Meditation 101

Take a Deep Breath With 3 Free Meditations for Handling Politically-Charged Emotions

Mary Grace Garis

Photo: Stocksy/ Trinette Reed

Inhale. Exhale. Now pick up your phone, and exit out of Twitter. Exit out of Facebook. Exit out of the countless grim election memes and hot takes on Instagram. Exit out of the constantly refreshed Google search for “election results.” We’re all under the oppressive stress of watching a too-close-to-call election unfold in a garbage fire year, and meditations for election anxiety are both deeply needed and close at hand.

The beloved mental wellness app Headspace is releasing its political content for free from now until November 16. Right now, Headspace is offering three meditations to give you a moment of peace: “Political Uncertainty,” “Relieving Stress,” and “Managing Anxiety.” And in a year marked by a pandemic, economic collapse, and a crucial civil rights movement, the whole trinity is especially needed.

We’ve waxed poetic about the benefits of meditation a million times, but if there’s ever been a year to embrace mantras and mindfulness, it’s this one. Research published in the National Library of Medicine examined the benefits of meditation and mindful practices during a crisis like COVID-19 (because that’s still a thing). By reviewing multiple studies, researchers noted how meditation can help refocus attention, lead to better sleep, and mitigate, different physiological effects of depression and anxiety, like lowering blood pressure.

Now, when it comes to mindfulness techniques I’m more of an EFT Tapping person. But for what it’s worth, I tuned into “Political Uncertainty” for a quick breather in the middle of my work day. Uncertainty anxiety has been a running theme this entire year and we are all deserving of a rest during high stress times.

What follows is a soothing body scan meditation, which can help ground you in the moment by increasing bodily awareness over the tornado of things on your mind. It can help reduce stress, and also increases self-compassion. Being able to acknowledge the negative emotions in our body is an integral part of healing and working through them.

Honestly, we understand that this is an unprecedented time in history; intentional breathing won’t fix the election outcome and the work on the other side of it, regardless of who wins. But finding those mindful moments can save you when the future is a gigantic question mark. Being present helps you gracefully move through the stressor in the moment, instead of falling down a spiral of “what ifs.”

So pick up your phone. Put in your headphones. And seriously, close your social media. Just for now—you’ll be able to digest your feeds better if you nourish your mind first.

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