Meditation Techniques For Depression And Other Mental Disorders

Meditation can give you a feeling of calmness, peace, and balance that can help both your emotional well-being and your overall health. Also, these benefits don’t end when the meditation session ends. Meditation techniques for depression can help you live more calmly as you navigate each day, and assist in  managing symptoms of certain mental conditions.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Originally, meditation was meant to help intensify the understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. But these days, meditation can produce a deep feeling of relaxation and a peaceful mind.

When you meditate, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be clouding your mind and causing stress. This process results in enhanced physical and mental well-being.

Meditation For Emotional Stress And Well-Being

During meditation, you clear away the information overload that bombards us every day and contributes to your stress. The emotional benefits of meditation may include:

  • Finding a new way to look at stressful situations
  • Building your stress management skills
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Focusing on the present
  • Reducing negative emotions
  • Enhancing imagination and creativity
  • Increasing patience and tolerance
meditation techniques for depression
meditation techniques for depression

Meditation For Emotional Stress And Well-Being

During meditation, you clear away the information overload that bombards us every day and contributes to your stress. The emotional benefits of meditation may include:

  • Finding a new way to look at stressful situations
  • Building your stress management skills
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Focusing on the present
  • Reducing negative emotions
  • Enhancing imagination and creativity
  • Increasing patience and tolerance

Meditation And Mental Illness

Meditation can also be useful if you have a medical condition, particularly one that may be made worse by stress. There is growing scientific research that supports the benefits of meditation while some researchers believe it’s too soon to tell. However, there is research that suggests that meditation can help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Sleep problems
  • Tension headaches

Keep in mind that meditation isn’t a replacement for traditional medical treatment. Still, it may be a useful addition to your main treatment program.

Meditation Techniques For Depression

Depression often involves a lot of “dark thoughts.” Meditation teaches you to pay attention to your thoughts without judging or criticizing yourself. Which is exactly what you have probably been doing. 

It doesn’t involve pushing away those thoughts or pretending you don’t have them. Instead, you notice and accept them. Then you let them go. By doing this, you disrupt cycles of negative thinking. And learning to stay in the present moment can help you notice warning signs of a depressive episode early.

Meditation Techniques For Bipolar Disorder

The extreme highs and lows of bipolar disorder can be difficult to cope with and hard for those around you. Bipolar disorder treatment aims to help you control your mood by keeping it balanced and minimizing the swings up and down. Meditation is an easy and natural way to reduce stress and help with bipolar disorder.

The best time to practice meditation with bipolar disorder is after a manic episode has passed. Learning to sit quietly and experience your breathing can give people with bipolar a powerful sense of self that often escapes them.

Meditation Techniques For Schizophrenia

The mindfulness approaches to meditation have shown encouraging results for individuals with schizophrenia. Studies have shown that such mindfulness-based exercises can give people a greater acceptance and insight into their psychotic experiences so they are less bothered by them. Even if hallucinations and other symptoms of schizophrenia aren’t eliminated. 

It was also found that symptoms of anxiety and depression, which often worsen psychotic disorders, diminish with meditation. It should be kept in mind that antipsychotic drugs, which are usually the first line of treatment for schizophrenia, have several side effects. In addition, they don’t work for about 25-30% of patients. This is why there is a need to develop more add-on therapies to medication treatment. Mindful meditation and movement could be a valuable add-on.

7 Types Of Meditation Techniques For Depression

Meditation is a word that covers a wide range of ways to achieve a relaxed state of being. There are many types of meditation and relaxation techniques that have elements of meditation. They all have the goal of achieving inner peace. Some of the ways to meditate are:

meditation techniques for depression

1

Guided Meditation

Sometimes this is called guided imagery or visualization. In this method of meditation, you form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing. Try to use as many senses as possible. Focus on smells, sights, sounds, and textures. You may be led through this by a guide or teacher.

2

Mantra Meditation

In mantra meditation, you silently repeat a calming word, thought, or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts from taking over.

3

Mindfulness Meditation

This meditation technique is based on being mindful or increasing your awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment. You focus on what you experience during meditation, such as the flow of your breath. You can observe your thoughts and emotions, but let them go without judgment.

4

Qi Gong (CHEE-gung)

Qi gong combines meditation, relaxation, physical movement, and breathing exercises to restore and maintain balance. It is part of traditional Chinese medicine.

5

Tai Chi (TIE-CHEE)

This is a gentle form of Chinese martial arts. In tai chi, you perform a self-paced series of postures or movements slowly and gracefully, while practicing deep breathing.

6

Transcendental Meditation

In Transcendental Meditation, you repeat silently a personally assigned mantra. This can be a word, sound, or phrase. This type of meditation allows your body to settle into a state of total relaxation. Your mind can achieve a state of inner peace without needing to use concentration or effort.

7

Yoga

In the practice of yoga, you perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calmer mind. When you practice the poses that require balance and concentration, you are encouraged to focus on the moment, and less on your busy day.

Is Meditation Like Holistic Therapy?

Meditation is very much like holistic therapy. Holistic therapy aims to achieve prime health and wellness by aligning all parts of a person: mind, body, and spirit. It is founded on the belief that if one of these aspects is off, it will have effects on the other parts. When you take part in holistic therapy, you learn how to exert power and control over your mind and emotions.

Holistic therapy techniques include many of the meditation techniques mentioned above plus:

Aromatherapy

The use of essential oils to balance, integrate, and encourage the health and healing of your body and mind. Essential oils can help to:

  • Relieve stress: Lemon oil, bergamot, peppermint, and ylang-ylang work to relieve stress.
  • Depression: Along with traditional therapy, chamomile, lavender, or jasmine can help fight depression and also help regulate sleep.
  • Improve memory: Sage oil can help increase memory capacity.
  • Headaches: peppermint, eucalyptus, sandalwood, and rosemary can help cure a headache. Apply a small amount directly onto your scalp, neck, and temples. 

Acupuncture

Also originating from China, acupuncture involves a trained practitioner inserting needles through the skin to stimulate certain points on the body. Research shows that this technique can ease chronic pain and frequent headaches.

What Happens In Your Brain When You Meditate?

By using things like fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scans, scientists have developed a better understanding of what’s happening in our brains when we meditate. The primary difference is that our brain stops processing the information as actively as it would normally. 

Beta waves indicate that our brains are processing information and we start to show a decrease in beta waves even after only a 20-minute meditation session. This is what happens in parts of your brain when you meditate:

Frontal Lobe

The frontal lobe is the most highly evolved part of the brain. It is responsible for: 

  • Reasoning
  • Planning
  • Emotions
  • Self-conscious awareness

During meditation, the frontal cortex tends to go offline.

 

Parietal Lobe

The parietal lobe processes sensory information about your surroundings, orienting you in time and space. Activity slows down in the parietal lobe during meditation.

Thalamus

The thalamus is known as the gatekeeper for the senses. It focuses your attention by directing sensory information deeper into the brain and stopping other signals. Meditation slows incoming information to a dribble.

Reticular Formation

This structure acts as the brain’s watchman and receives the incoming stimuli and puts the brain on alert, ready to respond. Meditation draws down the arousal signal.

meditation techniques for depression

You Can Practice Meditation Every Day

You shouldn’t let the thought that you need to meditate on the “right” way to add to your stress. If you want to, you can attend meditation centers or group classes led by instructors. Or you can practice meditation easily on your own. 

Also, you can make it as formal or informal as you want. Whatever suits your situation and lifestyle. Some people just include it into their daily routine. All you need is a few minutes of quality time for meditation.

7 Ways to Practice Meditation on Your Own Time, Any Time

  1. Breathe deeply: This is good for beginners because breathing is natural. Focus your attention on your breathing. Concentrate on feeling and listening when you inhale and exhale. Breathe deeply and slowly. When your attention wanders, return to focus on your breathing.
  2. Scan your body: When you use this technique, focus on different parts of your body. Try to be aware of your body’s assorted sensations, whether it’s pain, tension, warmth, or relaxation. Combine your body scanning with breathing exercises and picture breathing heat or relaxation into and out of different parts of your body.
  3. Repeat a mantra: Create your mantra, whether it’s religious or secular (non-religious). It could be prayers from Christian tradition or the om mantra of Hinduism, or another Eastern religion. Or it could be words to a meaningful song.
  4. Walk and meditate: Walking and meditation is an efficient and healthy way to relax. When you use this technique, slow down your pace so that you can focus on each movement of your legs or feet–not the destination. Try repeating action words in your mind such as “lifting,” moving,” or “placing” each time you step.
  5. Pray: Prayer is the best-known and most widely practiced form of meditation. You can use your own words or use prayers written by others.
  6. Read and reflect: A lot of people say they get benefits by reading poems or sacred texts and spending a few minutes quietly reflecting on their meaning.
  7. Focus your love and gratitude: Focus your attention on a sacred image of being. Include feelings of love, compassion, and gratitude in your thoughts. You could also close your eyes and use your imagination of an image.

How To Improve Your Meditation Techniques For Depression

Don’t Judge

First of all, don’t judge your meditation skills. This might only increase your stress. Meditation takes some practice. Bear in mind that it’s common for your mind to wander during meditation, no matter how long you have been practicing. If you’re meditating to calm your mind, slowly return to the object, sensation, or movement you’re focusing on when your mind wanders.

Experiment

If you experiment, you’ll probably find out what types of meditation work best for you, and that you enjoy doing. Don’t be afraid to adapt meditation to your needs at the moment. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. All that matters is that meditation helps you reduce your stress and that you feel better overall.

meditation techniques for depression

Meditate Your Way Towards Better Mental Health At Miracles Recovery Center In Port St. Lucie 

We know that recovery from addiction is not a miracle. It takes a lot of courage and hard work. But you will feel like a miracle happened when you do. With our help, you can turn your life around. We have seen it happen over and over again. 

At our recovery center, we can provide you with several levels of care so you can enter at the level appropriate for you and you won’t leave until you are confident and ready. We also offer several therapies to help you get to the root of your addiction. 

To help ease your mind, body, and spirit while you recover, we also offer holistic therapy which includes meditation in a large part. Contact us today! We look forward to working with you.