An easy meditation you can do to find calm, care for yourself, and ease your anxiety in any situation.

Connect with your Breath

The breath is a powerful reminder of your anxiety-reducing connection with others, says Kamilah Majied.

Though we tremble before uncertain futures / may we meet illness, death and adversity with strength / may we dance in the face of our fears.

—Gloria E. Anzaldъa, in this bridge we call home

The second anniversary of the pandemic is a good time to reflect on the wisdom gleaned from this challenging experience. Notice the insights you’ve gained about how to be with yourself when you can’t be with others. We have been learning how to manage the anxious loneliness that often occurs and accrues as we limit our physical contact with people.

We often associate loneliness with sadness, but loneliness also has an anxious quality. The yearning to be social, to see smiles, hold hands, and hug one another can grip us in a field of angst. A breath practice can help us hold, release, and transform that anxiety.

As we grieve our deceased loved ones, our separations from living beloveds, and the absence of festivities that celebrate our connections, we may also experience anticipatory grief. We might worry about ourselves and loved ones getting sick in the future. We may worry that this pandemic will never end and find ourselves premourning future Covid-related losses. Grief and anticipatory grief can generate as much anxiety as they do sorrow. We can use the breath to release and learn from all aspects of grief.

The wonder of breathing is even more clear to us now. The threat and possibility of this, our shared air, reveals the threat and possibility of interdependence itself. Our exhalation is someone’s inhalation, and someone’s out-breath is our in-breath. Our breath is a reminder that we are connected no matter how lonely we feel.

May this breath practice help you transmute the anxiety of separation and loss. Repeat these words as you focus on your breath.

Breathing in, I notice that I miss you.

Breathing out, I embrace you with an intention for all beings to be well.

Breathing in, I notice worry that I will not endure.

Breathing out, I notice that I am enduring.

Breathing in, I grieve for my losses.

Breathing out, I thank impermanence for connecting me to all of life.

Keywords; breathing, meditation, anxiety, calmness