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Using meditation to de-stress during a pandemic

Balancing out life by spending time alone each day in meditation.

SAN ANTONIO — Between the endless coronavirus-related headlines, juggling working from home while caring for a family or even dealing with unemployment, to say it's been a difficult few months for many would be putting it lightly. 

There are a lot of situations right now that are out of our control, but there’s a way to step back from it all and find inner peace.

“The main point of meditation is mindfulness. Mindfulness is really being where you are and being in your body and having this sort of anchor to keep you in this present moment,” said Shastri Linda Mockeridge, of the Shambhala Center. 

Mockeridge says there are several ways to calm your mind and body. The most basic is practicing on a cushion, through yoga or even Tai chi. 

“Some people do several of them and some people find that one (that) really helps to calm them, and bring them into the present moment better than others," Mockeridge said. "For me, sitting practice is the one that brings me there." 

Mockeridge believes meditation can teach you to stop trying to control your surroundings.

“What happens with a lot of people is they hold onto things. What meditation is teaching you is to notice them, and have awareness, and then just let them go and be in the next present moment,” she said.

While you can practice at home alone, the Shambhala Center has recently gone digital, linking others looking for the same calmness through virtual sessions.

“It’s a good practice for anybody," Mockeridge said.

A recent study by researchers at Mass General and Harvard Medical School also found that the practice of meditation, no matter what form, could actually make your brain younger.

“The body is still aging, but the mind is still sharp,” Mockeridge said.

So the next time you feel like the world is spinning around you, take a moment to be in the here and now.

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