It is not an exaggeration to say that every aspect of our lives is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Faced with these challenges, maintaining positive coping skills during this stressful time can be invaluable. Research has shown that practicing meditation and mindfulness may help us take on these challenges by significantly reducing symptoms of distress and anxiety based disorders like obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
The study by Williams et. al (2019) examined the effects of “a meditation, mindfulness, and mantra intervention on youth” who were detained. The all male participants ages between 16 to 18, engaged in a four-week mindfulness intervention. The youth attended the facilitator-led intervention for one hour per week, and were asked to practice the mindfulness techniques for ten minutes per day.
Assessments taken before, during, and after the intervention show that it was undisputedly beneficial. Participants showed statistically significant reductions in mental illness severity, distress over mental illness symptoms, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, paranoia, and psychoticism.
What does this mean for our mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic? It means that daily practice of meditation, even just ten minutes per day, may significantly improve our ability to cope with and respond to our current challenges. By creating inner strengths such as calmness within ourselves, may allow us to be able to handle even the most challenging situations.
Questions? Please post them in the “Comments” section below.
References: Williams, S.N., Parkins, M.M., Benedict, B., & Waelde, L.C. (2020). A Pilot Study of a Meditation Program with Detained Juveniles: An Adaptation of Inner Resources for Teens (IRT). Journal of Forensic Psychology Research and Practice, 2 (1), 1-14.
About Stephanie Williams, PhD
Stephanie Williams, PhD, is the founder of Integrated Psychological Assessment Services. Her practice focuses on the connection between what we think, feel and do, and how changes can improve one’s life. Dr. Williams believes in empowering people to help them grow, change, or just deal with the daily demands of life.
Call Dr. Williams today for a free consultation: 408-317-0687.