The website reads, “From Buffalo to Long Island, Albany to the Lower East Side, this special NY collection of meditation, sleep, and movement exercises are here to support you through stressful and challenging times. Helping you — and your fellow New Yorkers — stay strong and be kind to yourselves, with a New York state of mind.”
While the offering was made with New Yorkers in mind, anyone can access it, regardless of where they live. The website includes five different meditations, three for children, and five sleep experiences.
In a statement to Business Wire, Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe shared, “These are such uncertain times for everyone all over the world. It’s difficult to even know where to begin to address the extraordinary stress, anxiety and trauma that individuals and communities are experiencing. The stories emerging from New York, the epicenter of the pandemic here in the U.S., are simply heartbreaking. Now more than ever, it’s essential to look after our physical and mental health, both for our own benefit, and for those around us. So we are honored to answer the call of Governor Cuomo’s office and offer our help and support to the people of New York.”
Gov. Cuomo added, “Now more than ever it’s critical that New Yorkers stay healthy both physically and mentally, and these resources will help people cope with rising levels of stress and anxiety during this unprecedented public health crisis. On behalf of the New York family, thanks to the Headspace team for their contribution.”
Headspace Has Made Other Efforts to Make Meditation More Accessible
Headspace has made other efforts to make its mindfulness and meditation content more accessible.
Headspace Plus, for example, is free for US healthcare providers working in a public health setting who have an NPI (National Provider Identifier), according to Business Insider. If you are a healthcare professional, click here for more information.
Educators and caregivers have also been given free access to Headspace through Headspace for Educators, the company’s flagship social impact program.
The Benefits of Meditation
While meditation has been around for centuries, new research has shed light on its neurological benefits. Recent studies suggest that not only can meditation help preserve the aging brain, but it is an effective way to reduce depression and anxiety.
Wellness coach Greg Schweitzer tells Reading Eagle, “Chronic stress and pressure is an irritant to our health and well-being. The deep rest, peace and calm that meditation brings are healing for our physical, mental and emotional health.”
He adds, “We can experience the benefit of meditation even if we are isolated or quarantined. We are not dependent upon anyone to deliver this service to us.”
In 2011, a team at Harvard found that meditation can change the structure of the brain, with an increase in cortical thickness in the hippocampus (which is in charge of learning and memory) and in other areas that regulate emotion and processing.
It has also been proven to help children in school, leading a number of districts to implement meditation into students’ daily schedules.