This article, part of an ongoing series, looks at the benefits of meditation for mental health. Issues such as depression and anxiety may be improved by the regular practice of meditation. Using search terms such as “meditation for depression” or “meditation for anxiety” can turn up some useful resources. You may also wish to review our earlier blog posts on meditation.
The Western world is in the middle of a mental-health crisis. Depression and anxiety are rampant. There are many reasons for this. And while we can’t control some of those reasons, we can do some things to help control our reactions to the world around us—and thus control how much power illness has over us.
Among other things, meditation is about centring yourself—stepping back from the chaos of life and finding you again. If you are dealing with depression or anxiety, that centring and peacefulness can be helpful.
Psychology Today published an article in 2011 about meditation and its role in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). They cite a scholarly study finding MBCT works “better than drugs or counseling for depression. Four months after starting, three quarters of the patients felt well enough to stop taking antidepressants.” More recently, Keri Wiginton wrote in The Washington Post of her personal success in using meditation to relieve chronic depression. Other articles, in outlets such as Be Brain Fit and Shape, show meditation for anxiety to be equally promising.
It’s important to consult your physician if you’re dealing with any mental health issue. But taking a few minutes every day to explore, establish, and deepen a meditation practice offers various benefits in any situation—and the relief of depression and anxiety can be among them. The use of meditation for depression and meditation for anxiety is well-established, and worth pursuing.
We’ve said many times on this blog that the best kind of meditation is the kind that works for you and that you will be inclined to practice; there’s no “wrong” way to meditate. If you don’t know where to start, you may wish to review earlier articles on our blog–starting with this one–and google search terms such as “meditation for depression” or “meditation for anxiety.” We’re confident your efforts will prove worthwhile.