Meditation is a proven stress-reliever, but it can also remedy those struggling with depression, weight loss and marital problems. Meditation for Depression:Why It WorksPeople who struggle with the blues tend to see sadness as a problem they need to fix. As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program. Subscribe to O, The Oprah Magazine for up to 72% OFF what others pay on the newsstand — that's like getting 19 FREE issues! If you wish to practice meditating with a purpose or intention to get greater benefits it may be best to use guided meditations. The precise origin of meditation is hard to pinpoint, as it dates back far before civilization as we know it. The physical and mental benefits of meditation are raved about across the medical field from naturopaths to therapists and family doctors. Natasha DevineAs someone who has depression, I’m so grateful that I can use my experience to empower others who are struggling. Meditation therapy should be routinely available on the National Health Service to treat recurring depression and to help tackle Britain’s growing mental health problems, according to a new report.
The study, commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation, found that fewer than one in 20 GPs prescribed meditation therapy for patients suffering depression, despite NHS guidance suggesting that it could halve depression relapse rates.
Mental health specialists said that greater use of meditation would reduce an over-reliance on antidepressants. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence issued guidance on meditation in 2004 after studies suggested that it might bring benefits. Five years later, only a fifth of GPs said they can access the treatment for their patients, and just one in 20 regularly prescribes the therapy, according to the Mental Health Foundation report Be Mindful. MBCT costs on average £300 per patient for a course of two-hour sessions over eight weeks. A key difference between the new approach and traditional CBT is that patients are seen between episodes of depression, and not when they are in the grip of the illness. More than 100 studies, some involving Buddhist monks, have shown that brainwave activity changes during meditation, and that areas of the brain linked to controlling emotion are bigger in people who have meditated regularly for five years.
The case for making MBCT available on the NHS relies on two key studies of patients with recurring depression. A report I wrote for the Mental Health Foundation highlights the impressive clinical evidence for an approach called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) – the eight-week courses have been shown to reduce relapse rates by half among people who have suffered several episodes of depression. Despite its convoluted name, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is pretty straightforward – a set of classes that teach meditation practices which help people pay attention to their breathing, body sensations, thoughts and feelings in a kind, accepting, non-judgemental way. Mindfulness is especially relevant to depression, in which sufferers tend to get caught up with cycles of 'rumination' - when people get depressed they churn negative thoughts over and over in their minds, a pattern which actually perpetuates their low mood.


Mindfulness-based therapies are fundamentally and unapologetically inspired by Buddhist principles and tools – the Buddha both noted that suffering (as opposed to pain) is created by struggling with experience and prescribed mindfulness meditation as a way of working with it skilfully. By secularising mindfulness training, and packaging it in a form that makes it amenable to clinical testing, an approach that might otherwise have been seen in medical circles as new-age flim-flam is being taken very seriously. For that we can partly thank Morinaga Soko-Roshi, a zen teacher of Jon Kabat-Zinn, the doctor who first brought mindfulness training into US healthcare services in the 1970s.
Visualization and meditation have really helped me; the trick is remembering to use these tools during a crisis. The meditations on this album are designed to help you ease these conditions, so that you may have a brighter day. Meditation can raise your vibration from a state of anxiety and despair to a state of peace and hope. Guided Meditation is particularly useful if you wish to have some direction and support during your meditation practice.
All seven tracks in the Meditations to Ease Anxiety and Depression package are available as an instant MP3 download, which you can play from your computer, copy to an MP3 player or Smart Phone, or Burn to a CD. I have tried so many other guided meditations and yours is the one I always come back to exclusively. An introduction about anxiety and depression and how the pressures in life can sometimes lead to these discordant states of being. In this meditation I take you through a visualization technique to call upon violet light for clearing and healing. Life can be like a roller coaster with ups and downs, in this meditation I take you on a visualization to assist in healing and lifting your mental state and emotions.
Brad Austen is an intuitive meditation teacher who has trained extensively in Psychic Development and Mediumship. He brings this spiritual wisdom to his guided meditations, creating a unique experience for the listener. For me, the power in these MP3 meditations comes from your gentle and sincere attitude, wrapped up in a higher-vibration energy that helps me to feel supported and sure. Congratulations on all that you have achieved with your spiritual work – and thanks for sharing it with us. Practicing meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting in a room in silence; it can be enjoyed outdoors as well! Guided meditation is also an excellent way to get started for beginners as it literally guides you through the steps to take to get you into a calm and relaxed state of mind. They said that while the drugs were effective, they did not help address the possibility of future depressive episodes.
This can be done in a number of ways, for example by focusing on breathing, parts of the body, or movement.


Another difference is the inclusion of meditation, as research has shown that relying on CBT alone to prevent recurrent depression does not work as well. After two bouts of depression, there is a 70 per cent risk of relapse, which rises to 90 per cent after three episodes. One, undertaken ten years ago, showed a 37 per cent relapse rate for patients given MBCT, compared with 66 per cent for those not given the treatment.
It's already endorsed as a treatment for depression by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, and today a major mental health charity is calling for meditation-based courses to be offered much more widely on the NHS. The report also finds that very few patients who could benefit from mindfulness training are currently being referred for the treatment – just one in 20 GPs prescribes MBCT regularly, despite the fact that nearly three-quarters of doctors think it would be helpful for their patients with mental health problems. So seriously that according to an ICM survey of GPs conducted for the Mental Health Foundation report, 64% of doctors would like to receive training in mindfulness themselves.
Kabat-Zinn knew that it would be considered unacceptably 'religious' to offer Buddhist training to his patients - however, he also had a strong hunch that the meditation techniques said to lead to insight on the Buddhist path might also help people cope with chronic illness.
Although there are now mindfulness centres at universities such as Oxford, Exeter and Bangor (the Scottish government also deserves great credit for investing strongly in mindfulness training for health professionals) most NHS trusts lack the infrastructure and personnel to offer MBCT courses to patients who could benefit from it.
This can be a huge help those suffering from depression as it will not only help with some of the physical pain but it has been known to assist in mood stabilization and focus as well. It isn't a miracle cure – while simple, the techniques take time and effort to master, but mindfulness-based therapies are now supported by a substantial and rapidly-growing evidence base that suggest they can help people cope better not just with depression, but also with the stress of conditions ranging from chronic pain and anxiety to cancer and HIV.
Even though the scientific evidence is persuasive, and GPs are on board, there simply aren't the courses for people to access.
Meditation in modern society isn’t only a religious practice but is now also used as a relaxation method as well as in self-healing and inner reflection outside of religion.
Meditation can help quiet those thoughts, says psychologist Mark Williams, coauthor of The Mindful Way Through Depression. It teaches the mind to experience emotions without judging them, and people who are vulnerable to depression learn to avoid falling into whirlpools of counterproductive thinking.
Clinical trials have shown that MBCT, which costs about $500, is as effective as antidepressants at reducing the rate of depression relapse. If there are no courses in your area, you can follow the program in The Mindful Way Through Depression.



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