The brewing storm
Sometimes I feel that if someone else talks to me the way I talk to myself, I will stop talking to such a person and move away from them for life. Yet we often do just the same thing to ourselves, when we engage in negative self talk. And as we all already know, it’s nearly impossible to stop thinking even for a few seconds., especially as we are hounded ceaselessly by a barrage of thoughts that are driving us to suicide. Meditation is a way to take back control of your mind when it is on a pessimistic overdrive. It is a way to stop being led by your mind to a point of increased imbalance. When you close your eyes, and start consciously observing your thoughts, when you follow them mindfully, by watching them as an non-judgmental observer, you are no longer a party emotionally involved in the scene anymore. But become an observer who watches the events unfold in your head non-judgementally. You have granted yourself the power over your life again, even though the reins has only momentarily been handed to you. You can now steer the horse in the direction you want. And you hopefully, miss the route where you have to dive down into a valley with the horse and carriage.
The clear stream
Meditation helps us see things as they are rather than as we fear they’d be. It is the opposite of fixating on our thoughts. It is instead the art of learning to let them run their course while we side step and watch them come and pass. By disconnecting the sporadic supply of energy to negativity, you let it wane in strength, while preserving your energy for healing and growth. Slowing down your thoughts to entertain just one thought at a time, even if it is a bad and negative one, helps you reclaim your composure, by seeing through the impermanence of anything that you don’t actively support.
In an emotional hijack we are powerless to see hope and instil optimism. If you have fought depression even once, you know that the pain it causes is real. The disillusionment, even though transitory, seems inescapable in the moment. It extinguishes hope completely. And replaces it with suicidal thoughts caused from the resulting vulnerability to negative thoughts stemming from our own minds. In the race between good and bad thoughts, the bad guys have got a decisive head start. The race course is about to end and if the good guys don’t catch up in time, we may damage or injure ourselves permanently. Meditation helps us pull ourselves together when we are most vulnerable. It removes the runway for negative thoughts, laid on top of our biases, prejudices and most of all, fears. Passive as it may seem, it is one of the most active interventions on our minds. Meditation helps us overpower our negative thoughts when we feel powerless to even move a limb. It helps us accomplish the first step necessary to break out from bad mental form. Meditation shows you the way by lifting the cloud obscuring the vision.
A life long habit
While I have presented meditation as a toolkit to combat depression, it is really is not the only use case. Practised regularly, even for a few minutes a week, meditation can help you harness your strengths. It helps you become more resilient to shocks and excitements. It helps you keep your balance without ever making you a boring person.