In the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, which led to a situation of social isolation and changes in the pace of life, searches for the terms meditation and mindfulness (or mindfulness) reached the record of the last 16 years, according to a survey by Google. Compared to last year, the question “how to do meditation for anxiety” grew by 4,000% and the increase in “benefits of meditation” reached 200%.
Experts in the practices heard by the Estadão affirm that people are looking for ways to deal with the afflictions that have arisen in the period and find, in these methods, techniques to try to remain calm, reduce stress and focus on the activities that need to be carried out.
“There is a feeling of the need to find a tool to deal with this moment that is stressful for everyone, because there has been a change in the standard of living. Those who already knew, and were not doing it regularly, came back. And many people sought information. I think the curve is upward ”, says Marcelo Demarzo, a specialist in mindfulness, coordinator of the Centro Mente Aberta, linked to the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp).
According to Google, searches for “how to be a calmer person” increased by 3,250% over last year. “Disappearing the mind” grew 400%. “Many themes spiked in searches during the pandemic, and physical and mental well-being was one of the verticals in which this leap became very clear. The measures of social distance created a new routine in people’s lives and they needed to get used to new habits, schedules and needed to find new ways to perform certain activities ”, says Marco Túlio Pires, director of Google News Lab in Brazil.
Online courses. In view of the need for distance due to covid-19, a movement of online courses and lives also grew, which attracted people interested in learning more about the topic. “With the pandemic, people saw other possibilities. At the same time, there is a better understanding of the subject, of understanding mindfulness or mindfulness as a psychological state ”. According to him, the state of mindfulness is not concentration, it is a state of being aware of what is happening at this moment ”. According to the doctor, the increase in searches for the eight-week online course was 50% in the period.
Marketing leader of a technology company, Michelle Ito, 35, was already familiar with meditation, but had difficulty practicing. “Working at home, the level of anxiety has increased. I have been doing yoga for three years and the teacher started doing guided meditations on Sundays early in the pandemic. This already helps to start the week well. ”
Administrative assistant Jessica Braga, 27, discovered mindfulness while facing anxiety attacks and started practicing in June. “I always went to work, going to the movies, going out with my kids. When the pandemic came, I was locked up and freaking out inside the house. I tried to train and didn’t focus. ” She says she adapted to the techniques and started to practice before bed and after waking up. “Anxiety has dropped a lot.”
Among the benefits, Demarzo highlights regulation of emotions and reduction of anxiety. “In the area of education, it improves attention, memory and learning. For companies, it reduces professional burnout and improves leadership. More conscious, more humanized ”, he says. “The person can choose to meditate in the field of religion and spirituality, within a philosophical context of what he identifies with. The modern proposal is in the academic context. It is a technique for quality of life ”, explains Demarzo.
Practice can be healing and adapts to urban ‘Zen’ profile
In addition to being able to fit into everyday activities, meditation and mindfulness practices don’t have to be long. Recently, there has been greater interest in short programs and products, such as incense and stones.
“We have an ‘urban Zen’ audience, who want to find peace in the middle of routine, but are looking for something brief, because life already demands a lot from them,” says meditation and self-awareness educator Flávia Cadinelli, creator of the Zen Movement company.
It offers meditation programs starting at three minutes in length, which increase with practice. “Meditation is not an exclusive practice for calm people. The prerequisite is to have a mind. If the person wants to keep five minutes a day, it will have an effect. There are a few minutes of pause to disconnect from the outside world ”, he reinforces.
Flávia says that there was also an increase in the purchase of products, such as incense, stones and japamalas (string with beads to help in meditation), used to compose the moment dedicated to the search for inner balance.
“The demand on WhatsApp with an interest in meditation and our products grew by 45%. We increased our sale of therapeutic incense, aromatherapy, essential oils. We had a 470% growth in sales of therapeutic incense from April to October, compared to the same period in 2019. ”
According to the Google survey, interest in aromatherapy reached its highest level in the last ten years in July, with search growth of 79% between April and July.
The information is from the newspaper The State of S. Paulo.
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