Depression is a mental health condition that presents many symptoms such as low mood that cannot be shaken off, loneliness, sadness, sleep problem, suicidal thoughts, anxiety & irritability which are the more common ones. If you have these signs for more than two weeks, you might have a depression disorder. As a natural alternative to anti-depressants, you may want to try practise meditation. It can help to you manage these symptoms if you know how to do it. If you make it a regular practice, it can help you reduce stress and anxiety, which can cause depression.
Through meditation, you will realise that you have more control over your mind and can cut through the dark cloud of depression to a place of balance, peace and joy. When you meditate, you can override the triggers stimulated from the prefrontal cortex (area go into overdrive when you are stressed) and the amygdala (fear region that triggers fight or flee when faced with danger). This explains why your stress levels fall.
There is more than one type of meditations that can help to relieve depression. You may want to try all and find one that suit you and your can practise regularly.
- Loving-kindness meditation focuses on creating an attitude of love and kindness towards yourself and others.
- Mindfulness meditation is using your breath to create an anchor to keep bringing your attention back to the present moment and help with cognitive retraining.
- Breath awareness meditation uses the object of your breath to focus on, to help with mind training so as much as 15 minutes a day of focusing on inhaling and exhaling can yield mood benefits, including lessened emotional reactivity.
- Kundalini yoga incorporate chanting and specific techniques to manage fear, banish anger, and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Transcendental meditation uses sound or a personal mantra, often one or two syllables to anchor your attention.
- Body scan meditation involves focusing on different parts of your body sequentially. As you shift your attention to different parts of your body, you also focus on inhaling and exhaling deeply.
- Walking meditation takes walking to another level. Aerobic walking with Buddhist meditation not only reduced depression but also improved flexibility and balance.
Let us focus on Kundalini yoga with mantra chanting to help relieve depression. WAHE GURU is a powerful mantra that take you from darkness to light, from ignorance to true understanding. It involves Kundalini energy to purify your past karma and to give you vitality. This is the mantra of ecstasy and it will remove loneliness, doubts, fear or confusion. By chanting this sacred mantra, you embody divine healing vibrations and raise your energy field to the vibration of Love.
Wahe Guru (pronounced “Wah-hey goo-roo”) Mantra
Wahe Guru Wahe Guru Wahe Guru Wahe Jio
Wahe is the statement of awe and ecstasy.
Guru is the one who brings us from darkness to light.
Wahe Guru is an expression of complete ecstatic awe of the Divine.
Wahe Jio is great beyond description is the experience of God Blessing the Soul.
Steps to meditation
- Sit in Ardha Padmasana (half lotus pose) or Sukhasana (easy seated pose). Apply a light neck lock.
- Hold out your hands in a reverse prayer mudra from your chest. Keep your thumbs separated and your fingers pressed against one another, creating pressure on the back of your hands.
- Focus your eyes at the tip of your nose.
- Take a few long, deep breaths in and out of the nostrils to prepare yourself.
- Inhale deeply and chant Wahe Guru mantra 10 times as you breathe out. One complete cycle should take 20-25 seconds.
- Try this for 10 minutes and gradually build to 30 minutes.
Besides meditation, regular exercise including yoga asanas and pranayama can also help to ease symptoms of depression. It is good to choose an exercise that you enjoy and if possible, find a supportive partner or group to exercise with you.
Ivy Ng (July-2021)