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How meditation can help reduce depression and anxiety
Meditation and mindfulness has seen a huge rise in popularity in recent times now people are more aware of the range of different benefits that it can bring to both our physical health and mental well-being. Even just 20 minutes of meditation a day can have a profound impact on mental health.
Prolonged meditation is a powerful tool for personal growth as it can help people overcome addiction and get into much better more sustainable habits. This article will look at how and why meditation can help in relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The power of being present
The power of meditation and mindfulness resides in the way in which it can help bring us back to the present moment. Regular practice helps us realise that there is a well of stillness and calm inside of all of us, and it helps us tap into the internal resources and strength that we all possess to help us overcome life’s challenges and obstacles.
Taking steps to clear the mind and focus on the breath helps us to destress, ward off anxiety and reconnect with ourselves. Research shows that along with improving our brains capacity to focus and pay attention, meditating regularly could even help to actually reverse brain patterns that are associated with worrying, poor attention and mind wandering, which has a hugely positive impact on supporting our mental health.
Meditation and lucid dreaming
In addition, some interesting studies have found that people who can lucid dream, which involves achieving conscious awareness while sleeping, are less likely to be depressed and anxious. While this is something that tends to happen spontaneously for most people, it is possible to lucid dream while awake through meditation, and there are many guided meditations out there that can help you do just that.
Meditation can help you take back control of your own thoughts
The depressed and anxious mind is often one riddled with negative thoughts, worries and concerns, that often relate to events in the past or anticipated events in the future. Constantly ruminating over these past or anticipated events in our minds can give rise to fear, anxiety, sadness and it can lower our self-esteem. This is particularly pronounced for people who may have suffered past trauma or abuse. Some people may go to great lengths to avoid feeling like this, from indulgent behaviours, drug abuse, self-harm or even suicide. It’s important to stop this cycle before it takes control.
Meditation is a natural antidote to depression and anxiety
This is why meditation and mindfulness can play such a big role in alleviating depression and anxiety and prevent us from pursuing escapist and avoidance behaviours which can be harmful. Regular meditation practice trains the mind to be more still, calm and focused. This means less stress, less worried and anxious thoughts and much more of an emphasis on the present moment, which in and of itself is a natural remedy for depression and anxiety.
Focusing on the present moment clears the mind and it helps to keep us feeling calm and cantered. Over time, the practice also helps raise self-awareness which can help to put someone back in the driver’s seat again and learn to be much more kind to and forgiving of ourselves.