The answer is YES!
For most people a combination of meditation and exercise is a great way to reverse minor depression.
Or, If you are already happy and want to experience even more happiness adding this powerful duo to your lifestyle can make you feel even better!
I’m not a scientist, but exercise and meditation are both well studied by people in cool lab coats. Of course, more serious cases of depression might require medication and therapy so consult a doctor.
As for exercise, the “euphoria” that most people feel after exercise comes from neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, GABA, and BDNF in the brain.
These chemicals are released by the brain during exercise and they act as your body’s natural antidepressant.
Meditation is slightly more mysterious than exercise, we don’t know as much about exactly how meditation works in a physiological sense, but we know that it definitely does work.
According to some studies regular meditation practice could be an effective alternative to antidepressant medications.
The relationship between meditation and exercise is studied even less. It would make sense that combining the two practices could provide a sort of multiplied effectiveness; from an unscientific standpoint I believe that’s exactly what happens. The body and mind aren’t separate, understanding this is essential to happiness.
What is the purpose of different types of meditation and mindfulness exercises?
To understand this field you have to first understand that Yoga is an ancient science, it's the the physical and metaphysical practice of spirituality.
Think of meditation and mindfulness exercises as specific tools that can be used for specific purposes. For example, you wouldn’t want to use a screwdriver if your objective is to put a nail through a board, it’s all a matter of what you are trying to accomplish.
The basic purpose of Yogic science is to teach the user how to live. Not, to tell the user, but to provides tools.
For example if you want a quick boost of energy then a breathing technique may be the best way to accomplish that. But if you are trying to use meditation to fall asleep then that same breathing technique isn’t such a good idea anymore. The cool part is, once you have a few tools under your belt you can use them strategically to gain better self control.
Aside from specific techniques, my understanding is that most schools of meditation are basically trying to do the same thing: help you be who you really are. The real you, without all the emotional baggage, insecurities, and fears.
Which is great because then you start to realize that you’re pretty cool and that’s good.
Is it a good idea to combine meditation and physical exercises?
This is a relatively new area of interest for many people and I’m glad it’s beginning to get more attention. Here’s the deal.
Combining exercise and meditation can supercharge your life, it’s about time we stop thinking of them as separate. Physical exercise and meditation are simply different parts of the same system.
If used correctly, the two multiply in effectiveness and can put the user into a flow state.
The biggest benefit of exercise (other than looking sexy as hell) is feeling good afterwards. Let’s be real, we’ll run ourselves into the ground if it means twenty minutes of a clear mind and an endorphin high.
The cool part is, meditation has similar effects and it’s compatible with exercise.
Most people are missing half of the complete wellness experience. I know, that sounds crazy, half? Exercise alone is already transformational, how can it be only half? Because meditation is the other half.
There are tons of articles about the scientific benefits of meditation but that’s just as useful as citing the scientific benefits of exercise. There’s simply no way a peer reviewed study can replace the actual feeling of being physically fit, right?
A piece of paper isn’t going to make you feel what it’s like to have just finished a three mile run.
The same is true with meditation, I can tell you why it’s good for you but none of that really matters until you have some context.