Many people will gloss over meditation as a treatment for suicidal thoughts or urges. It may seem too simple. However, used in conjunction with other forms of help mentioned in Addressing the problem, it can be very powerful. Jon Kabat Zinn’s book, Full Catastrophe Living, is acknowledged as a leading book for using meditation and mindfulness to reduce stress, and was based on the evidence of a program created at the world-renowned Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Boston.

Like yoga, the idea is relieve the mind of its constant negative thoughts, and to start to focus it on the present. There are many types of meditation – some involve concentrating on something specific, others clearing the mind or simply observing the thoughts going on in the mind.

A search on the web will reveal any number of studies on the positive impact of meditation. It is used by many hospitals as a stress reduction tool. It can also help to increase energy levels and focus concentration during work and daily tasks.

Meditation classes can be found in most major cities by searching on the web (and are often offered at yoga studios), but many forms can easily be learnt and done at home, making this an extremely accessible method of help. Some examples of types of meditation are:

  • Transcendental: a type of meditation that takes place twice a day for twenty-minutes. As you practice transcendental meditation you will close your eyes and allow your body and mind to be transcended to a calming, peaceful mental state.
  • Breath watching is watching and being aware of your breathing during meditation.
  • Empty mind meditation requires patience and focus to “empty” all of your thoughts from your mind and allow your mind to rest.
  • Walking meditation: moving your body and keeping focus on how your body moves.
  • Mindfulness meditation is focusing on what is happening to you in the present and being aware of your thought process and your feelings right then and there. You are not to judge yourself, but rather, open your mind to what you are truly feeling and why.
  • Simple mantra meditation: focusing your mind on a sound. This can be a phrase repeated over and over, or it could be as simple as tone made by you or by a Master.

If meditation isn’t your bag, don’t dismiss the concept of relaxation totally, as depression is frequently associated with tension, stress and anxiety. Sometimes just making a commitment to sit quietly for 10 minutes a day can make a difference. If total quiet doesn’t work, then to a calming piece of music – ideally something without lyrics as that can then easily distract the mind. Or try a relaxation track on CD or iTunes.

Perhaps, if life has just got on top of you, consider going away on a holiday, ideally with someone for company, just to take a break from life.