One of the topics we’ve discussed many times on this blog is how mindfulness meditation can help with depression. It’s not uncommon for people to be skeptical of this claim. Drugs, along with cognitive therapy, have been the standard methods for treating depression going back as far as the 1960’s, and when a person seeks help for their depression, that’s the kind of treatment they typically expect. So, it’s no wonder there are plenty of skeptics out there. Well, today I have some exciting news to share: National Health Services (NHS) now recognizes mindfulness meditation as a legitimate treatment for depression, according to The Guardian.
In case you are unfamiliar with the NHS, they make up three of the four public healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. Scientists have known for quite some time that mindfulness meditation does have real effects on the brain. For example, in this study, scientists discovered that mindfulness meditation reduced the recurrence of depression up to 50% in some patients. The difference now is that scientists no longer just know that meditation does actually work, they know how it works. Once science understands how a phenomenon actually works, there is little room left for skepticism.
According to The Guardian, Catherine Kerr at Brown University in Providence explained that depression consumes a lot of our attention; in fact, it consumes most of it with a never-ending stream of spiraling negative thoughts that most people find it impossible to pull themselves out of. Mindfulness meditation gives patients the power to snap themselves out of this mental and emotional downward spiral via a technique called a “body scan,” in which patients systematically shift their focus from a sensation in one part of their body to another.
As for how the NHS is making use of this treatment: patients are meeting with a clinical psychologist once a week for a session of mindfulness meditation. This then carries on for a total of eight weeks. Not bad. It definitely beats a lifetime of taking prescription drugs and going to a psychiatrist. But, I have to point our that you don’t need to meet with a clinical psychologist once a week to start making yourself feel better through the power of mindfulness meditation. If you think mindfulness meditation is something you can benefit from, I encourage to read through my site as much as possible, as there is a ton of valuable information here that I share with you for free, including tips to help you start meditating today.
Note: Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web site.