Stress and depression are some of the problems that make people seek out meditation as a way out of their problems. There are two major types of depression – one is the type that is caused by external forces such as the way people treat you, circumstances around you, hardship, illness and other causes. The second type is caused by chemical imbalance in your body. No matter the cause of your depression, we all know that it affects mind. In other words, it is something we cannot see physically. Since depression manifests as a mental experience, one of the best ways to eliminate it is by meditating.
Not all meditation can be used in managing depression. People who suffer from extreme bouts of depression may not use meditation for two reasons. The first is that meditation takes practice. If you find yourself not doing it right the first time, you may revert to feeling that you are a failure. This feeling will not solve your depression problems. Secondly, you may also find yourself turning over issues in your mind over and over again. This also will not help you out. Extreme depression cases need professional guides in meditating. Guided meditation will go a long way to help. As you continue to read this article, you will learn about the major symptoms of depression and whether meditative practices can relieve negative thoughts.
What are the Major Symptoms of Depression?
How do you know that you or someone is depressed? This is a question some people would like to find answers to. Before answering this question, we need to clearly distinguish between grief and depression. This distinction is necessary so that you don’t confuse grief with depression since they share many similar symptoms. Grief is an entirely natural response to a loss while depression is an illness. Grief has an identifiable cause and is usually a relatively short situation.
A person who suffers from a major depressive disorder (also referred to as clinical depression or major depression) must either have a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities consistently for at least 2 weeks. Doctors normally classify depression according to the symptoms. These may be mild, moderate or severe depression. In mild depression, there is some impact on your daily activities. In moderate, there is significant impact while in severe depression, your daily activities can be completely crippled.
The symptoms of depression can be generally classified into three groups. They are social, psychological and physical symptoms.
Social symptoms of depression
The main characteristics for this kind of depression include not doing well at work or school, reduced interests and hobbies, taking part in fewer social activities, difficulties in home and family life and avoiding contact with friends.
Psychological symptoms of depression
For this category, people will show continuous low mood or sadness, have feelings of guilt, have feelings of anxiousness or worry, have feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, have suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming themselves, show lack of motivation and little interest in things, have difficulty in making decisions, have reduced sex drive, feel irritable and intolerant of others, have low self-esteem, appear tearful and show lack of enjoyment.
Physical symptoms of depression
These symptoms are normally obvious. You can clearly see that the person is depressed. Symptoms include unexplained aches and pains, lack of energy or lack of interest in sex, disturbed sleep patterns, change in appetite or weight, slowed movement or speech, changes to the menstrual cycle and constipation. Now that we know the symptoms of depression, let’s see whether meditative practices can relieve negative thoughts.
Can Meditative Practices Relieve Negative Thoughts?
One of the best types of meditative practices that can relieve negative thoughts is guided meditation. You may either follow a laid down structure or script or use any form of media like recorded videos or CDs that have been organized by a professional for that purpose. Once you follow the simple guidelines of sitting comfortably on a chair or cushioned floor, wearing lose clothing, focusing on your breathing and replaying each negative thought one after the other in your mind; you can relieve your mind of such thoughts if you intentionally allow them into your mind and do away with them. When you do this continually, you will totally relieve your mind of negative thoughts.
Meditation combats depression if you know exactly how to go about it. Once you notice the symptoms, try to do away with depression by meditating. You can do this by actively reviewing and throwing away negative thoughts. This will help you to come back to your normal self as fast as possible. If, however you are suffering from extreme bouts of depression, you need to enlist the services of a professional who can help to identify the best meditative practice for you.