Michigan Association of Health Plans

Anxious? Meditation Can Help You ‘Relax Into The Uncertainty’ Of The Pandemic

In 2004, ABC News correspondent Dan Harris was broadcasting live on the air on Good Morning America when he started experiencing a panic attack.

“My lungs seized up, my palms started sweating, my mouth dried up. I just couldn’t speak,” he says. “I had to quit in the middle of my little newscast. And it was really embarrassing.”

Harris credits meditation with helping him work through the anxiety that caused that panic attack. He went on to write a memoir, 10% Happier, about his experiences with meditation, and he talks about the subject on his twice-weekly podcast. He’s also been hosting a daily meditation online with different leaders in the community of people who study and teach mindfulness techniques.

Harris says that meditation is more important than ever during the global pandemic: “I don’t think we should sugarcoat it: It’s scary,” he says. “I’ve taken to saying, if you’re not anxious right now, you’re not paying attention.”

Though he’s been trying to help people quiet their anxiety with meditation and mindfulness techniques, he’s careful to note that meditation isn’t a “silver bullet” cure.

“Meditation doesn’t make the uncertainty go away,” he says. “It’s not like I meditate and I’m walking through this pandemic like a unicorn barfing rainbows all the time.”

Rather, Harris says, meditation allows people to “relax into the uncertainty. … It just means that you’re able to see that the fear — like everything in the world — will come and go, and that if you just relax for a second, and breathe into it, it will come and go.”

This article was originally featured on National Public Radio, read more here.

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