I have practiced meditation on and off for a number of years. For a while it never really fit. I didn’t feel the benefit. And would often give up trying.
Recently though I discovered the Headspace app and it has lead to the most sustained and beneficial mediation I have ever managed to stick with.
Why headspace works for me.
I love the content.
There are sets of meditation to tackle certain subjects like focus, stress or happiness. Urgent meditation singles for those times your head is in the shed. And a raft of extra content, videos and stories.
I just find the content so down to earth. You are not expected to be great at meditating. My mind still wonders off when I try to meditate but if I stop practising I notice the difference. You don’t have to be great at it for it to make a great difference.
I love the ability to select an amount of time. I often find it tricky to fit self care into a day. Having the flexibility to set a time limit is perfect. Some of the courses are longer than others but I haven’t found one yet that doesn’t offer a shorter and longer session length.
You can get the family involved.
I love that there is child friendly content too. If I try to encourage my kids in forming good habits now I hope it will help them in the future. Must admit my eldest is only occasionally interested but having the ability to pick out something aimed at her age group is brilliant.
Meditations are spilt by age and subject. My three year old has enjoyed some of the Elmo meditations as well.
You can keep track of your stats.
I like being able to see my stats and progress. It helps me identify patterns in sleeping issues and progress with goals. Headspace does not push this down your neck, it is gentle and caring in its encouragement.
It just keeps getting better.
I have been using head space for a couple of years now and it just keeps getting better. Most recent updates have included a focus on sleep, support with nighttime sos meditations and stories to fall asleep too, where you select background noise volume such as falling rain.
Or the addition of exercise linked to meditation. I am still to explore this feature, may make it a task for this week while I am off.
Headspace though continually grows and gets better.
Meditation for me.
Meditation continues to be a journey. I can’t say I feel like a pro. During meditation I often drift away or spiral into thought. I can only assume that I am making some difference because I definitely notice an overall improvement to focus and mental agility when I am practising often.
A word of warning.
When really struggling with the PTSD I started to find meditation uncomfortable, difficult. It felt like it somehow amplified the anxiety. I naturally decided to step away and it was only months later my doctor advised it was wise decision. It appears there are some studies that show meditation can have negative effects. My advice if it feels wrong stop and seek further advice.
No App required. Meditation options.
4-4-4 a great saver for those moments you need to quickly gain control. Breath in for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds. Repeat four times.
Count colours look at your view, pick a colour and looks for all the variations of that colour. Notice the difference in tone and shade.
All the senses pause and take a moment to find something you see, something you can smell, something you can hear, something you can taste, something you feel.