Meditation to tackle work-related stress on the rise in China

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By Victor Escribano

Shanghai, China, September 6 (EFE) .- With the increase in work-related stress in China, young people are starting to integrate the Buddhist practice of meditation into their daily lives.

Intense competition in the workplace, endless hours at the office, and the rising cost of living in major Chinese cities, outside of the Covid-19 pandemic since last year, are behind nearly 35% of people in China face psychological problems, according to a study by the Shanghai Mental Health Center.

Local news portal Sixth Tone reported that despite the impact of Covid-19 on economic activity, the number of yoga studios increased by 9% in 2020, a trend that – although there is no has no official data – has also been noticed in similar practices such as meditation.

Huang Xinyi fit perfectly into this profile of a successful Chinese youth overwhelmed by stress.

After studying property management, then transitioning to fashion and luxury, Huang spent five years in Paris working for Galeries Lafayette before returning to her country, where she opened a successful studio helping European designers to enter the Chinese market.

“At 27, I had already achieved a good financial situation,” she told EFE. “That’s when I realized I didn’t know what else to do with my life. I had money, a great career ahead of me, but I didn’t have a life of my own.

She then decided to leave it all behind and begin a journey that led her to learn “mindfulness” meditation techniques in Spain and Germany.

Huang returned to her native Shanghai at the age of 30 and opened a studio, Creative Shelter.

The place is located in a small shopping mall in the heart of the city, decorated with a traditional ‘batik’ printing technique – used by ethnic groups in southwest China – and small yellow lights, while a huge curtain engulfs visitors in a separate world of calm.

Huang gently bangs three gongs or maneuvers white glass bowls, generating puddles of vibrations that can be felt even a few feet away, producing a feeling of relaxation.

“Some people think they can record the sound and do it at home, but here they perceive the vibrations with the whole body. Some fall asleep in 90 seconds, ”she said.

Sessions last one hour and have a maximum of 12 people. Although each session costs 220 yuan (about $ 34), an annual subscription of 10,000 yuan is available for those who participate three to four times a week.

According to Huang, Creative Shelter clients “are looking for solutions and ways to improve their lives” because many feel trapped in their careers or are unable to fall asleep at night. “Some people tell me that here they have the impression of having entered another world.

Easy Wang, entrepreneur and promoter of charity events, is a regular at Creative Shelter.

“Every day I’m involved in creative things and I’m still multitasking. I love it, but sometimes it leaves my head in chaos. Mindfulness helps me free myself from complexity and step into a world of simplicity, ”Wang told EFE.

“It helps you to have a clear mind when it comes to problems and to have more confidence and energy every day,” he explained.

Although meditation is something that can be done at home – Huang says she does not seek to keep her clients but only to help them develop this habit – most clients also come looking for a group. Support.

Most of Creative Shelter’s customers are young people between the ages of 23 and 45.

“There is a mental health problem that is not being adequately treated. Some Chinese youth spend most of their time watching videos because they want to escape reality, and the best way to do that is to do nothing, ”Huang said.


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