The Benefits of Meditation in the COVID-19 Era and How to Start Today
Updated: Jan 12
Dealing with the stress and uncertainty of COVID-19 can leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Meditation is an excellent way to redirect your focus and relieve tension. With your well-being in mind, explore the following tips and insights brought to you by Blue Lotus Psychotherapy.
The Advantages of Meditation
There are many benefits to practicing meditation, especially when faced with the daily headlines regarding COVID-19. Learning to slow down and quiet your mind can help you in many ways.
Improve Your Immune System
Stress can be physically damaging to your body. The hormone corticosteroid is released when you are anxious, lowering the number of white blood cells in your body. White blood cells attack foreign elements such as bacteria, cancer cells, and viruses. Researchers have studied how the immune system is less capable of fighting off antigens when experiencing anxiety and stress, making you more susceptible to illnesses and infections.
Practicing regular meditation can boost your immune system, helping to keep your body healthy. By allowing your mind and body to take a break from stressors, you let your immune system rest and restore. Creating a daily meditation habit helps train your brain to be mentally and physically resistant to stress's adverse effects.
Reduce Your Blood Pressure
Creating a regular meditation relaxation response can keep your blood pressure under control. Your blood pressure falls when you have trained your body and mind to relax, reducing blood vessel constriction and inflammation.
PsychCentral explains there are some other advantages to meditation and how you handle your emotions, such as:
Preventing you from feeling overwhelmed by situations
Enabling you to manage your reactions to stressful events
Teaching you how to focus on the things you can control
Chances are you’ve heard yoga and meditation go hand-in-hand, and this isn’t simply because of tradition. When put together, the benefits you can enjoy are amplified. You can not only cut concerns like depression, stress, and anxiety, but you can also reduce pain and inflammation, grow physically stronger and more flexible, and enhance your focus. Plus, you can do all this from the comfort of your home, using no equipment, although many people like to add apps for guidance, especially at first. There are plenty of free ones available, such as Headspace and Calm.
Steps to Begin Practicing Meditation
Developing your own method for meditating can seem like an intimidating task, especially if the concept is new to you. Fortunately, an effective practice begins with a few simple steps and tends to grow with time.
Create a Meditation Space
Due to the pandemic, you are no doubt spending more time in your home and dealing with many changes. Take steps to transform an area of your house into a healing space. Clean and declutter to minimize physical stressors and add plants or artwork to create a visually appealing and fresh atmosphere.
Make your meditation area vibrant by using natural or full-spectrum lighting. Open windows when possible to let fresh air flow through, helping melt away your tensions. Air circulation makes you less sleepy, allows you to think clearly, and decreases your illness risk.
Begin a Mindfulness Routine
Tune out distracting noise with music or sounds of nature so you can focus on the moment. Use calming aromatherapy or fragrances that remind you of happy times, sit comfortably with an upright spine and close your eyes.
Take a deep breath, then roll your shoulders back. Focus on your breath, your movement, and the present moment. Rest your hands in your lap and notice how your body is feeling right now. Begin with the top of your head and slowly work your way down to your toes. You want to think only of this moment and your breathing, enabling you to take a break from the fears and concerns of today's news and events.
Your mind may wander, especially if you are new to meditation. Do not beat yourself up about this. Acknowledge the thought and then release it so you can go back to focusing on your breathing. You are training your mind to redirect your thoughts and stay present.
Practicing mindfulness meditation helps you create a mind-body connection allowing thoughts to come and go without overwhelming you. This method is especially vital now as you deal with the worries of COVID-19. It helps you respond to situations positively, rather than reacting emotionally and getting stuck in negative thought patterns.
Feeling the effects of the pandemic? Connect with Blue Lotus Psychotherapy for more information on coping during this challenging time.