Megan Sweet and her 12-year-old son, Malcolm, have been going on a lot of walks during the COVID-19 pandemic. During these treks, they stop and smell flowers during the day or watch the sunset at night. “We stop walking and just appreciate that moment,” she says.
Sweet and her son aren’t simply taking a break—they’re practicing a form of mindfulness meditation, a technique to pay close attention to thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they arise in the present moment in order to control and calm thoughts and emotions.
People have been practicing mindfulness meditation for centuries. And it’s especially popular now. In fact, according to the Global Wellness Institute, the number of people practicing some form of meditation has increased by a whopping 2,900 percent since the start of the pandemic.