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  • Ananda Kripa

Mindfulness to help with post Covid stress and anxiety

Updated: Jan 20, 2022

Crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic have shown that change is the only constant. Meditation and mindfulness can offer a helpful way to live with this constant change.

Many of us are facing challenges that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but they can make us feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety.

Let’s start with some basics. Mindfulness refers to our innate ability to be focused and present in a relaxed and nonjudgmental way. We are all mindful sometimes, even if we’ve never practiced mindfulness before. It’s not a new ability we need to develop.

The COVID-19 pandemic is stressful for everyone, profoundly painful for others, and can be a trigger for emotional distress in most of us.

Meditation and Mindfulness can help support healthcare professionals Post-Covid anxiety

Meditation and mindfulness are practices that can support healthcare professionals, patients, carers and the general public during times of crisis such as the current global pandemic caused by COVID-19. While there are many forms of meditation and mindfulness, of particular interest to healthcare professionals are those with an evidence base such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Systematic reviews of such practices have shown improvements in measures of anxiety, depression and pain scores.

Structural and functional brain changes have been demonstrated in the brains of people with a long-term traditional meditation practice, and in people who have completed a MBSR programme. Mindfulness and meditation practices translate well to different populations across the lifespan and range of ability. Introducing a mindfulness and meditation practice during this pandemic has the potential to complement treatment and is a low-cost beneficial method of providing support with anxiety for all.

Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland

Address for correspondence: C. Behan, Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons, Smurfit Building, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland

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