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8 Awards Anyone With Depression Deserves To Receive

8 Awards Anyone With Depression Deserves To Receive

Unless you have spent the majority of your life isolated from others, the chances are you will have regularly encountered people with depression. After all, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that 16 million American adults suffered with depression in 2012 alone, while a further 350 million instances are recorded across the globe each year.

Despite this, depression remains the subject of numerous misconceptions, as people fail to understand its severity and continue to consider happiness as a choice. In fact, those who suffer from depression are bound by their emotions and forced to display considerable resilience in the face of their illness, while also coping with the ignorance of others.

8 Awards that People with Depression Truly Deserve to Win

So, let’s explore the struggles that people with depression face on a daily basis, while beginning to understand the awards they deserve for coping in the face of such adversity:

1. They Deserve an Award for their Tenacity

Clearly, people who suffer with depression are required to display considerable tenacity. This usually manifests itself in a desire to find a purpose in life, while they are also inclined to pursue self-improvement at every available opportunity. This is because they are driven by internal feelings of inadequacy and fear, while their desire to compensate for often intangible voids in their life mean that they are constantly fighting to find a rewarding purpose.

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There are certainly ample opportunities for growth out their, from apprenticeships and courses of higher education to more unorthodox outlets such as a drive to learn scholarship. Those with depression will continue to seek out such opportunities with incredible determination, no matter how many times they may fail to find what they are looking for.

2. They Deserve an Award for their Compassion

Despite the misgivings of some, depression is an illness that disrupts nerve cells in the brain and alters thinking patterns. It therefore changes outlooks, making those who suffer with depression more capable of identifying sadness in others while showcasing support and compassion in equal measure.

This also taps into the fact that those who are depressed typically have an outward perspective, as they focus on helping others rather than channelling their own feelings of sadness and anxiety. Such an approach benefits others, however, especially those who are suffering from similar issues.

3. They Deserve an Award for their Consideration of Others

It is easy to see a smiling face and take this as a sign of internal happiness, but this is just one of the misconceptions that betray people who suffer with depression. In fact, these individuals often make a concerted and intentional effort to appear happy and upbeat, especially as they learn to deal with their condition and develop coping mechanisms.

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While those with depression may have learned how to alter their mood when out in public, however, they are more likely to display their real feelings when alone. This suggests that their happy and upbeat visage is created for the benefit of others, so that friends, colleagues and loved ones are not adversely affected.

4. They Deserve an Award for their levels of Creative Expression

While depression is a variable illness that affects different personality types in numerous ways, there are some universal themes that unite most sufferers. It is believed that those who are depressed become more profound and creative thinkers, for example, as they ruminate on their thoughts and consider even abstract topics in greater depth. This is a great amplifier of depression, and the link between this and creative expression remains exceptionally strong.

This is reflected by the fact that many life-changing artists and musicians have suffered with depression, as their emotional angst has helped to fuel incredibly creative images, sculptures and songs. Many of these individuals have won countless awards for their creative output, and this is one prize that sufferers deserve to be credited with.

5. They Deserve an Award for their ability to cope with Morbid Thoughts

While such depth of thought can trigger profound greatness, it can also trigger morbid feelings and an obsession with death. Certainly those with depression have complex thought processes in relation to life and death, as they develop an involved perception of the two and are constantly forced to confront dark and hopeless mind-sets.

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Whether they have suffered from suicidal thoughts or not, those with depression regularly consider their own mortality and existence in the world. Such musings can become increasingly frequent depending on each individuals’ life circumstances, and learning to cope with these on a regular basis requires incredible inner strength and durability.

6. They Deserve an Award for Managing Irregular Sleep Patterns

As if such dark and contrasting mind-sets were not enough to cope with, those with depression must also learn to manage irregular sleeping patterns. More specifically, they tend to suffer from excesses of sleep, as they either spend to much time resting or fail to get any shut-eye at all. Such irregular cycles can have a negative impact on our mental health, creating a debilitating cycle where the symptoms of depression can be exacerbated.

This also robs people who are depressed from one of the few things that they can control, which is the ability to dictate their own sleeping pattern. Given this and the impact of irregular cycles, those with depression must be praised for their strong coping skills.

7. They Deserve an Award for their levels of Patience

Depression is a unique illness in more ways than one, but it is most unusual in so much that it is sufferers that usually need to support their friends and loved ones. After all, while those who suffer with depression are usually in tune with their feelings and able to develop coping mechanisms, those close to us are hamstrung by a lack of understanding the complex manifestation of symptoms.

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This means that people with depression must showcase incredible levels of patience, as they look to communicate with their loved ones and help them to understand their feelings. Otherwise, they run the risk of undermining even long-standing friendships and isolating themselves from people who simply can’t comprehend certain behaviours.

8. They Deserve an Award for their Outward Focus

We have already touched on the fact that people with depression are constantly seeking out a higher purpose in life, and this is part of an outward focus that can create significant value. This is best embodied by the great Abraham Lincoln, who fought clinical depression all of his life and sought to change this by turning to the greater cause of emancipation and the abolishment of slavery.

So not only can such an outward focus help depressed individuals to find a fulfilling purpose in life, but it can also benefit their loved ones and the world around them. This is truly rewarding, and something that deserves genuine merit.

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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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