercises to raise your vibration.
The trick is simply to realize that you are naturally joyful, and your depression and negative thoughts are stopping you from experiencing that joy. When you learn how to quiet your mind, you empower yourself to think more clearly, and experience more happiness.
If you’re new to meditation, I recommend you sign up for our free 30-day course on how to quiet the mind.
Guided Meditation for Depression
Here is a great 10 minute guided meditation to relieve depression, using guided imagery as a tool to overcome negative thinking.
Using Meditation to Get Rid of Anxiety
Just as in the case of depression, anxiety arises from negative spirals of thought. Often, however, it is based in an underlying fear or belief that all is not well with you. This negative belief contradicts your true nature, and causes conflict, in the form of a hyperactive mind.
Developing a habit of meditation and a steady mindfulness practice goes a long way towards releasing this conflict and getting rid of anxiety. I discuss how to use mindfulness to release anxiety in more detail in a different post.
For now, however, I just want to include a second guided meditation, which can be used to combat either depression or anxiety.
Guided Meditation for Anxiety: Detaching From Thoughts
Here is a longer, 40 minute guided meditation to release anxiety and detach from your thoughts.
If you complete this meditation and still have trouble with an overactive mind, consider this post on how to focus during meditation.