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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Headspace: Take 10. What I thought.

Mediation, we've all heard about it but do enough of us do it? The benefits of it are said to be amazing including lowered stress, better concentration and feeling happier. I decided I would test out these ideas by giving meditation a try. Headspace, an app that guides you into the practice offers what they call "Take 10", a 10 day guided meditation course for free. I took it for a whirl. Here's how I found it.

Source: here.
The goals:
  • To lessen my anxiety
  • To feel less stressed
  • To feel happier
  • To test meditation as a coping mechanism to calm me
The reality:

So I went into this whole thing with an open mind and not much expectation. I've done meditation once or twice before but that is literally all, I could never commit. This time round I was ready to take 10 minutes out of my day for 10 days and see what happened. 

I downloaded the app and did everything I was told to do by the man guiding me via voice through the Headspace app. His name was Andy. He was nice. He explained the process of meditation, how it would make me feel and how to get the most out of it. Good info needed for inexperienced meditators like me.

I took each day as it came starting with day 1 which was probably the hardest day. The first few days I was pretty distracted to be fair. I don't know if you're like me but my mind wanders off like no bloody tomorrow. PIZZA. FRIES. DISNEYLAND. PUGS. ZAC EFRON. You name it, I think it. You get where I'm going with this; I think...A LOT. But Andy assured me that if I was thinking a lot during my meditation time not to worry because each day I practice meditation it will lessen. Phew I thought. There was hope for me. But nevertheless the first few days were tricky.

The one thing I wasn't liking about meditation to start off with is how I was giving my mind time to think about my worries. If anything, I wanted to run away from them and not give myself time to think about them. Why in the heck would I want to do that? Are you crazy Andy?! But heck I soldiered on in the hope meditation would calm my fears.

As time went along and we moved onto day 5 I could see I was getting a little less distracted, not enormous amounts let's be realistic, but a little is better than none. I started to appreciate the practice of meditation more and taking time out for as little as 10 minutes a day to clear my mind. It was a good feeling. I did still occasionally get distracted during my zen time thinking about veggie dogs n'all sorts but the time I wasn't thinking about them I was calm. It was great. I was actually feeling calm, for real. This was a big deal as I am the least calm person you'll ever meet. Heck Andy was doing a good job.

In my final few days I realised meditation was really a skill to hone. It wasn't easy just sitting there for 10 minutes everyday trying to think about nothing, it really took patience. I did it though. By the end of the 10 days I enjoyed meditation and looked forward to my Take 10 sessions, it was great. I knew what I was doing towards the end and relied less on Andy's guidance because I knew what to expect and I brushed up on my meditation skills by then.

Remaining thoughts

Headspace was enjoyable and gave me some clarity and calm in my life, but I wouldn't say to a drastic measure. It offered me calm a few minutes out of the 10 minute session and a few minutes after the session, but that was about as far as it went. I think if I were to subscribe to the app and keep practicing meditation it would be more beneficial because I would have practiced how to meditation properly for the full benefit. Overall I found the whole process of meditation and using Headspace good but you need to have patience with the process because the benefits don't come into play overnight.

Have you used Headspace before?

Liam
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