Ways to Calm Your Anxiety with Meditation During the Coronavirus Pandemic
With all the uncertainty we are facing today causing individuals to develop anxious feelings, now is the perfect time to start a regular mindfulness meditation practice. Michigan Technological University shows that even a single mindfulness meditation session can significantly reduce anxiety and lower heart rates. In addition, a study out of Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland, uncovered an anatomical reason why breath-based meditation practices can enhance mental clarity and focus, as yogis have long claimed.
Mindfulness practices go by many names and can be done sitting or walking, but all are focused on cultivating moment-to-moment awareness. Here are three common practices that you can start today:
1. Guided visualization. Guided visualization involves the meditator intentionally creating a mental image, typically one of a peaceful, beautiful place. Typically, the goal of a guided visualization is deep relaxation and stress reduction.
2. Mantra meditations. Mantra meditations involve continuous repetition of a word, phrase or sound, drawing spiritual power from the sound’s vibration, as well as its meaning. Many mantras are uttered in a tradition’s native language, such as shanti, meaning peace in Sanskrit. Some teachers prefer to use mantras in English that meditators can more easily grasp, such as, “Love is the way.”
3. Breathing meditation. Meditation experts say our ever-present breath is a sound foundation for a meditation practice, as well as an easy place to start.