At first, I didn’t buy it — there’s no way that listening to 10 minutes of some British guy talking to me could help alleviate my anxiety or help me focus more at work. I self-prescribed myself exercise, therapy, change in diet, reading, basically anything other than the admittedly very simple task of downloading an app to my iPhone.
When I reached my breaking point, however, I bit the bullet and gave it a shot. And the results are not only apparent, but they’re completely improving my life every day.
Headspace is billed as a “gym membership for the mind” — it’s 10-20 minutes a day of guided meditation that allows you to increase the time length as you develop your meditation practice. After you complete the free starter pack (10 minutes a day for 10 days), you can subscribe to unlock the entire program for only $12 a month.
What I love most about Headspace is the option to specify what you’re working on at that moment, after you complete the three Foundation levels. The separate packs break down to these specific categories:
Relationships: Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Change, Appreciation, Acceptance
Health: Depression, Self-Esteem, Stress, Anxiety, Sleep, Pregnancy
Performance: Creativity, Focus, Happiness, Balance
You can also set reminders for yourself and set “mindful moments” which are daily messages that are delivered to your phone to help you get through the day.
For anyone who suffers from anxiety, stress, or depression, you know that some days you’ll feel as if nothing is wrong and other days it’s a struggle to get out of bed. The key with Headspace is consistency, no matter what you’re feeling on that particular day.
I’ve adjusted my morning schedule by getting up 20 minutes earlier each morning — this allows me to make coffee and then complete my Headspace meditation before I leave for work. I’ve found that I actually look forward to those 10-20 minutes each morning as it starts the day on a much calmer note than if I had just rolled out of bed, grabbed coffee, and rushed to my bus stop.
I’m highly aware that Headspace isn’t a cure-all for any anxiety-related issues but it’s a dramatic and surprisingly easy step in the right direction. There are some mornings that my brain feels so jumbled up that 10 minutes of deep breathing with Headspace can work out the kinks before the anxiety kicks in. There are some mornings where I have 20 tabs open on my computer, and my focus for the day is shot at 12 pm. But with Headspace you learn to take the good with the bad until you start seeing the good through the bad on a regular basis. As Andy puts it, the key is knowing there’s always a blue sky sitting just above the storm clouds.
You can watch founder Andy Puddicombe's TED Talk here.
Happy meditating! xx