Happy Wellness Wednesday, my friends! If you recall, my theme for 2015 is Wellness, and I’m really excited to check in each week with a new Wellness-related topic. This week I’d like to share with you an app that I’ve been using that has had such an impact on me- Headspace. Headspace is a meditation app; that is, it offers a series of brief guided meditation experiences with the intention of increasing mindfulness and promoting individual wellbeing. Don’t be skeptical- there’s no chanting ‘om’, there’s no real spiritual component…it’s more of a mind workout, and the results are awesome!
So, I am a person who suffers a bit from anxiety- this is not uncommon, and the amount that I suffer is generally very manageable. Sometimes, though, life happens in excess and if I don’t make a conscious effort to take care of myself, the anxiety manifests itself in undesirable ways- fatigue and insomnia are common and, in extreme cases, I get the most crippling panic attacks. I haven’t had a panic attack in a long time (which is awesome!!) but last year I started to have the weirdest dream- I dreamt that I was manically filing, and each file folder had one topic that was really top of mind for me (imagine folders for each work project, each class I was taking, student loans, making sure Howie got his heartworm medication, etc). It wasn’t hard to figure out that my brain was over whelmed, but I had no idea how to turn this dream off- I would have it several times each night, and each time I would wake up with my mind racing, already well into work mode. I wasn’t getting any rest, and I my to-do list was just a constant ticker-tape in my subconscious.
Enter: Headspace. When I started reading about meditation I was so skeptical- a, it sounded very mystical; b, it sounded like a time commitment that I couldn’t make; and c, I was so overwhelmed with thoughts that clearing my mind was an entirely laughable concept. Then I found the Headspace app, and started reading through their FAQs. The way it works is this: you sign up, and there are ten free, ten minute sessions. You work through those at your own pace, and then decide if you’d like to continue. If so, you pay a monthly rate for the subscription and have access to much more content.
With the first ten sessions free, and only a ten minute per day commitment, I was more than willing to give it a try. And, guys- this has definitely, one hundred percent, been so beneficial to my mental health. The concept of meditation was explained and illustrated in the first few sessions, and really gave me some helpful tools for clearing my mind and actually relaxing. For me, this has resulted in restfulness and the ability to stay very calm. I feel like I get a full night’s sleep now, and I’m focusing better at work and in class. And, when the day is over, I can actually turn that mental switch so I’m not thinking about either of those things, even in the back of my mind. It is…amazing.
So, pretty much, that’s my pitch. Headspace doesn’t know anything about me, so I’m not gaining anything in that front. It’s just that my experience with meditation and, particularly, this app, has been so positive, it seemed like the perfect thing to share on this dreary Wellness Wednesday 🙂 Tell me- what are you doing for your mental health these days? Or, alternately, what apps have you found that have been life changing?