Yes it can. Thanks to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies it has been established that practising meditation contributes to reducing activity in the amygdala, as a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience underlines. So, meditation affects that area of the brain governing stress response and often linked to feelings of unhappiness and stress.
Does meditation help you better deal with depression? Here are three suggestions to follow so as to lift yourself from occasional, mild depression states.
1. Use a mantra during your meditation
A mantra is a phrase that is repeated inside your mind during the meditation session. By repeating the mantra you focus on only one thing and the mind slowly goes to stillness. As a result, the wandering thoughts that are usually the trigger for depression, also settle. You can work on an empowering statement such as “I am well” or “I am at peace.” This practice lets your mind relieve negative thoughts and emotions.
Image source: Peace Revolution Facebook
2. Try guided meditation
Sometimes, all your mind needs is to let go of everything and take a rest. You can listen to guided meditation and just follow the lead. No need to do anything else. Just be willing to relax and take it slowly. Place aside the expectations of what the outcome will be or what you should feel. Just let yourself be and breathe.
3. Take a mindful walk
It sometimes happens that we get depressed because of things that happened in the past or that might happen in the future, and be out of our control. Depression is a direct result of our thoughts and feelings. Taking a 30 minutes walk in nature will help you unwind and focus on the present. Take a walk without thinking where you are going. Just focus on your breathing, the movement of your body, on what you see around you and on the smells and sounds you come across during your walk, without analysing what you perceive.
Surely there are many other aspects to be taken into consideration when facing depression. Talking it out with your close ones or with a professional is surely very helpful. So, is having a balanced, healthy lifestyle, with lots of sleep, a healthy diet, physical and mind exercises. And don’t forget to start your day with a smile on your face and go to sleep the same way.