I have been practising meditation for ten years, and I can see that it is highly effective to calm myself and my family during this COVID-19 pandemic. In the time of uncertainty, anxiety and pessimism, the mind is likely to be as deadly as the virus. Accordingly, it is crucial to stay positive, lively and bright in the moment of social distancing. Sometimes, staying at home gives people more pressure and worry, and the reality keeps limiting us to be happy. However, we cannot control what is outside us — instead of guessing what will happen next, we can choose to control what happens to our mind and what we want it to produce right now.
Through meditation, I overcome negativity, and I keep telling myself that everything is going to get better. Yes, I talk to myself consciously. A research study by Gary Lupyan & Daniel Swingley about "Self-directed Speech Affects Visual Search Performance" from The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology in 2012, shows that humans talk more to themselves rather than to others, and what we tell ourselves shape our mind unconsciously. So, imagine if we keep telling our mind "that everything is dark, the world is at catastrophic, there is no future, and it is an apocalypse." Then what will happen would just be a total wreck.
There are many types of meditation, but all of them have a similar purpose, that is focusing your mind to a certain point. I practice the meditation that helps me to recognize myself and understand what happens inside my body. For example, I sit down in my room, closing my eyes, and I try to feel my heartbeat. Not listening but feeling. It helps me calm down and be grateful; I realized that I am alive, healthy and I live my life the way it is. I try to accept everything that comes to me either bad or good, the point is, we are living in the moment.
It is not that hard if you want to try to meditate and you can do it right now. I will share some tips and a sequence for you to reprogram your mind in facing this current situation.
1. Find a Room
If you live alone in your apartment, that it is good for you to meditate. If you live with your family, try to find a bit of solitude in your room, and make sure everything is comfortable.
2. Remove all distraction
Turn off your phone for a while, try to be focused, it is not that long.
3. Start slow
If you are a beginner, I suggest you to sit down in your room, set the timer for two minutes (yes, just two minutes), try to control your breath, not too fast but not too slow either. Believe me, you will find two minutes so long, and you can finally relate why Einstein gave birth to the theory of relativity. When you breathe, make sure to think about the present, be conscious of what you are doing, without judgment to just, feel it.
4. If you find your mind is wandering around, get it back
Meditation is about consciousness; when you realize your mind is thinking about Netflix during your meditation, get it back immediately and focus again. Meditation is not thinking about nothing for the whole time, it is about practise of controlling your mind, you allow your mind to stay together with you during the meditation.
5. Hypnotize yourself
When you can maintain the two minutes practising consistently, then it is time for you to improve your game. Try to realize your heartbeat, your pulse, and even your breath. Feel it slowly, and when you succeed in doing that, start talking to yourself. You can send any message to your mind, and it is totally up to you. I, myself say this every time; "Everything is going to be alright; we can survive this, all needs will be fulfilled, and all wishes will be granted." Say it repeatedly, and you will find yourself full of gratefulness, joy and positivity.
Meditation is the art of supervising your mind; it is better to have a solid grip on yourself during this pandemic. Try to think positively and believe that everything will get better. Try to accept everything, do not judge the situation, just live it and attend your present. We know that the world is having a hard time, but we can choose to spread positive vibes and convince others that we will go through it.
Gary Lupyan & Daniel Swingley (2012) "Self-directed speech affects visual search performance", The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65:6, 1068-1085, DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2011.647039