Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe causing different degrees of sadness, lack of energy, feelings of worthlessness, isolation and lack of desire to enjoy everyday life. Depression is a major concern and projected to be the number one cause of global burden by the year 2030 (Greeson, Smoski, Suarez, Brantley, Lynch & Wolever, 2016). Conventional medicine uses a combinations of treatment that include antidepressant medication and psychotherapy however a less conventional way of dealing with depression has become more and more common in recent time. Meditation, has proven to be effective in helping with symptoms of depression study after study. Not only has it helped with the symptoms, but people have reported increased feelings of connection and spiritual experience. Spiritual experiences are experiences of connection with the transcendent in daily life (Koenig, Pearce, Nelson & Erkanli, 2016) leading to an improved more fulfilling life. So, what is meditation? Meditation is a mental training capable of producing connections between the mind, body and spirit. Research shows meditation helps people achieve balance, relaxation and self-control, in addition to the development of consciousness (Sampaio, Lima, Ladeia, 2016). Once you have experienced the amazing feeling of connection, you will want to connect more and more.
In the video below you will find Dr. Lisa Miller, who has a background in psychology and neuroscience explaining her own story with depression and spiritual experience which she describes as two sides of one door.
Greeson, J. M., Smoski, M. J., Suarez, E. C., Brantley, J. G., Ekblad, A. G., Lynch, T. R., & Wolever, R. Q. (2015). Decreased Symptoms of Depression After Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: Potential Moderating Effects of Religiosity, Spirituality, Trait Mindfulness, Sex, and Age. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 21(3), 166–174. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2014.0285
Koenig, H., Pearce, M., Nelson, B., & Erkanli, A. (2016). Effects on Daily Spiritual Experiences of Religious Versus Conventional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression. Journal of Religion & Health, 55(5), 1763–1777. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-016-0270-3
Sanchez Sampaio, C. V., Garcia Lima, M., & Ladeia, L. A. (2016). Meditation, Health and Scientific Investigations: Review of the Literature. Journal of Religion & Health, 411-427. doi:10.1007/s10943-016-0211-1