Using Meditation to Overcome Depression
Depression can be classified as clinical or situational. If your depression is clinical, please see a doctor for help and supervision. Too many people I know have said that they simply will not take medication of any kind. Yet they are miserable and when there is a path out of that misery, it is senseless to suffer.
If your depression is situational -- that is, your life circumstances make you feel hopeless and helpless, you are in control. You might not feel it, but you are.
A well-known idea is that it is not what you're going through that causes your pain, but the way you look at what's going on that causes you pain. Change your attitude and you can face anything. Is this easy? No, and if your feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are deep and heavy, the task at hand is not going to be easy at all. Possible, but not easy.
Three steps to consider:
When strength becomes the feeling you can identify with, depression will subside. Depression feels weak, helpless and hopeless. Find that part of yourself that in back in control. Strength will carry you through. Let your meditation focus on those parts of yourself that feel strong and build with clear imagery and statements of power and positivism. You can be in control of your life -- just make the effort and see the results.
- Are your feelings related to the past? That is, is it something you have done or experienced that causes you this stress and desire to escape? While this may seem too elemental, you can't change the past. ╩Nothing about the past is modifiable -- except your attitude toward it. If you are angry at someone, understand that feeling may be entirely natural and appropriate. However, it has turned itself into self-punishing behavior. Depression has been called anger turned onto self. ╩But at the foundation of it all, if it comes from the past, find a way to let it go. Remember this: you are doing the best you can with the tools you have. ╩Everyone is.
- Are you worried about the future? Too often we extrapolate from today what tomorrow will be. And there's a certain truth to that. What you feel and think today will become your future. It therefore makes sense that getting your today under control will improve your tomorrow. Easy? Not much easier than overcoming your negative relationship with your past. But it is all do-able. ╩You have the ability to find the sunshine under the clouds. You have the ability to find gratitude in what you have as opposed to what you're missing. Gratitude is a way to see your future through eyes of possibility rather than eyes of futility.
- Is today the source of your unhappiness? If you can remember that all cycles come to an end, you will realize that nothing has ever gone on forever and that life is filled with cycles. This realization makes it easier to find hope again. Finding gratitude is a way of opening your heart again to possibility, to hope and to light returning to your life. Everyone at some time faces challenges that feel like the weight of the world, a heaviness that you can't see beyond. But everyone also knows that that same weight will go away at some time as it always does. Look forward to what you want rather than what you think you're stuck with. Face it; all cycles end. It is only a matter of hanging on until the change is apparent. In the meantime, let your mind open to possibilities. Turn away from what makes you unhappy and stop feeding the pain. Will you feel good again right away? Probably not -- but you will feel stronger. And that strength becomes the tool that takes you out of depression.
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Chesa Keane has taught meditation and self-help for more than 30 years. To learn more about Meditation tools and techniques and an introduction to a unique meditation tool, the TAO Totem, visit: www.TaoTotem.com . For meditation products, go to www.meditatingwell.com