Meditation as a Method Toward Well-being in Post-COVID Syndrome
There are many different meditation practices and techniques that can be used and are based on personal preference which comes with regular practice. Just as we train our bodies with physical exercise, meditation is a method of training our minds. This can be particularly beneficial when dealing with post-exertional malaise (tiredness, fatigue, weakness, pain) after having had COVID-19.
For practical purposes one of the easiest ways to begin meditating is to concentrate on a single point such as our breath, a single word, or a candle flame, also known as concentration meditation. This can be challenging when one is just beginning the practice of meditation, so I recommend meditating for 2-3 minutes initially and working your way up to longer durations.
If your mind wanders, simply refocus your awareness on the single point, and let go of the random thoughts. The more you practice, the more your concentration improves.
Mindfulness meditation encourages one to observe wandering thoughts, become aware of any patterns to your thoughts, and eventually with practice, develop inner balance.
One can also combine concentration and mindfulness meditation, or practice meditation through tai chi, qigong, and walking meditation.
Meditation has many benefits including relaxation (noted by Harvard University Medical School researcher Dr. Herbert Benson), improved circulation, lowering of heart rate, respiratory rate, perspiration, and blood pressure, reducing cortisol levels, reducing stress, reducing anxiety, and improving our sense of well-being. And if you practice Buddhist philosophy, then the ultimate benefit of meditation is to free yourself from things you cannot control and maintain a sense of inner peace.
How to practice concentration meditation in 4 steps:
- Sit or lie comfortably
- Close your eyes.
- Breathe naturally.
- Focus your attention on your breath without controlling the pace or intensity. Notice how your body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Be aware of the movement of your shoulders, chest, ribcage, and abdomen. It’s okay if your mind wanders-just return your focus to your breath.
A quote from Buddha: “Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.”
Have a wonderful, peaceful day!