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What Are the Benefits of Meditation for Depression?

By Valerie Goldberg
Updated May 17, 2024
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Meditation is a practice that involves a person trying to relax the mind and body to achieve a peaceful state. When a person meditates, it can affect brainwaves, causing a person to be happier and calmer. This effect has led some psychologists to suggest meditation for depression as a treatment option for patients. Benefits of meditation for depression can include fewer anxiety attacks, less of a need for medications and more happy, productive days.

A depressed person experiences many symptoms, including sadness, loss of energy, trouble sleeping and suicidal thoughts. Many people with depression turn to a psychiatrist or therapist for treatment when they realize their symptoms are disturbing their everyday lives, including working or caring for children. Traditional depression treatments include antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications, talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Using meditation for depression with or in place of these treatments can help some people learn to get through times when symptoms are overwhelming so they will have a better quality of life.

Meditating can be as simple as sitting quietly, relaxing and breathing deeply. Patients can do this at home or in the office of a therapist. Meditation for depression is something that should be done routinely if being used as a treatment. While trying to meditate during extreme moments of depression or anxiety can be helpful, the practice is more beneficial if a person makes it a part of his or her everyday schedule. A person can set aside as little as 15 minutes each morning or evening to devote to meditating, which can lead to fewer anxiety attacks over time.

A lot of worry goes through the minds of depressed people. Meditation for depression can be used to turn off some of those thoughts. A dark and quiet room is the ideal place for meditation. People may choose to close their eyes during mediation. Praying and or positive speaking during mediation is optional and is more helpful to some people than to others.

When meditation is done correctly, a person will stop focusing on all the things going through his or her mind and focus only on the calmness that is left. Meditation is usually most beneficial if person sits up straight or lies on his or her back. Standing during meditation can reduce its effectiveness. While meditation will not help everyone, some people may find so much success from it that they may want to stop taking medications used to control their symptoms. A doctor should always be consulted before making a decision of this type.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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