Stressed Out Americans are Taking Up Mindfulness to Relieve Anxiety

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The year 2016 was marked by public-health scares, catastrophic violence and civil discord, leaving most Americans feeling anxious and unsure about the future of democracy and their individual lives. After the presidential election, many citizens began experiencing increased levels of stress perhaps due to its extremely polarizing nature. Unsurprisingly, many claim that the unsettling events of the past two years are the primary instigating points for their anxiety.

Because they perceive this mental state as long-lasting due to events that are out of their control, individuals are working to alleviate (rather than defeat) anxiety through activities that allow them to take their mind off their concerns and introduce a bit of emotional control into their lives. People are turning to entertainment, exercise, socializing, work, and mindfulness to recharge and distract in healthy ways.

Perhaps the most influential coping tool for anxiety is mindfulness, a psychological process involving focusing entirely on the present moment while simultaneously recognizing any feelings, thoughts, or sensations one might be experiencing. The end goal when practicing mindfulness is to achieve a calm mind solely focused on the present moment through careful breath and thought management.

Headspace, a meditation app, helps explain and guide users through this challenging practice by creating a schedule, achievable goals, and making educational videos easily available and engaging. Each guided meditation video showcases the company’s careful research in mindfulness and meditation and their passion for sharing this transformative experience with others.