So on my list for 2016 there is one bullet point that says: "Try out meditation". I've been curious for years and two weeks ago I finally found the perfect starting point - the Headspace app.
It's amazing that there is literally an app for everything. So why not use your phone when it's easy and convenient for even taking 10 minutes a day to meditate? Well, said and done.
(Just to make sure, this is a review of the Headspace app and meditation in general, just a happy customer)
Why Start With Meditation - The Goal
So, why was meditation even on the list for 2016? Well, good question. I've always been a fan of thinking, creativity and stoisism. So the art of meditating, becoming one with the mind, being calm with a razor sharp focus is a very nice aspiration for me. As a natural introvert I also enjoy activities that does not include a social paradigm, something that can be done anywhere, anytime without anyone else. So, meditation is basically the perfect set up.
Another reason for me was to get a better understanding of my mind and how the connection with my body and senses work. In addition, I sometimes have problems with sleeping - so meditation ususally is said to help in that regard too.
So, starting something new is always hard and starting something that is mostly viewed as highly spiritual and odd like meditating is even harder. Although I guess the views on meditation have changed massively during the last 5-10 years (just as with Yoga), especially now that we know that most successfull people have some kind of meditative routine.
However, I always thought about meditation as something hard and time consuming. I often felt restless and didn't thought I could handle the "sitting still " part. But it turned out, I was just the right fit for it.
So for all of you who think that meditation is wrong for you, give it a try. Why I find that Headspace is the right place to start, is explained here:
10 days á 10 minutes a day
So the Take10™ program by Headspace gives you an easy and free start in to the world of meditation on your phone. For 10 consecutive days you take 10 minutes each day of a guided meditation session with the recorded voice of the Headspace CEO Andy Puddicombe and some nice animation in between.
These 10 days will give you a good impression about the meditation practise and I promise you, you will feel a special sense of calm by the end of each session. You learn how to focus on your breath and let thoughts come and go. Some of the most intersting sessions let me forget everything and after opening my eyes after the session I realised - "right, I'm sitting in my living room and totally forget my physical presence". Sounds scary at first, but it's a very curious feeling, I can assure you.
Since the app is on your phone, you can practise anywhere anytime, even with headphones on - so there is really no excuse to skip it. You could literally meditate on the way to work on the train or in a taxi.
What changed after these 10 days?
Different things have happened after taking the program, despite having now a fixed calendar entry of 10 minutes of meditation a day. Here are some benefits I observed:
- I fall asleep a lot faster and my quality of sleep improved
- I feel much more calm throughout the day
- Increased focus on tasks (work and non-work related)
- My thoughts are clearer, I can better articulate them
- It relieves stress and provides positive energy
- My perception of time changed - my days feel longer and more valuable
These are just some examples I can immediately think of. There might be even more over time.
Will I continue?
The answer is yes. I've signed up for the service and will continue to practise meditation for diving in deeper. This is my personal feeling, since the first 10 days are free, I highly recommend checking it out and only sticking to it if you are committed and see benefits for yourself.
Let me know if you will try it out in the comments below and feel free to share your own experience with meditation.
Thanks for reading!
PS: Just a tiny addition, be sure to check out Andy Puddicombe's TED talk - it's very insightful, short and sweet, enjoy: