Naturally, the onset of the pandemic has caused concern and worry in the minds of all. Not only does covid-19 pose a threat to our health, but it has also brought vast amounts of change to our everyday lives. Restrictions and lockdowns have seen many lose their jobs, and as the economy stumbles, many are worried about what the future holds for them.
Fear, stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic have taken their toll on people’s mental health. The nature of the virus and how quickly it spread induced sudden shifts in our daily lives. One minute everyone was commuting into work on packed trains, and the next, governments around the world were telling everyone to stay at home, adjusting to a new normal. This sudden shift elevated mental health issues tied in with worries about catching the deadly disease.
(Image Source: Statista)
A new study published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine found that mental health symptoms could be alleviated through safe and convenient online mindful practices. It suggests that an online mindfulness intervention can reduce momentary stress and covid -19 concerns and work effectively on anxiety.
Mindfulness is learning to focus your mind and body into the moment. Moment-by-moment, your mind learns to understand its feeling and bodily sensations in a non-judgmental awareness joined with the surrounding environment. There are a range of smartphone mobile apps available today which can help people practise mindfulness at home. However, finding the time and motivation to do it can be challenging, and so online meditation classes can help get people involved and reduce stress and worries.
A study conduct on Obstetric and Gynecology patient was also conducted over the pandemic and found participants who took part in the study using a mobile app for mindfulness showed perceived stress was significantly lower in the intervention group. There was a significant decrease in self-reported depression and anxiety. Mindfulness also helped sleep as sleep disturbances were remarkably low with a high level of satisfaction when using the app.
How to practice mindfulness at home
The positive effects of practising mindfulness show how beneficial it can be in this current climate. Here’s a look at some of the ways you can practice mindfulness at home without needing to be part of an online interactive class.
Making a specific time in your day can help you practice mindfulness every day, improving mental health. Dedicating time in your day also gives you something to look forward to, knowing your mind will be given some solace from the stress and worries of life.
Trying something new
Noticing the world around you heavily depends on the experience you are going through or allowing yourself to have. It is currently hard to go places, but trying something new such as sitting in a new seat or even position to practise mindfulness, gives you a unique experience, creating new thoughts and feelings.
Watching your thoughts
Our thoughts have a way of taking over our minds, so many find it hard to practice mindfulness purely because the moment they stop practising, their worries and thoughts come back. Mindfulness is not the practice of making these thoughts go away, but it’s more the practice of viewing them as mental events.
Free yourself from the future and the past
Relieving past problems or concerns that grow due to future worry can steal the present moment away from you. Learning to let go of these feelings and fears will make predicting mindfulness more effective.
How mindfulness helps mental wellbeing
Concentrating and becoming increasingly aware of our present moment can help us learn to enjoy the world around us, learning to understand ourselves a bit better. When we can understand the world around us better, we have the ability to experience it in a new, fresh way. We learn to be more grateful and show an increased level of gratitude for the things we may have overlooked.
(Image Source: The Garrison Institute)
Our thoughts lead to streams of feelings. By living in the present moment, we let go of these streams. The streams consist of things that we hold onto or worry about, especially concerning what may have happened or what will happen. Mindfulness helps us come away from thoughts by bringing us back to the present moment.
Reminding yourself not to attach yourself to your feelings and thoughts is the first step to mindfulness.