Meditation is the very best way to once and for all, become depression free to live a happy and fulfilling life.
During meditation, the brain's neurotransmitters are boosted and brain chemicals communicate much like the internet to billions of neurons within the brain and body. They tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe and your stomach to digest. When levels of these two highly important brain chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine get too low, we feel an overwhelming sense of sadness, and consequently, become depressed.
If you are taking an antidepressant, it is almost certain to be targeting these two chemical messengers. But does taking a pill make everything better? Not necessarily so because there are many side effects and paradoxically, suicide happens to be one of them. The other problems are that after you become dependent on them and for others they simply don’t work. Some studies have even shown they are no more effective than a placebo. The one time-tested, all-natural and guaranteed solution is meditation.
Countless studies prove that with meditation you can naturally boost both serotonin and norepinephrine to healthy "depression resistant" levels. In effect, meditation creates and environment within your brain where depression cannot survive, creating a fortress to future potential depression invaders. Would you rather take a pill for temporary happiness or be truly and permanently happy with meditation?
Considering our primitive hunting gathering ancestors dealt with life and death situations every day, they needed highly tuned survival instincts.
"I think that bear wants to eat me! Either I grab my spear or fun for my life."
The part of the brain that alerted that served them well and alerted them to the potential danger was the amygdala. The problem is that while our ancient ancestors needed their "survival mode" activated on a daily basis, modern man does not.
As modern society, we still trigger these fight or flight stress responses several times per day with financial difficulties, relationship worries, career problems, etc.
Every day we trigger our life or death’ fears center amygdala, a nasty chemical cocktail of hormones (like cortisol) get released, flooding our bodies with nasty stuff.
In time, depression is waiting at the front of the line to invade your mind, body and energy.
Meditation Shrinks The Brain's Fear Center
The very best way to cool off an overheated amygdala, forever shielding depression is with meditation.
Respected Harvard neuroscientists examined the brains’ of freshly minted meditation practitioners before and after meditation and found their ‘depression center’ shrank in size and was less active. Effectively, meditation turns off the most critical brain region involved in depression.
For anyone drowning in a sea of depression, PTSD, bi-polar or ADD meditation is the world’s best life vest.
When we get stuck in a mental rut, negative thoughts keeps firing like a semi-automatic rife. "I’m not good enough...I make too many mistakes...I am a bad person….I am not lovable. I’m not successful.”
This persistent thinking fuels one bad mood after the other like pouring fuel onto a fire, spreads to all areas of the mind and body — keeping a perpetual state of depression locked in, with no clear way out.
With scientists estimating humans have around 50,000 per day and a negative, depressed mind can literally generate dozens of pessimistic thoughts per minute! Although no one is immune from this type of thinking from time to time, the difference is the depressed mind’s is the sheer volume, intensity and level of attack.
Like a raging river, the mind is easily carried down hill and why so many depressed people feel paralyzed.
Luckily, meditation is the very best mental thought-tonic and fixes all of the above.
Depression is weighted in fears about the future and past regrets. When you focus on the moment, you begin releasing the attachment to the future or past. This is the SECRET behind the power of meditation.
Meditation restores present mind focus that mindless overthinking sucks away from the present. Meditation makes even the most mundane in life feel fresh and alive allowing depression to melt away.
Meditation teaches us how to be aware of our negative thoughts, which all by itself makes them less powerful and less frequent.
When we become witness to the thinking process rather than negative thoughts carrying us away like a rip current, the meditative mind simply watches negative thoughts and lets them go. When you have the correct tools to navigate the torrent you increase your self-esteem and wellbeing.
Realizing that thoughts are not reality, they no longer have power to create our mood or emotional state. Like waves upon the shore, they come in and they go out. Letting go of your attachment to any one of them creates room for the next one. Instead of a negative thought spiraling further and further out of control, digging a deeper and darker hole, meditation prevents the nasty trigger of depression from ever getting pulled.
Simply observing and being aware of your thoughts, weakens the frequency and force that destructive thoughts have.
Our emotional peaks and valleys do not come from the roller coaster of events that happen in our lives but rather your interpretation of your up and down experiences. We all have a choice in how we react to every event in our lives, no matter how big or small. This goes beyond simply seeing the glass as half full or thinking positive.
Meditation allows you to understand, at the deepest of levels, how your thoughts, mind, and emotions intertwine, and just how much control we have over the thinking process. It leads you to a state of advanced awareness, never getting too high or too low, constantly maintaining a well balanced, clear, calm, focused, and creative state of mind.
As a result you develop a bulletproof brain, resistant to depression. Then rather than letting our negative thoughts carrying us away like a rip current, the quiet mind simply observes negative thoughts and releases them. Observing yourself think helps you realize that thoughts are not reality and they only exert influence on our mood or emotional state if you allow them. Thoughts come and go, like waves upon the shore. No need to fixate or attach to any one of them. Instead of a negative thought spiraling further and further into the abyss, meditation inhibits the nasty invasion of depression from ever starting.
Pressures from society can push us into the habitual mindless pursuit of things under the false pretense of ‘not having enough’ or ‘being enough’.
When we believe that something is missing, it means that we are in some way incomplete and imperfect. In our pursuit to regain wholeness, we exhaust thoughts and feelings. Before we know it, the ugliness of depression takes hold as we disconnect, give up, feel jaded, develop addictions, sleep too much (or too little), and become disinterested and detached in life. How Meditation Restores Healthy Thinking The flaw of scarcity thinking is reversed as meditation redirects your focus to where it matters most, rebalancing your life and feeling whole again.
Deepak Chopra M.D., an internationally renowned doctor, bestselling author, and huge proponent of meditation and quantum healing, wrote: "The most effective strategy for diminishing chronic stress is balance. Being able to stay centered, relaxed and present is the optimal state of balance for both mind and body. You need to train your brain to stay there."
Every cell in your body seeks balance and the ultimate source of balance is meditation. In practicing meditation on a regular basis, you gain a deep sense of calmness, being alert with an abundance of energy. Overall, your moods become increasingly more positive, muscles release tension and your mind becomes focused and relaxed. Being free of depression is a result of reaching a higher level mindset and energetic frequency. Depression Deteriorates The Brain More than just feeling down in the dumps, depression can reduce the size and strength of certain brain areas.
A 1996 University of Washington (St. Louis) research study measured the brains of 10 major clinical depression sufferers, revealing that the depressed participants’ "hippocampus" — a brain region best known for memory loss and disorientation, was remarkably underdeveloped when compared to normal brains. Additionally, the more days the participants were "officially" diagnosed as clinically depressed, the greater weakness. And, fortunately the most powerful solution is meditation. How Meditation Strengthens and Fortifies The Hippocampus The best way to regenerate the hippocampus, while reversing any other horrible deteriorating ‘depressed brain’ effects is with meditation. Numerous studies show, time and time again, meditation practitioners to have highly developed, well-formed Hippocampi — with one 2007 study (University of Geissen, Germany) finding a one to one relationship with number of years meditation experience and the overall "hippocampal grey matter density."
The more meditation you do, the bigger and stronger your hippocampus, moving your brain further away from the dark valley of depression. And the truth is, you don’t need to practice meditation for years to see results, these studies show dramatic results in only a few days or weeks! Science has now proven that meditation builds calm, focused, happy brains. If you want to rewire your brain for happiness and free yourself from the chains of depression, then meditation is must be your number one priority.
With thousands of different forms of meditation what I found successful for myself and thousands of clients over the past 30 years is guided visualization meditation techniques. It’s important that it is simple, comfortable, and have results that make you want to keep showing up every day. As far as the details go, the key is making time every day to sit, breathe, and connect with the self.
Research shows that spending time in any type of meditation can combat anxiety, stress, and depression while heightening optimism, creativity, and vitality. © Amirah Hall 2016