HopeXchange is pleased to welcome guest blogger, Lucy Duncan. Lucy is a freelance writer and editor who loves self-improvement, meditation, and mindful living.
How meditation can help with depression
Depression is now considered to be one of the leading causes of disability and ill health worldwide. Psychotherapy or antidepressants are usually the first line treatments for depression, however a growing body of research suggest that meditating regularly could help with depression as it can change the way that the brain responds to stress and anxiety.
The link between stress, anxiety and depression
Stress and anxiety are two major triggers for depression. Meditation can help us get on top of that stress and anxiety before it escalates into depression, as well as being considered as a valid treatment for people who already are depressed.
With regular meditation practice the mind will become much calmer and more still, and you will find that you are more skilled at being engaged with the present moment, rather than carried away with thoughts, worries and concerns.
Meditation brings us back to the present moment
So often when we feel anxious or depressed, we find that our minds are busy with worried thoughts that are often about things that happened in the past or anticipated events in the future, this can trigger negative emotions and unhealthy thought patterns. It takes us out of the present moment, whereas meditation helps us learn to become more engaged with the here and now and find peace and calm within the present moment.
Meditation helps to focus the mind
According to Dr. John W Denninger, director of research at Massachusetts General Hospital “Meditation trains the brain to achieve sustained focus, and to return to that focus when negative thinking, emotions, and physical sensations intrude