Today I'm sharing all about the app that I've been using to meditate – Headspace. I'm hoping that if you're interested in starting to meditate with it, you'll find this post helpful to get you started.
I downloaded the Headspace app way back in August, but didn't use it regularly until the beginning of January. Since then however, I've been meditating every day. Some days it's a super short three minute meditation, and other times it's 20 minutes.
Basics of the app
There are hundreds of different meditations to choose from. They're organized either as singles (which are meant to stand alone by themselves), or packs (which are groups of meditations that are focused on a theme, and you do one a day for 10 or 30 days for example). Some of the packs are:
- pain management
As you can see, the meditations cover a large number of topics, and I'm willing to bet that you'll be able to find at least a few that you'd be interested in doing.
Once you've selected a meditation, whether it's a single or part of a pack, you can choose a length of time if it's an option for that meditation (anywhere from 3 minutes to 20 minutes). Once that's done you press play, and a timer will appear and the mediation will begin.
These are guided meditations, so a voice will take you through the meditation. You'll be told when to close your eyes, how to breathe, and when it's over. For someone who isn't at all “woo woo”, I find the meditations really down to earth. Most of the ones that I've done include a body scan portion, when you take some time to actually think about what parts of your body may be feeling good, stiff, sore, or whatever they may be feeling. It probably sounds silly, but it's so easy to go through my day and not realize until I get into bed that my lower back is tight, or that one of my shoulders is stiff. I'm so busy doing or thinking about what I need to get done next that I'm not even present enough to feel my own body.
While Headspace is free to download and there are some free meditations, you'll need to buy a subscription to do any of the meditations beyond the first basics pack. I decided to buy an annual subscription and ended up finding a promo code for 40% off. It's well worth spending a few minutes to google promo codes to see if you can find one.
Once you've gotten your subscription, you have access to all the meditations on Headspace. I've really enjoyed the end of day single meditation for when I'm about to go to sleep. I'm doing the anxiety pack right now and I think I'm on day 20 or 21 of 30. I'm really liking it a lot so far. I think it's definitely helped a bit with my anxiety. I've even been thinking about anxiety differently as a result of the meditations, so I think that's a huge positive.
I think the free meditations that you're able to try before you subscribe give you a good idea of what to expect in the rest of them that you'll be able to access once you subscribe. If you're hoping that there's something different behind the paywall I think you're probably going to be more happy trying a different app.
The app is super easy to use and intuitive to use. It's easy to browse the different meditations to find something that sparks my interest. One of my favorite features is that I can choose the length of the mediation. If I'm short on time I can go go with just 5 minutes, or if I have more time I can dedicate 20 minutes to meditation.
I also like that it keeps track of your stats – such as amount of time meditated, average length of meditation, and days in a row of meditation. It's very encouraging to see all of those numbers go up. It very quickly became a habit for me.
As someone how had never really meditated before, I was hoping that if I did it on a regular basis it would help with stress, anxiety, and trouble falling asleep. I'm very grateful that it's helped with all three of those things. While I still struggle with them and they're far from completely gone, they've definitely gotten a lot better than before.
I found that the voice of the person who narrates the meditations took some time to get used to. While I realize that this is definitely a personal thing, when I first started I was a bit distracted by his voice. Thankfully though now that I'm used to it, it doesn't bother me anymore. I actually find his voice quite soothing now.
All in all, I would definitely recommend the Headspace app. I never in a million years thought that I would be someone who could meditate for 20 minutes at a time. Before I started I would have gotten fidgety and my mind would be thinking about a million things and I would have constantly gotten distracted. If I can do it, anyone can.
While I'm still far from being perfect at meditation, I'm always learning and getting better at it.
Do you meditate? Do you use Headspace?