It's always been very interesting to me how physicians in the West approach depression treatment with their patients. Treatment recommendations run the gamut from medication, to therapy, to less stressful careers, etc.
But there could be a much simpler solution. What may work for some people with a history of mild depression, is to integrate a regular regime of early morning mediation in their lives.
Now please - don't get me wrong. I am not some new age expert. But what I am is what so many of us are - acquiring knowledge through trial and error. Plus, a little research:)
Experts have agreed that regular meditation can be a very strong mood lifter in patients with a history of dysthymia and mild depressive disorder.
So what does that really involve?
Meditation can and should be a very personal act that you perform for clarity and relaxation at the beginning and/or end of your day.
1. It can be as short as 15 minutes of stillness and silence in a quiet area of your home.
2. The area only has to be quiet - not fabulous. But if you prefer you can add a candle that you like, a rug or pillow to sit on, flowers, or very soft music.
3. The key is to be still and to get into the regular act of centering yourself on a daily basis.
Don't worry about "doing it correctly" or feeling a little weird at first. You might feel uncomfortable at first. Or you may sit and think about how miserable you are for those 15 minutes - but that's okay. Meditation takes practice. It's not easy in this day and age to sit and think about nothing! So give yourself a little slack, and allow this process to evolve.
We as humans were never designed to cope with the high pressure demands of life in the 21st century. For many people the battle come when knowing how and when to switch from one mode to the next.
Benefits of Meditation : Psychophysical links
A period of meditation can often lead to a feeling of being refreshed with a more positive attitude and a general feeling of well being. Things that had been bothering you may now be seen in a new and more helpful way. You gain a different, wider perspective on things and feel very much more in control.
These beneficial reactions have been well known for years, but only in recent times, has anyone found a physiological explanation. Some of the Benefits in this trait are as follows:
Decreased irritability and moodiness.
Improved learning ability and memory.
Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.
Increased emotional stability.
Benefits of Meditation : Meditation and work.
The tension of modern working practices often mean that people are so bound up in meeting all the vigorous demands placed upon them that they maintain a high level of mental and physical activity right through the day. This frequently means that they are not only cutting off their extremely important emotional responses and their enjoyment of the simple things in life, but they are also pushing their physical and mental health right to the very limit. Much has now been written about the management of stress and the significant need for period of mental and physical relaxation during the working day.
Benefits of Meditation : The 20 minute rule
Ernest Rossi, a writer, has formulated the 20 minute rule which is based on the theory of ultradian rhythm. Ultra Rhythm are bio rhythm that the body works through during each day - a little like hyperbolic curves of energy which repeat every 90 - 120 minutes. Naturally it would be best to work only at peak performance times, but this is just not possible. However timing work breaks to coincide with the mind body slowdown pattern every 90 minutes thus ensure maximum productivity and restricts the potential build up of stress.
Rossi suggested the patterns of working for 90 minutes and then taking a brief 20 minute break. He himself usually lies down and meditates during this period because it is the best form of total mental and physical relaxation and is good preparation for returning to optimal mental processing.
A 20 minute meditation is ideal and Benefits will be felt immediately. In returning to work after 20 minutes, you will see things afresh and deal with them more efficiently.
Benefits of Meditation : Endorphin release
When we are truly relaxed both mentally and physically, there are changes in the brain waves pattern until it is predominantly located and fixed within the alpha state. Within this particular state the brain triggers chemicals known as endorphins. It is in fact this chemical trigger that has the Benefits that are experienced as a feeling of well being. Meditation is one of the easiest way to achieve this and these good feelings can easily linger for some time after the meditation has ended. There is also a real physical benefit as these endorphins boost and recharge the immune system, helping you to fight off all kinds of infections. Some of them are as follows:
Lower heart rate and reduced work load of the heart.
Reduction of free radicals- unstable oxygen molecules that can cause tissue damage.
Decreased high blood pressure.
Higher skin resistance. Low skin resistance is correlated with higher stress and anxiety levels.
Drop in cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is associated with cardiovascular disease.
Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing. This has been very helpful to asthma patients
So when you are at your desk and feeling a little stressed , sit back , close your eyes, and just breath. When you open your eyes, the world will look a little differently then it did before and you will have a renewed sense of self!