Feeling Trapped By Your Depression? Here's How Meditation Can Help

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meditation for depression
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It even works for beginners.

At one time or another, we have all felt overwhelming sadness triggered by a difficult, sorrowful, or disappointing event or situation.

If you allow yourself to hold onto these past hurts, you can get stuck in the pain and live it over and over again in your mind. The resulting ordeal may lead to depression; a deeply unpleasant, and sometimes, a devastating experience that can make day-to-day life a troublesome, uphill battle.

But don't worry, if you're dealing with depression, you are far from alone. A growing number of people could use help developing fortitude and inner strength. 

Thankfully, no matter who you are, you can easily learn meditation for depression, which can give you hope when you feel trapped by your sadness.

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Who is using a mindful meditation practice and why?

Mega-famous celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Seinfeld, and Kobe Bryant; companies like Google, Apple, and Target; are all benefiting from the positive effects of mindful meditation for everything from depression to back pain.

They have come to realize it helps them live their best life. By building strength of mind and perseverance during demanding times, they are incorporating this ancient modality into their already ultra-busy day.

The holistic alternative of meditation is not just for the rich and famous. A nationwide survey reveals that more and more, everyday people like you and me (nearly double the number of adults from 2002) are using this mind-body approach to boost their mental health.

What is mindful meditation and how does it work?

Meditation has long been heralded as a way to attain inner peace. Comparable to the way fitness is an approach to training the body, meditation is an approach to training the mind. Practitioners are taught to let go of past regrets and worries about the future; focusing instead, on being grounded in the present moment.

It guides you to take time to become aware of your surrounding environment and pay attention to your inner experiences. Your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations should be in tune with what’s happening around you on purpose. You should have a deep and connected appreciation of where you are and what you are doing.

Meditation helps because it quiets an overactive brain. Once you are conscious of your thoughts and perceptions, you will be able to observe them without reacting to them. Your greatest weapon when dealing with sadness and hopelessness will be your power to choose one thought over another.

How can mindful meditation help when thoughts of despair are consuming you?

The average person thinks about 50,000 thoughts every day; your mind constantly wanders and entertains itself with unnecessary observations. This nonstop mind chatter can cause feelings of anguish and misery; much of the time leading you to worry about things that aren’t ever going to happen, but your mind convinces you they will.

Your challenge is to find a way to enter into the quiet that is buried deep beneath those thoughts. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering meditation for depression: 

  • We’ve all been hurt, there isn’t anyone who hasn’t experienced some kind of emotional pain. The only way you can accept new joy and happiness into your life is to make space for it. If your heart is filled with pain and hurt, how can you be open to anything new?

  • Evaluate situations before you react to them. If you can change your thoughts, you can change your world. Take a moment to pause and reflect—call upon your wise mind—that place where your reasonable mind and emotional mind overlap, giving you greater control of the situation at hand.

  • Approach problems rationally and logically; focus your attention on solving the issue before you. Don’t allow desperate, unhealthy feelings of sadness flood your system and sap your strength. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

    Fully experience where you are and what you’re doing; give yourself the choice of what you are bringing to mind.

  • The mind travels forward to the future or back to the past and evaluates your current situation, based against standards of what is required or expected. By dwelling on how things are, not as we would like them to be, it keeps you in the vicious cycle you long to escape.
  • Your problems won’t disappear on their own. Make a deliberate decision to let go of whatever it is that’s bringing you down. You need to dismiss the grief that’s causing your suffering from your mind. If you don’t make this conscious choice up-front, you could end up self-sabotaging any effort to move on from this past hurt.
  • Accepting and allowing what is, without immediate pressure to change it, your mind will have nothing to do and no place to go, you will be able to fully live and be in the present moment. More than likely, you don’t even realize how out of sorts and worrisome you are until you make time for inner peace.

In order to receive the best that life has to offer you, get off on the right foot every day.

A familiar routine will be your foundation; helping you live a happier and more joyful life.

Because your morning rituals can and will impact your entire day, you must set the stage for how it will unfold. It’s easy to let your mind wander; getting wrapped up and anxious by continuously reliving feelings of hopelessness and heaviness of heart. Setting such a negative tone will embroil you in an inner battle with yourself and lead to feelings of desperation and despair during strenuous times.

You must work diligently to change your mindset; look forward to embracing the day and making a difference.

  • Start your day with a positive attitude. Focus on things that you are grateful for; what you focus on will become your reality. Gratitude is about being aware of what you have, rather than what you don’t. Practicing gratitude will turn what you already have into enough.

  • When you wake up in the morning, realize that you have a new story to write. Don’t allow the events of yesterday carry over into today and drag you down. There are 24 brand new hours ahead of you; vow to stay focused on the day ahead and live each new moment to the fullest.

  • Surrender to what lies before you. You must work diligently to change your mindset; look forward to embracing the day and making a difference. When you can be present in the moment, surrendering to the task at hand, you will create positive energy. It won’t always be easy, but I promise you it will be worth it.

Let go of what’s killing you, even if it kills you to let go.

Oftentimes, because you have held onto it for such a long time and it’s what you have become accustomed to, your pain can feel like an old friend. This can make it incredibly hard to let go of what’s bringing you suffering.

Don’t allow your sorrow to define and take over your life. Every day that you hold on to the pain it has the ability to impact your relationships. Others can and will be affected by it and experience the consequences of your distress.

Begin a mindfulness practice today and learn how meditation for depression can give you hope when you feel trapped in your sadness.

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Judy Molinaro is a master yoga instructor and a wellness coach at JudyMolinaro.com. To learn more about incorporating a mindful meditation into your life, contact her today. For more inspiration sign up for her free newsletter.