Depression, something far too common but not talked about enough. Depression shows itself in many different ways and more often than not, these signs interfere with your daily life. You could have low self-esteem that no matter how hard you try, there’s nothing that can turn your gray sky to blue. You may be sleep-deprived and are often staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night thinking about everything from the day before, how you could’ve done things differently, and how you should do them differently moving forward.
Depression lingers, and when gone unaddressed, it can consume you to your core.
What Causes Depression?
We all know someone who suffers from depression, albeit with minor symptoms. Depression affects everyone differently, mainly because it has so many different ways of showing itself. The two most common triggers for depression are stress and anxiety. When these emotions and feelings creep into our minds, negative thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations begin to make their way to the forefront of our being.
When our prefrontal cortex (PFC) becomes hyperactive, our stress and anxiety levels begin to run wild. Our PFC is the part of our brain that processes information about ourselves and controls many of our emotions. It’s the area of our brain that worries and runs wild when things don’t go according to plan.
As our PFC experiences emotions such as working a dead-end job, feeling isolated, or having negative feelings, another area of our brain, the amygdala, is triggered. This part is responsible for releasing adrenaline and cortisol to help the body cope with these negative feelings to combat them. It’s the body’s way of preparing for fight or flight, even if there truly isn’t a fight or flight situation.
When these two parts of the brain work simultaneously, they unfortunately aren’t working together. The PFC is managing stress and anxiety while the amygdala is releasing adrenaline and cortisol. Essentially two opposite ends of the spectrum. When this happens, negative sensations are met with stress and anxiety only leading to deeper negative feelings, depression.
Treating Your Depression
If you feel like you or someone you know is depressed, we encourage you to seek help as quickly as you can. As depression lingers, it can often worsen leading to severe depressive episodes multiple times throughout the year.
Some of the most common treatments for depression include using a therapist, prescribed medication, and making lifestyle changes. Sometimes it truly can be as simple as cutting out negative people in our lives.
Another effective solution is meditation.
Meditation for Depression
Meditation is an alteration of the mind to experience a deep state of relaxation by tapping the subconscious mind. It’s the practice of focusing your attention and energy to clear your mind to allow it to think clearly and openly to reduce the clutter and other distractions you may be experiencing.
With a quick definition of meditation, depression is a frontrunner for receiving this type of therapy. Depression can consume an individual and cloud their thoughts leading to darker and cloudier emotions. Through meditation, you’ll address and become more aware of why these negative thoughts are occurring and how to manage and deal with them when they arise.
Contrary to popular belief, meditation isn’t where someone imposes their thoughts and will onto others. It’s opening the mind of yourself to tap into who you are, what you are, and making yourself aware of your emotions and what causes you to feel that way. You’re retraining your brain to recognize these emotions to deal with them in better, more effective ways.