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Anxious over COVID-19? Meditate the stress and anxiety away

As Good Day Memphis Anchor Kelsie Cairns explains, meditation is a healthy and easy way to cope with stress.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Are you feeling a little anxious lately? Maybe you're worried about losing your job, paying your rent or mortgage, or protecting your family from COVID-19.

Thanks to the coronavirus, many of us are feeling more anxious than ever before. For many, the worry or fear of the unknown has amplified their anxiety.

A great way to silence those anxious thoughts is meditation. It's an ancient practice originally meant to "deepen understanding and forces of life," according to the Mayo Clinic.

Yoga instructor Eric Swartz says it gives you control of your mind.

"Learning through awareness of breath, awareness of the sensations in the body, to still fluctuations of the mind,” says Swartz.

Once we still those fluctuations, we allow space for positive thoughts and clarity.

Here's how it works:

First - get comfy. You can do it in your desk chair - or, like me, you can sit on the floor.

Place your hands on your knees with palms facing in or out, thumb and forefinger, or palms together. Swartz says it's important to have good posture, with your diaphragm stretched.

Next you want to take your chin and kind of direct toward your chest. This allows your neck to stretch out in the back.

Before you start the breathing exercise, you want to stretch out your neck with some head rolls. That loosens you up before you start your breathing exercises, and then you are composed, and you focus on your breath and those peaceful thoughts.

"Simply, let the breath breathe itself, and notice what dramas the mind might be attaching itself to. *pauses for breath* and instead of jumping into the stories,” says Swartz.”

"Give yourself permission to drop the story, and come to the sensation of the breath."

Mayo Clinic Minute: Benefits of meditation Stress, anxiety and a lack of sleep are problems that many people deal with every day. But there is one simple practice that can help: meditation. "Physically, people find they have improved mood, they sleep better and better memory and concentration."

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