The global pandemic happening now is an unprecedented event in modern society. Many things about the novel coronavirus are still unknown. So several safety measures have been implemented all over the world. These include social isolation. People are forced to stay in their homes and only go out when extremely important. Schools are taken online so that students can stay at home. And nonessential workers have to work from home.
Unfortunately this situation is negatively affecting people’s mental health. Social isolation is heavily linked with loneliness. And people that are sheltering in place reported being more stressed than those that are not.
Mental well-being is just as important as physical well-being. And one effective way to achieve good mental health is by meditating every day.
Ways to Meditate
There are many types of meditation. Some people sit down and stay still. Others do simple movements with their hands. Or some people might focus on a word or phrase while meditating while others try not to think about anything at all. Another popular type is guided meditation where one will listen to and follow instructions from a guide or a teacher while they meditate.
Even though there are many types of meditation, there’s no “right” way to do it. It will still depend on your preference. For example, your style of meditation may be laying down in your bed with your eyes closed. And to stay focused during meditation, you can put your attention on your breath. When you inhale, let your belly expand. Then empty it out and contract when you exhale.
Benefits of Meditation
Helps in Stress Relief
Meditation is popularly known to help with stress relief. It helps in controlling levels of cortisol or the stress hormone. In a meta-analysis study, researchers found that meditation practitioners were able to recover from stress more easily than those who don’t meditate.
Daily meditation can also improve your self-awareness. When meditating, you have to focus on either your breath or a mantra. Since you need to put all your attention into just one thing, you can clear their thoughts and be more present. You’ll be able to tune out distractions and be more aware of your surroundings.
In the middle of a pandemic where there are many distractions, whether it’s the news or other worries, becoming self-aware is important. Meditating daily will keep you centered so that you can control your emotions.
Helps Alleviate Muscle Pain
Psychological stress can lead to muscle pain. Chronic stress, in particular, can make your muscles feel tense. And this often manifests as shoulder pain, neck pain, and back pain. In a worst-case scenario, one must go to a chiropractor to receive back pain treatments.
As mentioned earlier, meditation is a stress-relieving activity. Of course, meditation alone isn’t enough to relieve the pain. Still, daily meditation can assist other practices that are aimed at treating muscle pain caused by psychological stress.
When you’re not in a good mental state, you may be unable to stay focused and productive. You are also more prone to cramming and procrastination.
Meditation can help you clear your mind and boost your productivity. As stated earlier, meditating regularly can help you become more self-aware. This self-awareness will allow you to take control of your emotions and set them aside so that you can focus on the task at hand. You’ll also be able to resist distractions.
It’s incredible how an action as simple as meditation can improve your well-being in many ways. Getting started may be challenging. Not everyone can handle staying still and not looking at their screens even for a few minutes. And the benefits do not appear within just a few days.
But with consistent practice, your body will get used to meditation. And you’ll eventually reap its benefits.