Why Meditation and Depression Cannot Co-Exist? And a Simple Meditation to be Depression-Free

"I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become" - Carl Jung

Meditation and depression are polar opposites. Once meditation becomes a regular part of your life, depression has no choice but to leave you.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines depression as a state of feeling sad, hopeless and unimportant; a serious medical condition in which a person is unable to live in a normal way.

Meditation, on the other hand, is a state of happiness, optimism and connectedness, where the individual feels oneness with all creation.

Symptoms of depression

  • low mood most of the day
  • reduced interest in daily activities 
  • insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  • chronic tiredness
  • low self-esteem
  • reduced attention and concentration levels
  • recurrent thoughts of death and suicide
  • persistent sad, anxious or "empty" feelings

Major causes of depression

  • severe unexpected loss
  • high stress over a long duration

Losing someone close to you or dealing with stressful situations at work results in negative emotions of grief, fear and anger that can lead to depression over time, if those feelings are left unchecked.

Continuing emotional trauma affects you at the physiological level too by reducing the level of serotonin in your body. Low levels of serotonin cause depression, as the hormone is linked to almost all the vital functions of the body like sleep cycle, appetite, energy level, alertness and mood.

How meditation helps

Meditation boosts the level of serotonin in the body. Even when done for short durations (less than 20 minutes), meditation results in increased levels of serotonin, both in beginners and advanced meditators.

Meditation also increases the level of GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid), a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. GABA is best known for stabilizing mood disorders and controlling anxiety, tension, insomnia and epilepsy.

Simple meditation to fight depression

  • Sit in a comfortable meditation posture (not sure of the correct posture? read this first)
  • Bring awareness to your breath
  • Observe the flow of air as you breathe in and out
  • Remain aware of the breath and nothing else
  • Watch it flow in and flow out
  • Whenever your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath 
  • Thoughts will come. Do not fight them. Do not get "caught up" in them
  • Observe them and simply let them go

For an auditory person, who finds it easier to focus on a sound than on the breath, meditating with their own personal, unique mantra (beej mantra) will be more effective.  

During meditation, attending to the breath or chanting a mantra bring a laser-like focus to the mind. And since the mind can only hold one thought at a time, such a focus allows you to break free of the continuous cycle of restless thoughts plaguing you.

Soon, your thoughts will stop torturing you.

You will also be able to disassociate from any "garbage" that your mind creates to destroy your self-confidence.

With regular practice, you will become depression free by regaining control over your mind and thoughts.

Return from Meditation and Depression to Home

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I would love to hear your meditation experiences. And, if you are a beginner, your questions and apprehensions about meditation. Comment below or contact me directly through the navigation bar on the left of this page.