Meditation is a practice where you focus on either an object, thought, or activity it helps you to train your attention and awareness allowing you to achieve an emotionally calm state of mind. It can be extremely useful during coronavirus pandemic because it helps to alleviate anxiety, reduce stress, relieve feelings of depression, improves patience, and improves sleep.
1. Alleviates Anxiety
Anxiety is caused by an inability to regulate emotional responses to perceived threats. Dealing with our current global pandemic, it can be hard for anyone to manage the whirlwind of emotions that are occurring from all the challenges that they have in their daily lives.
Luckily meditation teaches the brain to focus its attention on the present moment and find control in the way that we react to our thoughts and feelings. By doing so we are able to cease focusing on future events that we can’t control and give attention to the momentary tasks that bring us joy and impact the quality of our lives.
2. Reduce Stress
The body has a flight or fight response system that allows us to deal with an emergency creating stress. While stress can sometimes be a good thing when its a problem that requires an immediate response, for longer-term situations this stress can make it hard to focus and ruin restful sleep at night.
Meditation; however, has an opposite effect on the body. When you meditate the body and brain produce a relaxation response that lowers blood pressure, improves the moods and takes away stress. This can be useful to help you get better sleep at night and continue to participate in your daily activities.
3. Relieves Depressive Feelings
Feelings of depression come from two different parts of the brain. One is the “me center” which focuses on yourself and the future or the past. The other is the fear center that releases cortisol (the stress hormone) which focuses on perceived danger. With our current situation, there can be a lot of time to worry about the danger and the future of creating depression.
When you meditate, the process doesn’t magically remove those thoughts or feelings but it teaches you to notice them while understanding they don’t require and immediate response. Additionally, by focusing on the present, meditation gives you the distance from your thoughts and feelings allowing you to concentrate on the now.
4. Improves Patience
With long lines, reduced store hours, out of stock stores, and having your children out of school, it can be trying on one’s patience. These situations increase impatience because we are often thinking about future possibilities. For example, when we are stuck in a long line we think “what if we never get into the store.”
With meditation, we train our minds to focus on the present moment. By focusing on the present we are able to let go of the future anxiety we may feel during these times decreasing our impatience for the people and events that are around you.
5. Improves Sleep
Stress, depression, and anxiety all hinder restful sleep. For optimal health, you need at least seven hours of quality sleep per night. We are all concerned about being healthy right now and with all the stress around us, it can be hard to get a good night’s sleep.
By increasing the relaxation response and improving the release of chemicals like serotonin and melatonin from the brain, practicing meditation allows you to get the sleep you need to be healthy. In SleePare’s infographics below, they detail 10 easy and 10 advanced meditations to help you relieve stress, anxiety, and depression to get better sleep tonight.
The two infographics below share 10 easy techniques for both easy and advanced meditation