Anxiety and Depression – Can Meditation Help?

Anxiety and Depression – Can Meditation Help?

Experts have highlighted several physical, emotional and mental benefits of meditation. Some experts expounded on how meditation can benefit mental stability. One of the most studied-over effects of meditation is its benefit in reducing depression. Here are some of the ways meditation allows people to be depression free:

 

Improved Memory

Meditation reduces the possibility of “atrophied hippocampus”, which usually entails memory loss and disorientation. In 1996, a study at the University of Washington indicated that clinical depression sufferers tend to showcase these signs while those who meditate have well-formed hippocampus depending on the length of their meditation practice.

The longer the meditation practice, the more developed the hippocampal gray matter density.

 

Refocus

Meditation is also the antithesis of depression because according to a study by a Harvard neuroscientist, meditation is a way to refocus one’s mind and develop their prefrontal cortex gray matter thickness, which helps in reducing depression and inducing happiness.

 

A Natural High

Meditation helps boost two important depression-associated brain chemicals. Medicines like anti-depressants usually influence the function of certain neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine.

If the level of these two neurotransmitters is too low, one becomes sad and easily depressed. While anti-depressants could indeed drop these sentiments, they have many side effects such as drug dependency.

Some studies show that anti-depressants do not work at all. On the other hand, if one meditates regularly, it can boost serotonin and norepinephrine quickly without using drugs.

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Balance

Meditation helps a person become whole again. Depression often gives a person the feeling of emptiness. Thanks to the modern world, one thinks they are empty inside because of the lack of material things.

One often thinks that if they do not have these material things, they are incomplete. When they try to alleviate this feeling of emptiness, they exhaust their emotions and mental energy. If they cannot fight this feeling off, they become jaded and depressed.

If one meditates, their focus slowly goes to the things that matter. Meditation brings the life back into the balance and understands what your body needs to feel full and whole again.

According to a study by Deepak Chopra M.D., a proper medication to reduce chronic stress is locating the balance. To establish this balance, a person needs to train their brain to focus consistently on this act.

Meditation allows a person to strain their thoughts and emotions and brings in a sense of calmness.

 

Alpha & Theta Waves

Meditation can trigger activity in brainwaves, and it is used by doctors to stop depression. According to the studies, meditation can trigger activity in alpha and theta brainwaves; which are used in brainwave-therapy to prevent depression.

If one meditates, they would be able to redirect their brain activity immediately to focus on the things that matter without needing to pay thousands of dollars for depression treatment.

 

Comprehension

Meditation helps people comprehend life events easily. People usually have different responses to several events that occur in life. A person’s emotional peaks vary significantly as they have different interpretations of what they think about each event.

A person also has different choices to react to these events whether they are big or small. Meditation allows people to think deeper about what these events should mean and how they should respond to these events.

 

Reduce Fear

Meditation stops brain’s anxiety and depressing feelings. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, depressed people have left amygdala which works nonstop and induces continuous anxiety, fear, and stress. It also affects a person’s “fight or flight” response.

Since we no longer need this type of reaction mechanism, the left amygdala must not be put to work consistently. Meditation helps you reorganize your thoughts and deactivates amygdala.

Meditation also optimizes the brain’s functions and reboots happiness meter.

 

Refresh

Meditation stimulates the mind and the body. If you are fretting about the past or worrying about the future, overthinking of the possibilities can trigger anxiety and stress. It would also cause negative emotions to fluctuate and could affect your happiness. Eventually, this would cause depression.

To prevent this from happening, meditation allows you to reorganize your thoughts and redirect your focus on the positive things in life. It would open your mind to positivity and help you understand that there are indeed positive things in this world that you should think of and not the negative stuff.

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