Meditation Practices to Calm Anxiety Over COVID-19
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
COVID-19 isn’t only making people sick, it’s infecting our psyche with anxiety and fear. Try the following meditative techniques to calm your mind. Research shows that meditation can relieve stress, ease pain and improve concentration.
Focusing on Your Breath
This is a great introduction to meditation. You can do it anywhere, and even a minute or two of it can be effective.
- Sit comfortably and relax your shoulders.
- Breathe in through your nose slowly and deeply. Feel your abdomen expand.
- Exhale slowly.
- Feel relaxation filling your body.
- Work up to doing it for longer periods.
Mindfulness involves keeping your attention in the present moment, without judging it as happy or sad, good or bad. The goal is to simply observe. Mindfulness allows you to calmly and consciously accept whatever is happening, moment to moment.
How to Practice Mindfulness
- Sit comfortably on the floor or a chair with your back, neck, and head straight, but not stiff.
- Set a timer, 5 minutes for beginners. You can increase the time as you become more accustomed to the practice.
- Put your attention on your breathing, noticing the feeling of air passing in and out of your nostrils.
- When your attention wavers (it will), observe where your mind went. You may experience impatience, think about tasks you need to accomplish, feel an itch or other sensation, or recall a memory.
- After acknowledging the experience, return your attention to your breath.
- Use your breath as an anchor. Each time a thought or feeling arises, momentarily acknowledge it. Don’t analyze or judge it. Just observe it and return to your breathing.
In meditative walking, you walk slowly and steadily, paying close attention to what you see, hear, smell and feel. Spend a few minutes isolating your attention to each sense in turn. Afterward, use all your senses together. You can also listen to guided walking meditations apps.