A little anxious? A little stressed out? A little worried about a lot of things right now? Welcome to the same exact predicaments that every single American is going through right now. However, like all things, we all tend to deal with stress and anxiety differently. Luckily, some people are rising to the occasion to help their fellow man.
From free and fantastic online concerts, releasing hit movies early for home entertainment, some states even allowing businesses to deliver alcohol straight to your door, the private sector has stepped in and the public sector has stepped back in order to deliver content, activities, and resources for individuals and families during this time of unified unease as our risk to our financial and physical health force us to remain in our homes.
One such organization stepping up to offer free mindfulness sessions is Johns Hopkins University, which is currently offering free mindfulness courses online to the JHU community to help people clear their mind of stress and fear in order to remain mentally healthy.
The one leading these sessions is Dr. Neda Gould, Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences as well as the Mindfulness Program.
“In times of uncertainty, our brain can get so consumed by potential catastrophes that it can be overwhelming,” Gould said. “In the current crisis, with news that’s on your mind all the time, I think it’s important to have a tool that helps manage that.”
For almost a week thus far, Gould has been offering online guided meditation sessions to everyone part of the Johns Hopkins community. Each session is half an hour long and hosted on Zoom three times a day, everyday, to all who would like to participate.
According to Gould, “Each session has its own unique focus. During meditation, participants may focus on their emotional state, highlight the sensations in different parts of the body, or take stock of the things they are grateful for. According to Gould, meditation is less about the process and more about bringing the mind into the present.”
From starting with only a few students to now having as many as fifty participants a day, Gould will continue offering these sessions as long as people are interested.