(Contributing Author: Milica Vladova)
I know that depression is probably the last thing one can expect to have in their mid-twenties. Young people are supposed to have it easier. Right?
Well, not quite, as it turns out. More and more millennials are experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety leading to depression, reports the employee assistance program provider Bensinger, Dupont & Associates [https://www.bna.com/millennials-report-higher-n57982084118].
Unfortunately, that was the case for me as well. I was a twenty-something girl who, instead of enjoying that were supposed to be my best years in life, was feeling miserable and completely incapable to tackle the daily tasks.
And just a quick clarification what depression really felt like. Spoiler alert: it’s not just being moody or cranky. Clinical depression is a serious mental health issue that affects all parts of your being – your emotions, your mind, and… your body. It comes so suddenly that one day you just have a mental breakdown and your body stops functioning the way it used to. The negative sensations can vary from extreme fatigue (I was dragging myself back from work and went straight to bed), the feeling of utter hopelessness, tremors, nausea, and loss of appetite. Yeah, the picture was not pretty!
But my point is – do not underestimate this condition because it is not a joke and it could lead to even more serious consequences!
Now let’s get to the bright side! I love focusing on the solutions rather than the problems. I believe this is one of the main characteristics of a person who is willing to take their health into their own hands and heal.
How did I get out of this mess?
The traditional methods of healing clinical depression usually consist of taking anti-depressants (like Xanax). And they do their job for a while – they stimulate the “happy” hormones secretion and can make you feel normal again. But at what cost? The risks of developing a life-long addiction are quite high!
So, I decided to follow another approach – the holistic self-healing path of meditation.
I have been hearing time and time again that meditation is the key to achieving inner peace, happiness, and overall well-being. Here is what the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital found about practicing mindfulness on a regular basis: “Many studies have shown that mind/body interventions like the relaxation response can reduce stress and enhance wellness in healthy individuals and counteract the adverse clinical effects of stress in conditions like hypertension, anxiety, diabetes, and aging,” [https://hms.harvard.edu/news/genetics/mind-body-genomics-5-1-13]
In other words, meditation has proven itself extremely effective for preventing and healing not just the mental issues (like depression), but also some serious physical ailments like heart disease and high blood sugar levels.
That was enough proof for me to start implementing this practice in my daily routines and improve the quality of my own life in a very short period of time!
Here is what I did to eradicate my depression and bring back my zest for life!
At first, meditation may seem a bit hard. Most people think that their ultimate goal is to stop the mental chatter altogether to reap the wonderful benefits of meditation. And that’s far from the truth!
All you need to do is to sit or lie down in a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed for about 15-20 minutes. Close your eyes and start breathing slowly and consciously. This is your best opportunity to start practicing belly breathing as it is one of the best forms of pranayama (yoga breathing) that soothes the nervous system and promotes relaxation. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5455070/] Simply expand the belly as you breathe in while the chest remains steady. Next, focus your mind on your breath – imagine how the air goes in and out of your body. Every time you notice your mind wandering, just bring your focus back to the breath.
If you wish to take this practice a step further, you can add some relaxing music which is proven very effective in soothing the mind more quickly [https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-power-of-music-to-reduce-stress/].
And that’s it!
Do this meditation at least once a day whenever you have some free time, but remember to make this a priority! For best and faster results, you can meditate first thing in the morning and right before going to bed. This will be your key to starting the day on the right foot and releasing the daily pressure before sleep.
It sounds extremely easy and it is! But the cumulative effects of repeating this meditation on a regular basis are enormous!
You will start experiencing more peace and serenity throughout the day. You will become happier, more patient and forgiving. Your brain will work much better and your natural immunity will become stronger!
Meditation is your ultimate holistic practice that will boost your health and wellness on every level!
Milica Vladova dedicated her work to spreading the valuable knowledge of the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. She is determined to make the world healthier, happier, and more successful!
She has been published on Dr. Axe, The Huffington Post, The Elephant Journal, Thrive Global, and more.
She is also the author of “The Detox and Strong Immunity Series” and “DIY Homemade Beauty Products Series“.
You can find her latest bits of wisdom and download her FREE healthy recipe books at http://mindbodyandspiritwellbeing.com