depression

Understanding our depression

Depression is a mysterious force – it’s common but often hidden, it can feel vague but simultaneously direct, you might even be able to function normally but at the same time feel held back at every moment. One thing is beyond doubt; depression is not just sadness, it is a clinical condition. However we might subjectively experience depression, there are objective traits and factors which can be addressed to help cope with the condition, if not encourage complete recovery – meditation can be a great start on that journey to freedom.

a women who is depressed sits with her legs tucked into her torso

The science behind the claims

The anecdotal evidence of meditation being a help for those suffering from depression is enormous. One quick Google search will return countless articles and testimonies of those who’ve been cured or have found a crutch to lean on. Importantly, since the recent advancements in the field of neuroscience, these claims are being ratified by the scientific community.

 

Neuroscientists at Harvard’s Medical Institute [1] have discovered that the parts the brain responsible for depression is susceptible to being changed by meditation. The Amygdala, the region which controls our ‘fear’ response, and the medial prefrontal cortex, the ‘me centre’ which worries about the future or ruminates on the past, show a looped connection during a depressive episode. Together they release cortisol, the hormone which drives stress and anxiety – two of the main the drivers of depression. 

Meditation has been shown to help break this loop, with decreased activity being seen on the areas of the brain responsible for depression during and after meditation. What this shows is that when we meditate we learn to control our automatic reactions. We learn to let our negative thoughts pass us by without reacting to them.

Taking the right steps towards self-care

Often depression can feel like a cycle you don’t remember starting, nor can you foresee the end of – Meditation can help break that wheel, and also help regenerate optimism and relaxation [2].

If you suspect that you may be suffering from a mental health condition and have not alright sought professional medical advice, we strongly advise that to be your first port of call. Whilst meditation has been proven to help alleviate an array of conditions, we always encourage you to use our services alongside medicinal and psychological help.

And here’s for the science, take a look in full:

[1]www.health.harvard.edu/

[2]journals.lww.com/