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Secrets To Meditation For Depression
If you’ve ever experienced depression, or know someone that has, then you know just how much it can impact all areas of personal and professional lives.
Depression is estimated to affect 350 million people of all ages worldwide and based on current research it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon.
While that is certainly disconcerting news, these days not only are there effective treatments for mild or severe depression, recent studies suggests that mindfulness-based meditation is effective at treating anxiety and depression.
How Does Mindfulness-Based Meditation Work?
Mindfulness meditation has been around for thousands of years but has only recently come to the attention of the world at large. It is a form of meditation that trains the mind to pay more attention to the present moment by noticing thoughts and feelings, without getting caught up in them.
It is a simple way to be able to step back from the mind and body, and stay present with what’s going on. This helps prevent being dragged down by thoughts of stress, worry, or negativity that can lead to depression. This simple act of becoming more aware of what’s going on inside our head, or how we are feeling, gives us the power to choose to disengage from them.
Keep in mind though that meditation is not a quick fix or a magic potion that will instantly heal your life. It is a skill that if you take the time to learn it and apply it on a daily basis that has been suggested to be an effective way to prevent relapsing back into depression.
A Simple Mindfulness Meditation To Get Started
For many people mindful meditation is more like a wrestling match than a feeling of peace and calm. It wasn’t until I discovered that the secret to letting it work was to treat all my thoughts and feelings as friends that my meditation suddenly took off in leaps and bounds.
Being compassionate with ourselves in not an easy task when we are used to judging parts of us that we just wish would leave us alone, or go away completely. But that’s exactly what feeds these parts of us and keeps them hanging around. The more we judge our worries, doubts, and fears, the stronger they become.
The simplest way to start out with mindfulness meditation is to find a comfortable place to sit, take a few slow, deep breaths to center yourself, and then close your eyes.
Then just watch or feel your breath coming in and out of your nose. Keep your breathing natural and easy – not forced in any way. Just watching your breath come in and go out. If you notice that your mind wanders (and it will) to thoughts or feelings of the past or future – just allow them.
No matter how intense or uncomfortable they may be, simply acknowledge them, and then gently bring your attention back to observing your breath coming in and going out of your body. If it helps, keep your focus on your nostrils as this is where you will feel your breath the most.
Do this for up to 20 minutes if you have the time. If not, do whatever amount of time you have. Even 5 minutes will bring noticeable results. Then, when you are finished watching your breath, lie down and be still for a minute or two and let your mind and body relax deeply.
Just like most things of value in life, the real payoff comes with practice over time. If mindfulness meditation feels right for you, then make it a part of your daily routine. It’s best done in the morning as soon as you get out of bed, but anytime you can do is better than none. Even if you can only start with 5 minutes a day, that’s perfectly okay. It’ll bring you a better result than meditating once a week for 20 or 30 minutes.
World Health Organization (2015)
Clinical Psychology Review 33 (2013) 763-771
Michael Atma is a best-selling meditation and personal development author of Master Your Mindspace, which is a revolutionary fitness book for the mind. His books, seminars and online courses have touched the hearts and changed the lives of thousands of people seeking more happiness, health and fulfilment. Recently, he launched home to his Meditation Made Simple Program, where you can change your life in just 5-minutes a day. Find out more: www.mindspace.club or check out Michael’s website.
This Mindful Body post has been written by our guest blogger The Easier Softer Way. Please feel free to visit their page for a beautiful and healing site. Please now kick back and enjoy “Mindful Body.”
I recently read the book Savor by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung and hosted a class series on mindfulness and wellness. I have learned over the years of the importance of bringing my practice off of the cushion and into my everyday life. The importance of this was what led us to begin our Daily Mindfulness Emails. However, reading this book, the class series, and continued practice has led to a new-found appreciation for my body, and its connection with my mind and heart.
Mindful Body Scans
Mindfulness of the body is not a new practice for me, as it is the First Foundation of Mindfulness. I regularly do mindful body scan meditations, which are greatly beneficial. In body scan meditations, I am able to go through my body and find where the tension is. As I focus on my tension with full concentration, I am able to loosen that area of my body and let it be. I also find that I have much more tension than I am generally mindful of. Although mindful body scans are best done lying down in a relaxed environment, we can do a quick body scan anywhere.
Recognizing the Body’s Sensations
The feelings I find in my body are often indicative of my mind state. As I experience anxiety, I may feel a tension in my chest, while resentment often manifests in my shoulders and neck. The mind body connection is undeniable. As I practice mindfulness in my life, I see the relationship more clearly. When we feel a strong emotion, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we can look to our body and see how it feels. We may feel tension, clenching, our heart rate increasing or decreasing, a change in our breathing, a lightness to our bodies, etc. As we experience an emotion and turn to our body, we begin to recognize that the body often has a constant response to each emotion.
Using our Mindfulness of the Body
Recognizing the relation between our body and mind, we can use this knowledge to gain insight about ourselves. As the relationships become clear, the body becomes a barometer for us. When we feel a certain sensation, we can remember what emotion usually goes along with it. In many meditation techniques, our bodies are the basis of our practice, often in the form of our breath. This is because we are often more easily able to be mindful of our bodies than we are our thoughts. Using this to our advantage, we can practice mindfulness of the body in order to better understand mental phenomena. A feeling is often more noticeable in the mindful body than anywhere else if we are truly mindful.
Doing a Mindful Body Scan
For the body scan meditation, find a place to lie down comfortably. A bed is probably not ideal, as you may fall asleep. In this meditation, we will go through each part of our body and notice where there is tension. When you notice tension somewhere in your body, don’t try to push it away. Breathe into it, feel the direct sensation, and move on.
Finding your place, let your eyes close. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and your intentions. As you take these initial deep breaths, feel the ground supporting you. Notice where your body is touching the ground, and how it is effortlessly being supported.
Starting with your feet, move slowly across your body. Feel your toes, one by one, and where there may be tension in them. Notice the arch of your foot, the balls, and the space between your toes. As you concentrate on each spot, look for the direct experience and nothing else. Just notice what you feel in that specific part. Move up to your heel and your ankle. As a joint, our ankles may hold more tension that other spots. We make a note of the sensation, and continue moving.
We move up into the calf, feeling and pain or pleasure that may arise. If we are tense, we feel the tension, and move on. We stop for a moment at the knees, then move up to the thighs and pelvis.
Continue slowly up your lower back and abdomen, feeling whatever tension may arise. Climb up your shoulder blades and spine, rib cage and chest, until you reach the top of your shoulders. Slowly move down your arms, feeling your upper arms first. Stop at the elbow to feel what sensations may arise, and move down the forearm to the wrist. Move especially slowly through your hand. Take note of how your palm feels different than the top of your hand. Run along each finger individually, scanning for any feeling.
Then move up to the neck, moving mindfully up it. Feel the tension and pleasure, and continue moving. Reaching our head, we go up the back first. We feel any direct sensation, moving to the top of our heads. As we get to the face, we remind ourselves to move slowly. We feel our eyes, nose, forehead, cheeks, and chin. We try to notice the sensations without labeling them. We move to the mouth, feeling our jaw, usually a bit clenched. We feel our tongue and lips. We go up our jawline to our ears.
Touching every spot in our body mindfully and with concentration, this scan should take at least 10 minutes. As you finish scanning your body, let your eyes slowly open.
The point of this meditation is to practice being mindful of our bodily sensations. We take the time to feel everything that is going on. After completing this mindful body scan meditation, be mindful of your body’s sensations throughout your day.
This practice of the mindful body scan will help us see what are bodies are telling us, having open awareness in each moment.
If you enjoyed this post, you may like to receive beautiful pocket mindfulness series that are truly inspirational.
Thank you to The Easier Softer Way for a wonderful article. We encourage you to visit their wonderful site. The Easier Softer Way is an online community examining Buddhism, addiction, and all things spirituality. With guest posts, a discussion based social media presence, and regular meditation groups, The Easier Softer Way is working to spread wisdom and positivity. You can visit them at http://TheEasierSofterWay.com
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How to activate your pineal gland and why?
Today I have produced a wonderful new soundtrack album that assists in the activation of your pineal gland. You can check it out here now: 112 OM Chants with Deep Theta Binaural Beats. Before I get into it, I would like to explain a little bit about the pineal Gland and why should we activate your pineal gland.
The pineal gland, sometimes called the Third Eye or the pineal body, is a ‘rice grain’ size gland in the brain. Its shape kind of looks like a pine cone, hence the name “pineal.”
The gland is located in the center of the brain and most vertebrate species have a pineal gland.
Many philosophers over the years have called the pineal gland the “mystery gland” and they believe that it had more functions than scientists once believed.
René Descartes, who studied the pineal gland with much enthusiasm, called the pineal gland the “principal seat of the soul.” He understood this point of the body to be where the intellect and the body connect. There are many more philosophers that believe the pineal gland as the third eye and the point of metaphysical awakening or spiritual enlightenment. This idea is also believed and practised in yoga, many new-age philosophies as well as Pagan religions.
How to activate your pineal gland
This can be done in silence, however, a short cut is to use the 112 OM Chanting here – to activate your pineal gland.
1. Close your eyes lightly (not completely) just so you can still see slightly the bridge of your nose.
2. You can do this sitting down or laying flat but just make sure your palms are facing upwards.
3. Press the play button and begin to play the activate your pineal gland 112 OM Chanting music
4. Now picture your spiritual self escaping your body through your pineal gland. This is one of the first steps in how to activate your pineal gland. Visualising this intently, you will soon be ‘astral travelling’ or leaving your physical body. Some have even said that a popping sound could be heard once the spirit leaves the physical body.
5. Try to practice this on a daily basis, preferably in the early hours of the morning (5am – 7am). Over time you will find that you will easily leave your body and you will be able to activate your pineal gland.
Why activate your pineal gland?
- Awaken your ability of psychic talents
- learn to see beyond space and time
- Discover the links between the physical and the spiritual world
- Sharpen your intuition and your visionary thoughts
- Use crystals in the aid to assist, in particular Labradorite or Apatite
My experience using the above sountrack has been amazing. I felt myself leaving my body after 15 minutes. Oh wow, it was an intense, yet amazing feeling. Please try it yourself. Activate your pineal gland today and begin to fly free from all of your doubt, worry and stressors that todays modern life throws at you.