The model opened up about the practice and her struggle with depression in a recent interview.
Celebrities have been opening up about their mental health left and right, and we couldn't be happier about it. Of course, we feel for their struggles, but the more people in the spotlight share their mental health issues and how they overcame them, the more normalized dealing with them becomes. For people are unsure about whether or not to reach out for help, a celebrity's story could make all the difference.
Yesterday, Elle Canada published an interview with model Miranda Kerr, who got real about her experience with depression. She had been married to actor Orlando Bloom, and sadly their relationship came to an end. "When Orlando and I separated [in 2013], I actually fell into a really bad depression," she told the magazine. "I never understood the depth of that feeling or the reality of that because I was naturally a very happy person." For many, depression can be a complete surprise, and it's not uncommon to experience it for the first time after a major life change. According to the Mayo Clinic, any kind of stressful or traumatic event can bring on an episode of depression, and a separation from your spouse definitely qualifies.
According to Kerr, one of the best coping mechanisms she was able to use during this difficult time was meditation, which helped her understand that "every thought you have affects your reality and only you have control of your mind." For anyone who practices mindfulness, these ideas will definitely sound familiar. Since meditation practice involves acknowledging any thoughts you are having, letting them go, and then refocusing and getting back to your practice, it makes sense that over time you'd start to feel like you have more control over your thoughts and mind. "What I have found is that everything you need, all of the answers are deep inside of you," says Kerr. "Sit with yourself, take a few breaths, and get close to your spirit." Sounds pretty nice, right? (BTW, here's how meditation can help fight acne, wrinkles, and more.)
So can meditation actually help with depression? According to science, yes. A recent study found that the combination of exercise and meditation was effective for reducing depression, since both practices require you to manipulate your attention. In other words, both allow you to refocus and gain perspective. In 2010, a JAMA Psychiatry study found that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which incorporates meditation, was just as effective at preventing depression relapse as antidepressants. That's right, something you can do with your mind is just as powerful as mind-altering drugs. Another study conducted by Johns Hopkins University showed that meditation helps relieve stress and anxiety by activating two parts of the brain that control worrying, thinking, and emotions. Even more surprisingly, meditation has also been shown to help alleviate physical pain, so it seems that its benefits are both varied and numerous.
The best part? You don't need to take a class or even leave your home to practice meditation. All you need is a quiet place to sit and be alone with your thoughts. If you're looking for a little guidance on how to get started, check out apps like Headspace and Calm, which make it super easy to start meditating and offer free intro programs. (If you still need some convincing, scope these 17 powerful benefits of meditation.)