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Mindfulness online against Covid stress

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STOP for a moment, breathe and listen to our emotions: it is the heart of mindfulness meditation, an effective tool to relieve anxiety and stress generated by the lockdown. And we can also do it online. This is confirmed by a research just published in the magazine Global Advances in Health and Medicine. A study born in the United States, but inspired by the work of the Italian neurologist Licia Thank you of the Besta Institute of Milan, which has been using these techniques for years to help those suffering from chronic migraines, tension headaches and other conditions of chronic pain. And that during the first lockdown he proposed an online mindfulness path open to all.

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“Anyone can practice this type of meditation, which helps us to control anxiety and stress”, explains the head of the study, Rebecca Erwin Wells of the Lake Forest School of Medicine, “and our research shows that an online platform is an effective tool for doing this.” Between March and August, the American researchers proposed an online mindfulness practice lasting 15 minutes to over 200 subjects – mostly fasting meditation – by submitting them to a pima questionnaire and after the experience to assess their mood. .

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The data collected shows that 89% of participants found meditation helpful, 80% reported feeling less stressed and a little less than being less anxious. “We saw that the participants not only felt better, but also showed greater openness to others, a fact that shows how positive elements can be found even in the most difficult circumstances,” explains Wells. Many then – and 20% of the group was made up of retirees, to show that age is not an obstacle – would have liked to continue to meditate: the researchers verified that online research on “mindfulness and Covid” increased by 52. % during lockdown.

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And in fact experiences of this type have multiplied, all over the world and also in Italy. “During the first lockdown we started doing Mindfulness online every morning for us at MindfulSicilia (www.mindfulsicilia.it), to offer us a moment of serenity and awareness among colleagues, she explains Laura Bongiorno, psychologist psychotherapist and Mindfulness instructor, “then we opened it to our contacts, the group grew, friendships were born”. Thanks to mindfulness, “or more simply the choice to spend a moment with what was there, to welcome our emotions”, continues the psychologist. “Mindfulness allows us to find comfort in discomfort, and makes it easier to manage moments of crisis”.

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Thus was born a daily appointment that helped to mark the day in the first months of the lockdown. “People have arrived from all over, the beauty of working online is that distances are canceled out and the screen does not prevent you from creating deep connections”, explains Bongiorno. “Obviously it is different than a face-to-face meeting, but no less rich: we humans have enormous adaptability”. And online meditation is an opportunity for those who have movement problems, or simply live in a small center. Meditating from home can be challenging “but it also offers the opportunity to build a small space for yourself instead of delegating everything to the center, to carve out some time and ask others to respect it,” recalls the psychologist. “Those who had children found that they were very interested, in the end we created activities for them”. And now that many have returned to work, the online meditations continue on a weekly basis, on the Facebook page of Mindful Sicily.

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