High Depression Rates in Montana Means We Need Meditation
1 out of every 3 people in Billings, Montana suffers with depression.
That means it could be the person sitting next to you, the person talking to you, it could be you.
Why I learned to meditate and why it's more important now that I live in Billings
I’ve felt depression, but I didn't let myself live in it. Easier said than done. We are all different. Each human is uniquely designed, meaning that some people can handle crisis calmer than others. Some people feel dread and gloomy most of their days.
Meditation has been proven to help ease depression and anxiety and also aids chronic illness. It may seem intimidating or boring to sit in silence with yourself and just breathe. Because that’s truly all meditating is. It’s a couple of mindful moments with yourself, taking deep breaths, and calming the mind and body. This is how you get your power back - by controlling your breathing.
Experiencing happy, healthy people in Billings and in the world at large.
With all this information in mind, I put together a small how-to, so we, as individuals can learn to heal ourselves.
You can do this at your desk, on the edge of a couch, bedroom- wherever you feel safe to do so.
- Start with sitting up straight if you can. Do not force yourself. Bring some awareness of aligning your spine with your pelvis, and knees with ankles. If you choose to sit cross-legged, that’s also okay. Find a position that feels good.
- Take a deep breath, fill your lungs with air, and hold at the top for 2 seconds, maybe 4. Then exhale slowly and completely. Continue breathing, being mindful of each breath. Relax the skin of your face, your jaw, and shoulders. Feel your body begin to relax.
- If thoughts come up as they tend to do, let the thought pass and re-focus on your breath. If you need something to focus on in the mind, think of nature. Think of a lake or the ocean. Thinks of the green trees and grass. Breathe. Feel your ribs expand and contract. Repeat.
Meditation isn’t to judge yourself on how well you’re breathing.
Let the self-judgment go. Keep in mind, the more you meditate the easier it is to focus on the breath.
I am no expert at meditating. Thoughts swirl and I try to re-focus. I like to meditate before bed or when I wake. If you need help, there are many free apps like my favorite: Insight Timer.
Give it a try. When you catch yourself in the darkness of depression or anxiety, remember your power- your breath. Be proud of yourself for gaining awareness of your body and soul.
I believe in you, and the more we talk about mental health, the less stigmatizing it will become.