Meditation helps with depression

Some people say that depression feels like a black curtain of despair coming down over their lives. Many people feel like they have no energy and can't concentrate. Others feel irritable all the time for no apparent reason. The symptoms vary from person to person, but if you feel "down" for more than two weeks, and these feelings are interfering with your daily life, you may be clinically depressed.

Most people who have gone through one episode of depression will, sooner or later, have another one. You may begin to feel some of the symptoms of depression several weeks before you develop a full-blown episode of depression.

The symptoms of depression include:

  1. Constant feelings of sadness, irritability, or tension
  2. Decreased interest in usual activities or hobbies
  3. Loss of energy, feeling tired despite lack of activity
  4. A change in appetite, with significant weight loss or weight gain
  5. A change in sleeping patterns, such as difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or sleeping too much
  6. Restlessness or feeling slowed down
  7. Decreased ability to make decisions or concentrate
  8. Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or guilt
  9. Thoughts of suicide or death
Benefits of meditation in Depression

A study conducted at the University of Exeter, UK, showed that Sahaja Yoga Meditation has a beneficial therapeutic effect on the symptoms of patients with depression and anxiety.

24 patients with depression and anxiety were divided into three groups: a group receiving Sahaja Yoga Meditation over 6 weeks, a group receiving the conventional behavioural treatment for depression, i.e. cognitive behavioural therapy and a control group that received no treatment. 

The group treated with Sahaja Yoga Meditation compared to the non-treated group showed a statistically significant reduction in the symptoms of anxiety, depression and general mental health. At a trend level the Sahaja Yoga Meditation group also showed improvements compared to the group treated with CBT.

The study shows that Sahaja Yoga Meditation has a significant effect on improving the symptoms of anxiety and depression, which was more pronounced than the conventional behavioural treatment for the disorder.
Morgan A. (2001): Sahaja Yoga: An ancient path to modern mental health? Transpersonal Psychology. Transpersonal Psychology Review 4:41-49.