In the aftermath of Sunday night's traumatic Las Vegas shooting, many people are searching for ways to help the victims and their families, including donating blood, providing financial donations and offering sympathies on social media.
As many celebrities took to their online platforms to share healing thoughts and encourage political change, Lady Gaga took a different approach, leading a calming group meditation session on her Instagram Live to promote the mental well-being of her fans.
"4 anyone who'd like to join, I'm doing a 20 minute moment of meditation/silence/prayer on my Instagram Live for the calming of the [world]," Gaga said in a photo caption. She also posted a photo of four mantras — I am calm, I am light, I am loved, I'm okay — two of which she alternated between during the meditation session.
This gesture was particularly poignant after so much recent news — not just of the shooting, but also hurricane devastation, terrorist attacks and political unrest. "There's a lot going on in the world with people all the time," Gaga said during the live stream. "I think a lot of healing can come from quieting our minds and calming down our bodies."
The practice of meditation has the potential to help patients suffering from depression, anxiety and pain. In addition, according to Time magazine, researchers are constantly adding to the benefits of the practice by proving that being mindful can increase happiness and emotional resilience — not to mention the fact that meditation can also make people nicer.
Gaga's meditation session also comes on the brink of Mental Illness Awareness Week, an event that seeks to educate the public, end mental illness stigmas and provide support to those suffering. This event is especially necessary in today's climate, in which, as the Huffington Post reports and as you've likely experienced yourself, the 24-hour news cycle is contributing to feelings of stress, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
"Negative news can significantly change an individual's mood — especially if there is a tendency in the news broadcasts to emphasize suffering and also the emotional components of the story," British psychologists Dr. Graham Davey told the Huffington Post.
At the end of the day, one can't simply tune out to the world, but we can ease our pain and anxieties by loving one another and practicing self-care and meditation. If you are interested in starting your healing journey, here are 8 Mindful Meditation Techniques to try.
What Do YOU Think?
Do you find meditation helpful? What other techniques do you use to help cope with stress and anxiety?