Depression is more than feeling down. It is a a serious problem and it causes changes in brain chemistry. The body releases cortisol during times of physical and mental stress. Problems can occur when excessive amounts of cortisol are sent to the brain due to a stressful event or a chemical imbalance in the body. Research proved that some factors including genetics, changes in hormone levels, certain medical conditions, stress, grief or difficult life circumstances contribute to the onset of depression.
The World Health Organization recently listed depression as the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. It’s a global problem, and one for which many possible solutions have been explored. One 2017 study focused on two groups of adults suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Seventy adults with GAD were randomized to receive either Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or an attention control class; before and after, they underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Area-Under-the-Curve (AUC) concentrations were calculated for adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and pro-inflammatory cytokines. MBSR participants had a significantly greater reduction in ACTH AUC compared to control participants.
Study found larger reductions in stress markers for patients in the meditation class compared to control; and provides the f evidence that meditation works to decrease depression levels. To meditate daily can experience a breakdown in the neural connections in the brain that induce depression and it builds connections in the brain that enhance our ability to assess problems rationally.
A study conducted by Harvard-affiliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) found that positive changes can take place and strengthen our memory and increase our levels of happiness. “Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,”
Guided Meditation for Depression: