Now that you are sheltering in place due to coronavirus/COVID-19 (and probably experiencing all sorts of new forms of anxiety!?) you might want to consider meditating or a mindfulness exercise to help center yourself and reduce stress levels.
The Doctors welcome Dr. Christiane Wolf from InsightLA Meditation who shares, "Mindfulness teaches us that we are actually always in the present moment," and she takes us through a short mindfulness practice that is great for beginners and will hopefully help with your anxiety levels.
But first, you might be thinking to yourself, “That’s not for me!” but The Doctors are here to share that these practices can help to increase your sense of calm, improve sleep and also promote general happiness – plus, it’s easy and anyone can do it!
You might have these common questions or concerns about meditation or mindfulness (which dates back 3,000 years and is something the whole family can do together) and The Doctors have the answers with some help from our friends at Headspace and The New York Times.
When should I do it? - Set aside a time of 10 to 15 minutes a few times a week and find a spot where you can be mostly undisturbed (a limited amount of background noise is acceptable), some find first thing in the morning to be beneficial, but any time of the day works.
How should I sit? - You can sit in any way that makes you feel most comfortable, if cross-legged on the floor is not ideal, a comfortable chair where you can sit upright, keeping your back straight, a relaxed neck, and your hands resting on your knees or lap will work.
How long should it take? – Headspace notes frequency is better than duration and suggests aiming for a few times a week for 10 to 15 minutes and then increase the length of time as needed. The NYT notes people have been found to experience benefits with just a few minutes of mediation a few times a week.
Do I need a specific reason to do it? – It helps if you have a clear motivation and Headspace notes, “Being clear about what you want to get out of your sessions — whether it’s to feel happier, feel calmer, be more focused, or be less stressed, etc. — will be a big help in creating the right attitude of mind going in as well as helping you maintain the commitment to yourself.”
I’m worried about my mind wandering - That is normal and expected. “During meditation, your mind will roam. You may notice other sensations in the body, things happening around you, or just get lost in thought, daydreaming about the past or present, possibly judging yourself or others,” the NYT explains.
What if I’m not good at it? – There is no “good” or “bad” version of meditation and no one can fail at it. “There is only awareness and non-awareness or distraction and non-distraction. Over time, the more the mind learns to become less distracted and the more our awareness stabilizes,” Headspace notes.
Visit InsightLA.org and check out their live guided meditations, classes and affinity groups. All fee-based offerings have the option to pay what you can if you’re experiencing financial hardship.