How to Stop the Mind's Chatter with Depression Meditation

"When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful" - Billie Mobayed 

Depression meditation will help you put an end to the recurrent negative thought patterns and to the persistent feelings of sadness and 'emptiness,' which characterize depression. 

Depression is often defined as a serious medical condition in which a person is unable to live in a normal way and suffers from low self esteem, negative moods, chronic tiredness and reduced interest in all activities. 

It is a worldwide phenomenon with more than 350 million people suffering from depression globally. It affects both the sexes, but women are twice as likely to be depressed than men. And while it impacts people of all ages, depression is most prevalent in the age group of 45 to 64.

According to one estimate, healthcare costs associated with people diagnosed with depression equals $22,960 per year in the United States.

Depression ages you

Recent scientific evidence shows that affects of depression are more insidious than previously imagined. The VU University Medical Centre in Netherlands studied 2,407 people and concluded that depression causes us to biologically age by hastening the ageing process in cells.

The length of telomeres, which are responsible for chromosomal and genetic stability during cell division, was found to be shorter in the cells of severely depressed people than in the cells of people who had never been severely affected by depression.

Shorter telomere length is associated with age-related diseases, including many types of cancer

Depression meditation to the rescue

Meditation helps in two ways.

One: it ends the mind's chatter by training you in mindfulness and awareness. You learn how not to chase every thought and feeling and avoid getting caught in the drama of your mind. Instead of latching on to your thoughts, you allow them to simply come and go.

Two: meditation boosts the level of endorphins and serotonin in your body. These act as an internal pain killer, alleviate your mood, make you feel happy and stabilize your energy level.

Meditation also increases the secretion of the DHEA hormone. Low levels of DHEA are strongly associated with the risk of heart attack, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity and chronic fatigue.

Easy depression meditation

  • Sit in a comfortable meditation posture (not sure of the correct posture? read this first)
  • Focus attention on the tip of your nostrils and become aware of your breath
  • Observe the flow of air as you breathe in and out
  • Feel the 'cool' inhale and the 'warm' exhale
  • Gently bring your mind back to the breath whenever thoughts arise
  • Do not be harsh on yourself if you are unable to keep thoughts at bay  
  • Be compassionate, observe whatever thoughts arise, and simply let go
  • Keep coming back to your breath every time your mind wanders away
  • Do it for 20 minutes

You may find focusing on the breath and not engaging with the thoughts difficult to do in the beginning. But with regular practice, 'detaching' from the thoughts will come more easily to you.

When you witness your thoughts with open awareness, they lose the power they hold on you. And when you rid yourself of the destructive 'thought-cycle,' you can start to rid yourself of depression.

Expensive medication like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft only help relieve the symptoms of depression, and are temporary, stop-gap measures at best. They also have severe side effects.

On the other hand, meditation strikes at the root of the problem by training you to wrest control back from your mind. You are no longer at the mercy of your thoughts and emotions. It also naturally regulates the level of serotonin, GABA, DHEA, endorphins, melatonin and cortisol required for keeping the mind and body in optimal health, and keeping you safe from depression.

If you are an auditory person, who finds it easier to focus on a sound than on the breath, you will find meditating with your own personal, unique mantra (beej mantra) more effective. 

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