One of the most common, yet most complex diseases that afflict people across all demographics is depression. The combination of psychosocial and biological factors that cause depression makes it one of the most prevalent medical and mental health conditions today. We all have our ups and downs, but depression differs from simply having a hard few weeks. It is a real, devastating, and deeply lonely state. Sufferers of depression often cite symptoms ranging from apathy and lack of focus to physical symptoms like dramatic weight changes, sleeping pattern disruption, and headaches. It manifests differently for each person but the mental changes can even lead to suicidal thoughts. Depression should be properly diagnosed and treated by professionals. This includes your doctor and psychiatrist. There are many treatments out there that can address both physical and mental symptoms and a combination of medicine and therapy are usually successful. Many who suffer from depression have also found meditation and mindfulness useful in their road to recovery. Meditation is one of the oldest methods of tackling depression if done correctly. Here are some tips on using meditation as part of your depression treatment.

Why Meditation?

For centuries, mediation has been used as a natural remedy for depression and its related conditions. Like antidepressants, meditation boosts levels of norepinephrine and serotonin, which are the neurotransmitters whose declining levels lead to depression. Unlike antidepressants, meditation achieves this naturally and without the danger of addiction and side effects and it can be used in combination with medications for a fuller, more positive effect. There are many kinds of meditation used differently all over the world and you can experiment with all different kinds to see which is most effective for you and your lifestyle. Meditation practitioners can help guide you through this process so you can find a meditation practice suited to your needs.

Meditation also deactivates the part of the brain where depression-causing hormones and chemicals such as cortisol are synthesized. When done correctly, meditation can flood our brains with positive feelings and emotions and defuse depressive thoughts that such away everyday joys of life. It makes the practitioners whole again by restoring healthy thinking, emotional balance, which is a higher mindset that drives away scarcity thinking that exhaust the mind.

Tips on Using Meditation to Fight Depression

Let loving-kindness be part of your daily meditation routine: One of the simplest and effective forms of meditation that combats depression is loving-kindness meditation. Sitting somewhere calm and positively imagining your life desires can flood your mind with a positive mindset. Directing the same positive thoughts and desires to the universe and other people including those you rarely see eye to eye can also be positively fulfilling. Think about good things you want others to experience and fill your mind and the world in your mind with good feelings and positivity. This can seem difficult, if not impossible at first. But don’t get discouraged. Learning to think positively is part of a process.

b. Avoid depression relapse using mindfulness meditation: The four-step mindfulness meditation is highly effective in tackling depression and avoiding cases of relapse. To feel your brain with positive feeling, prepare your body and mind by sitting comfortably upright in a quiet room with your hips elevated than your knees. The lack of distractions and comfortable position will allow you to focus your mind and breathe easily. By first focusing on the present and allow your mind to wander, you will be able to train your mind to focus on specific positive thoughts.

c. Before you begin, seek for qualified help: Meditation is only effective in combating depression when done in the right manner. Talk to your doctor and mental health professional about whether meditation could be useful for you. In cases of depression stemming from an incident of trauma or abuse, you might need more talk therapy before meditation will really be useful. Before you begin, seek for guidance from a meditation instructor or find a meditation center and join. They can help guide you on your meditation journey.

The calming benefits of meditation and its ability to boost the neurotransmitters are legendary. However, before you begin meditation consult a psychiatrist or a therapist. The treatment of depression is a multipronged undertaking and should be combined in efforts of medicine, physical activity and therapy. Once you have a better understanding of your depression and your own mind, meditation can be a great tool for getting back on the right track and into a more fulfilling life.

Author's Bio: 

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.