5 Meditation Tips for Anxiety During COVID

. October 27, 2020.
Stock photo courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio.

Focus on breathing, being in the moment, and other strategies that can help you relax.

Current CDC research suggests that more people are experiencing anxiety during the pandemic. Meditation is an excellent way to reduce anxiety and stress, as well as provide a host of other mental and even physical benefits. Such benefits include reducing anxiety and tension, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, easing racing thoughts, and calming nervousness. We talked to meditation experts and those participating in meditative practices and came up with a list of top meditation tips the entire family can enjoy together or individually.

1.) Breath Deeply

Focus on breathing very slowly. Take long inhales and be conscious of the air going through the nose. Hold your breath and feel it fill your lungs. Gently exhale and feel every moment of the release. Do this repeatedly until you are totally focused on nothing but your slow and deliberate breathing. Press your finger on one side of your nose so only one nostril is open. Breath deeply with one nostril. Again, hold your breath and feel it fill your lungs. Then again gently exhale and feel every moment of the release of the air through the one nostril. Do the same process for the other side of your nose. As you breathe in, imagine yourself breathing in all positive energy and good thoughts, and releasing all negative energy when breathing out. 

2.) Go Internal

Sit or lay in a comfortable position and drown everything external out. Go somewhere where you will not be distracted by television, the news, or any other technology. Clear your mind of all thoughts except your breathing and what is happening inside of your body. Imagine your heartbeat relaxing to a steady healthy beat. Feel all the limbs of your body relaxing and having no pressure put upon them at all. 

3.) Savor Silence and/or Beautiful Sounds

If it is warm enough, go outside and listen to the sounds of nature to be part of your meditation. Let the sounds of birds, insects, wind, and falling leaves become part of your experience. If you are indoors, vary your meditation routine to sometimes savoring the silence. Other times, put on soothing music such as atmospheric soundscapes or classical pieces to feel your body connect with in terms of rhythm and methodical pacing. 

4.) Be Mindful

Be in the moment with what is occurring, not only when you are meditating, but in other moments as well. Focus on every movement, every transition, every breath, every turn, every motion. Being mindful is all about being in the present. Do not mull on every moment in the past or mistakes, or even on what might occur in the future. Reconnect with the here and now and the beauty of all five of your senses at this moment: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. Center yourself and control your mind to dissolve all stress. Focus on being entirely and fully present. 

5.) Pray, Be Positive, and/or Grateful

Many people consider saying prayer a form of meditation and spirituality. If it helps you, for instance, to say prayers on a rosary, by all means, feel free to do that. If there are certain prayer cards from the Bible or other religious sources for you, take solace in those readings as well. The act of reading many materials can be meditative as well, whether it be religious material, poetry, self-help books, or even academic journals. Just remember to find a safe and comfortable space and position, and to be in the moment with your thoughts and your being. Focusing on gratitude is an excellent way to end your meditative session whatever it entailed. You can think about just one thing in your life that you are extremely grateful for and dedicate your meditative session for that excellent aspect of your life: your child, your family, food on the table, shelter, your health. Whatever it is, focusing on one blessing per meditation session allows you to emphasize and focus on a supreme thought for the day.