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Comforting Sadness Through Meditation

by Relax Melodies
Nov 25 • 3 min read

Stress is a common cause of insomnia. Worrying thoughts and anxiety tend to keep you up at night, ruminating rather than sleeping. Stress isn’t the only negative emotion that impacts sleep. Depression and sadness can also interfere with a good night’s sleep. Meditations designed to bring comfort when you’re feeling down can help.

How Sadness Impacts Sleep

Depression and sleep disturbances go hand-in-hand, a connection proven in research. A depressed mood and difficulty sleeping tend to be cyclical. You feel sad and can’t sleep. Poor sleep leads to more depression symptoms.

If you struggle with depression, you are at a greater risk of having insomnia and other sleep issues. If you have a hard time sleeping or don’t get enough quality sleep, you have a greater chance of depression. Managing depression, insomnia, or both helps break the cycle.

Using Meditation to Alleviate Sadness

A critical tool for both sleep issues and depression is meditation. Meditation has proven effective in reducing stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. It also helps with sleep difficulties, possibly because it reduces mental health symptoms and relaxes the mind and body.

Depression is particularly difficult to treat. The two main types of treatment, medications, and therapy, help many people but not all. Newer research indicates that mindfulness and meditation are powerful tools to add to standard therapies for managing depression and sadness.

Studies of brain imaging show that meditation actually changes the brain in ways that help manage depression. For those who make a regular practice of meditation, the changes persist even when not meditating.

Try a Sadness-Busting Meditation

First, try making meditation a regular habit. Meditating just once may help in the moment, but you’ll get more lasting, long-term results if you genuinely learn to meditate. Meditation before bed is a great way to turn mindfulness into a regular practice and to use meditation as a sleep aid.

All meditations are essentially the same, but they come in different flavors. A guided meditation focuses your mind in a particular way to address your current needs. For instance, when you are grieving, struggling with an episode of depression, or simply feeling down, a meditation designed to comfort you in a time of sadness can be a great help.

A meditation that utilizes the Buddhist idea of Tonglen, giving, and receiving, helps alleviate sadness. The basic idea is that by wishing someone else comfort, you too will receive it. Embrace and be open to your sorrow and imagine all the other people feeling something similar at the same moment.

A Tonglen meditation may ask you to consider someone else’s suffering, to breathe in their pain, sadness, and darkness, and to breathe out relief and relaxation. The idea of focusing on pain is counterintuitive, but according to Buddhist practice, it puts your own suffering in perspective and provides relief.

The next time sadness or depression keeps you up at night, try Relax Melodies’ Comfort for Sadness meditation. It will walk you through Tonglen thinking and mindfulness breathing to bring relief and a better night’s sleep.

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