Stress and anxiety are always lurking about. It’s a scary thought but we all know it to be true. Even outside of this roller coaster of a year, stress and anxiety affects us in all aspects of life. Unfortunately, the pandemic only made it worse. According to the American Psychological Association, seven in ten Americans are suffering  from significant stress brought by the corona virus pandemic. According to the CDC, 40% of U.S adults reported to be struggling with mental health and substance abuse as a direct result of COVID. Irritability, anger, addiction, depression are products of stress and anxiety but that is only the mental symptoms. Physical symptoms of stress include headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, chest pain, sleep problems, and high blood pressure. This leaves people and their doctors struggling for answers within therapy, medication, and more as a means to remedy the wave of stress that this virus has brought upon us. Luckily, there is one method that many have found to fight stress quite well and though it may come as a shock, it’s free of charge.

Meditation is an art as old as time itself. Opposed to popular belief, meditation isn’t just for spiritual gurus and religious followers. It’s a tool and if used correctly can help combat anxiety, depression, and stress. Meditation is all about training in awareness and obtaining a healthy sense of perspective on the world around you. It’s about clearing your head rather than turning off your thoughts. Through simple meditation exercises and daily practice you could combat stress and live a more peaceful and healthy life. Plus, it’s easy to start!

One of my favorite ways to meditate is quite simple. First, turn off all the lights in the room before sitting down on the floor with your legs crossed. Next, lay the back of your hands on your knees and open your palms before closing your eyes. Focus on your breathing by taking slow breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try not to let your mind wander, even if the thoughts are not stress based. Instead, focus on your breathing and the movement within your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Maintain this light focus for two to three minutes before reaching your hands up to the sky, stretching your arms, and open your eyes.

Practicing this quick and simple meditation at least once a day will help clear your mind and reduce stress just like that. Once you get the hang of it you could advance your technique with small tweaks that work best for you. For more guided forms of meditation, we recommend downloading one of the many meditation apps available on the app store. Headspace is known to be the best but there are many who swear by other apps such as Calm and Buddhify. If you're a more antsy type of person there are more active forms of meditation such as yoga and Tai Chi. Both of which could be learned by simply searching YouTube for instructional videos. Whichever method you choose, we highly recommend dedicating at least a few minutes a day to your meditation if you want to see results.

Viridi highly recommends meditation because as a company who is centered around living a healthy lifestyle, we see it as our duty to keep our community well informed. Meditation is the cheapest and easiest way to live a healthy life and we can’t stress that enough. Meditation has been proved to greatly help combat against anxiety disorders, depression, heart disease, sleeping disorders and so much more. If we can’t convince you to at least give meditation a try than maybe the most notable figure in the world of meditation can. The Buddha was once asked, “What have you gained from meditation?” to which he replied “Nothing! However, let me tell you what I have lost: anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, and fear of old age and death”

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