Dan Harris’ Meditation Advice For COVID-19

Author of 10% Happier and owner of the 10% Happier app says it’s hard not to think about the future, but he advises people to focus on now when meditating.

The coronavirus lockdown has led anxiety levels to become a pandemic themselves. As people to struggle with the anxiety of COVID-19, many are turning to online meditation and yoga classes, like the new classes offered by Dan Harris on his website, which some 10,000 people have been watching every day.

The owner of the 10% Happier app [READ: Best Meditation Apps], Dan Harris has some meditation advice for COVID-19 anxiety sufferers.

Dan Harris says, “Our brains are in emergency mode and we’re stressed, we’re feeling anxiety and it’s much harder to focus in these circumstances.”

There is, however, way to help get through the current anxiety

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Dan Harris’ Meditation Advice For COVID-19

Harris says that the goal is simple. It’s about giving the mind a break during this time of incredible anxiety and stress [READ: Meditation Scripts For Stress].

Harris explains that it can be very easy to lose touch with the present moment because currently most people don’t know where we are going. But the trick is to remember that, as Harris says, to “[drop back into the present moment] because the odds are for most of us, right now is okay, right now you are fine. There’s not a guarantee about the future, but right now, which is the only time it ever is, you can drop back into that.”

Harris gives the following simple meditation advice for COVID-19 anxiety:

  • Sit comfortably with the eyes closed
  • Bring your attention to your breath as it moves through your body. The breath should not be forced or held. It should be relaxed, and the mind should rest on the breath [READ: Breathing Meditation Techniques].
  • This is the part of meditation Dan Harris calls “the Key. “The whole game in meditation is to notice when you are distracted and start again and again and noticing the distraction and bringing your attention back to the breath is like a bicep curl for the brain. And that is what shows up on brain scans and that is how you change your brain with meditation.”

Many people, however, may struggle at first to continue to focus the mind on the breath and to not get lost in distractions. The best way to get around this is to simply label the movements of your mind. For instance, if you are meditating when you notice that your mind is wandering, say to yourself “Mind Wandering”. Or if you notice that you experience a negative emotion, label that emotion “Sadness” “Anger” and so on. This will train your mind to be more conscious of when you lose focus. And this, in turn, will help you to concentrate when you meditate.

Dan Harris’ free meditations are currently available on his website.


By Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

1 comment

  1. Hi Paul,

    Thank you for your article. I am very glad to see the support and advice being shared here…
    I am part of a meditation group based in Dublin that has the very same objective – to bring peace and love to the minds and hearts of beings everywhere through this strange time. It is called the ‘Global Light Meditation’ and it runs three nights a week. It is free and is operating through a whatsapp group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/FKbWAudziQ85hbAKWcEqfz

    Lots of love!

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