TEMPLE, Texas — The last three months have been stressful, but there's a free and relatively simple technique that many have used to alleviate that stress: Meditation.
In this week's “Your Best Life”, 6 News Anchor Leslie Draffin talked with Life Moves Yoga Owner Beth Funk, about why meditation in the midst of this pandemic can be so helpful.
"So much is unknown and unpredictable. We can create that calm or sort of that balance or equilibrium, just through this practice." Funk said.
She said meditation is a free way to calm your mind, and while there are many misconceptions about it, Funk said meditation simply starts with your breath.
"It's such a great tool because we always have access to the breath. So, even when things are going on crazy around us, it's one thing that is our superpower. It's that thing that we always have access to, and focusing in this way is actually really, really, calming to the nervous system."
Funk said meditation is a perfect practice to combat worry over the coronavirus pandemic because it forces you to be present in the now.
"Practicing mindfulness or practicing drawing your attention back to the present moment can really be powerful in alleviating stress and anxiety because it keeps your attention on what is true, right now in this moment as opposed to going to those places that we all do. You know, the past and the future. Both are places that we really don't have control over."
To get started, Funk said practice mindfulness and focus on inhaling and exhaling.
"Allow yourself to watch the thoughts coming in and out and without judgment. That's a big thing with the mindfulness practices, you know, we see and we notice that we become aware of the thoughts that come in and out, but we work to not attach ourselves to them. Instead, just see them coming in and out and each time, acknowledging that and then shifting the attention to the breath. It trains us to pull ourselves away from the thoughts that can really be oftentimes destabilizing," Funk said.
It might not be easy at first, but start slowly. Funk said to remember that there's no wrong way to meditate.
"It's not about being good at it but it's about having it feel more natural to us and for it to come a little bit easier. So, when you're first starting it may be really difficult at first and if you focus on that, if you're like, ‘This is hard I'm not good at it,’ Then it just keeps us from wanting to stick with it. Instead, if we just focus on, ‘I'm practicing it each day, I'll sit and I'll practice it,’ Then what we typically find is that over time it just gets easier to drop in and before you know it you're using that strategy in those moments of your life where things feel very chaotic, or out of control or you're feeling that anxiety bubble up," Funk said. "You can step into that space because it's always there and you could say, ‘Hold on a minute. Breathe in and exhale,’ You know? Draw your attention back to the breath and back to the present moment it's incredibly empowering."
If you’d like to learn more about meditation, visit the Life Moves Yoga website.