According to Npr, “People are increasingly turning to meditation to manage health issues, and meditation classes are being offered through schools and hospitals. Meditation does help manage anxiety, depression and pain, according to the 47 studies analyzed in JAMA Internal Medicine on Monday, but does not appear to help with other problems, including substance abuse, sleep and weight.” For the purposes of this article, I am going to focus on alleviating symptoms associated with depression, specifically through the use of meditation exercises. In particular, I will describe specific meditation exercises and their benefits for depression. They include mindfulness meditation, as well as guided imagery.
According to Npr, “The focus of mindfulness meditation is to train the brain to stay in the moment. To do this, practitioners are taught to let go of the regrets of the past as well as anxieties about the future.” To be specific, mindfulness simply means letting go of the past and not predicting what will happen in the future. It is being in the moment in a nonjudgmental way. You are not analyzing or judging any of your thoughts or feelings. You are just being. When you are just being, you are relaxed. Mindfulness combined with meditation can be quite relaxing and beneficial to alleviate symptoms associated with depression. Give it a try.
In addition to mindfulness meditation, another type of meditation that can alleviate symptoms associated with depression is called guided imagery. There are various types of meditation exercises associated with guided imagery. My favorite one is a beach guided imagery meditation exercise. As you listen to this type of meditation, just imagine being on the beach with the sunlight beaming against your skin. You will feel refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to take on your daily tasks. On an even more important note, you will feel less depressed and more energized.
With that said, meditation is a particular coping skill to alleviate symptoms associated with depression. On an even more important note, you do not have to practice mediation for hours on a daily basis to seek the benefits of meditation. Simply meditate anywhere from five to ten to fifteen minutes at the most per day to manage the symptoms associated with depression and in return feel more energized. Even if you do not see results at first, keep practicing this skill. Practice makes perfect. Go for it.
Meditation photo available from Shutterstock