Meditation and Psychotherapy
Meditation also has its place in treating depression. Sit quietly, with your eyes closed, and focus on your breathing. Each time you exhale, silently repeat a one-syllable word — “one” or “peace” or “om.” Do this for a minute or so, or try it for 10 to 20 seconds whenever you have trouble moving from one activity to another.
Along with, or instead of, meditation and medication, a form of psychotherapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has proven to be highly effective against depression. The first goal of CBT is to enable the patient to identify and reduce frequent, intense negative thoughts — “This is too hard to do,” for example.
The next step is to replace these self-destructive thoughts and beliefs with more realistic and constructive thoughts — “Yes, this is hard. How can I make it more manageable?” You’re acknowledging the difficulty, but not wallowing in it. You’re pointing yourself toward positive action.
The goal is to reduce the frequency and intensity of symptoms. Don’t expect to eliminate them. But you can manage symptoms that once got in the way of living a happy life.
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