I talk a lot about meditation, but with good reason. It as been one of the most successful methods of helping with my depression. However, it can take time to get right, especially if you are having rapid thoughts or feeling agitated. One of the main points to note, when you start learning how to meditate for depression, never give up. There is not a wrong or right way to meditate, it’s just your way.
There are different kinds of meditation that you can practice, to begin with we will focus on a body scan meditation combined with breathing. This is possibly the easiest method and it is also easier to remember, which is beneficial if you are feeling unwell or are having rapid thoughts. We will explore other methods in later articles.
Preparing To Meditate
It is very important to make sure your surroundings are comfortable and quiet. It’s a good idea to have a quiet space where you will not be interrupted. You can have relaxing music or sounds playing in the background, I would avoid anything with singing. Some people also like to have a nice aroma in the room like incense or scented candles (I like lavender).
Make sure you leave your electronics outside of your meditation space and switched off, you don’t need your mobile phone to meditate and having a break away from it is good for you.
You need to make sure you are sat comfortably. You can lay down if you wish, but you may find you fall asleep. This is not a bad thing, but means that your meditation sessions can be cut short. If youw wish to sit you can sit on a chair or cushion, many people, however, like to sit directly on the floor as it gives you a connection to the earth. But it’s whatever you feel comfortable with. If you are seated you can rest your hands on your lap or on your knees with your palms facing upward. When laid down just lay your hands by your side, again with your palms facing upwards.
I try to keep my eyes half open and focus on a stone on the floor (if I’m sitting down), you can however do this with your eyes closed.
Starting Body Scan Meditation
Now you are prepared lets begin. Start to breathe in slowly and deeply, you can start to count in your mind here. One breathe in, two hold (only for a few seconds) and three breathe out. Start to focus on the air coming into your body and filling it up, and then focus on the breath emptying out of your body. Take note how it feels on your lips or around you nose.
Don’t worry if you mind starts to wander, just start to count again and focus on the breathe going in then out. Remember there is no wrong or right way to perform meditation. It is whatever fits with your body and mind.
Continue to do this until you start to feel calm and relaxed.
When you are ready and at your next breath in, start to feel the breath going all the way to your head, and then start to feel the breath coming out of your head. (I know this sounds very strange, and at first, it is, but imagine the breathe filling your head and then emptying out) Start to feel you head relaxing and feeling heavy. Continue this for four or five breaths.
Next move down to your neck and shoulders and again repeat the method you used with your head. You are basically focusing on breathing in and out of your body starting at the head and working your way down. Use around four or five breaths in and out per body part.
So my best order is Head, Neck and Shoulders, Arms, Hands, Chest, Stomach, Bottom and Groin, Thighs, Knees, Feet and Toes. You can of course do this with different body parts, it is however best to do them in order either top to bottom or visa versa to help you remember.
If you have a part of your body that is hurting or feeling tense, you can focus your meditation on that part before doing the body scan.
Don’t worry if you miss parts out or forget the order, just continue where you remember.
Guided meditations are CD’s or MP3’s that contain relaxing sounds or music with someone talking you through the meditation. This can be very relaxing, and make it easier for you to focus on your meditation. It also allows you to try other types of meditation.
I have yet to find a guided meditation audio that tells you how to meditate for depression, but it is best to use whatever you feel happy with. Breathing and body scan methods have become the most beneficial for me.
There are also a selection of very well written books with CD’s that explain and contain guided meditation.
Sometimes however, if you are feeling unwell guided meditations can cause increased anxiety and agitation, if this is the case then it is best to avoid them. Try to use relaxing sounds or music while focusing on your breathing, or carry out a body scan meditation.
Practice How To Meditate For Depression
Working on ways of how to meditate for depression as been a very beneficial process for me and I feel would benefit others too. Meditation is something that is available to everyone and can take from a few minutes to an hour or more.
I have said many times and will repeat again that there is no wrong or right way, just practice and try to put some time to one side every day for you to meditate. You will be surprised by the results.
I would very much like to hear how this body scan meditation worked out for you, so please comment below. Also, I would like to hear about your meditation experiences, as meditation helped you?