Health

Get some Headspace

Over the last couple months I’ve stepped away from the internet, social media, and even Covalent. It felt great to detach from the screen a little and focus that attention inwards. Besides spending my time with friends, family and animals, I’ve been really delving into meditation. I had never been able to sit down and ommmmm and feel like I was doing it “right,” so I just avoided it all together. I had been practicing yoga regularly and knew I wanted meditation to be a part of my daily life, so I did what most millennials do – I found an app for that. Headspace was one of the highest rated free meditation apps, and after using it I realized why so many people love it.

The app starts with 10 free guided meditations, some accompanied by short, super awesome, animated videos that attempt to de-stress the concept of meditation. I really love the way the app breaks the process down into simple chunks that are so much easier to mentally digest. Andy Puddicombe is your guide, a man who studied mediation in the Himalaya’s, and learned from Tibetan monks in Northern India. His voice is soothing and calm as he guides you and explains away your fears and misconceptions. I’m telling you, I have converted friends and family to meditation with this app, because it makes it so simple and easy! I highly recommend you download the Headspace App, but just to get you started, here are my top 3 tips for reaching ommmmmm

 

MY TOP 3 TIPS FOR BEGINNERS:

#1. Use guided meditations to start: Whether you like the Headspace app, or prefer to use youtube videos or other purchased programs, having someone talk you through it really helps the process not be so overwhelming. Trying to sit in complete silence can feel so daunting and even scary. It’s really great to have someone leading the way. I meditate a lot without guided meditations, sometimes I play music, and other times I sit in silence. But if I’m having a particularly frantic brain moment, I prefer to have a guide. It reminds me to breathe and refocus when my mind wanders.

 

#2. 10 minutes or less: There’s many opinions out there on length of meditation…how much should you do? Is it better if its longer? I think for a beginner, 5-10 minutes is best. For me, I commit myself to 10 minutes of meditation every day. I have ten minutes every single day. Sometimes I do it in the morning (like I prefer) and other times I squeeze it in right before bed, barely making the cut. If I made that commitment thirty minutes, I might not be able to fit that in, or it might seem like such a long time I could feel overwhelmed and not do it at all. There is actually a bit of science that backs up this theory, that 10 minutes is all you need. If 10 minutes still feels too long, try 5, or 3…do whatever feels right for you.

 

#3. Stop thinking you’re doing it wrong: The thing that kept me from meditation in the first place, was feeling like I was messing up every time I had a thought. I really need to remember to buy toilet paper…crap, I’m thinking…don’t think, stop. Seriously STOP THINKING. Now I’m thinking about thinking! I felt like a failure, and who wants to keep working towards something they feel like they can never achieve?

“Most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind, but actually it’s about stepping back, seeing the thought clearly, witnessing it coming and going.” — Andy Puddicombe

I originally started with walking meditation, a non-traditional form of the practice. I utilized the basic principles of mediation, focusing on your breath, taking time to notice how your body feels, the different sensations, smells, temperature…and I found this a good way to ease into a practice. Just like not every diet works for every body, not every meditation theory works for every mind. You need to find what feels best to you. My goal was to be able to sit with myself for 10 minutes, but how I got there was not a linear process. I found that once I accepted that thoughts were going to enter my brain while meditating, and that a sound might distract me during the practice…it all opened up. I embraced outside sounds, distractions, body aches, and the chitter-chatter in my brain. The point of all this is that you understand that you should not be working towards an idea of what you think meditation is, you can make meditation work for you.

I now practice almost every single day and find myself more calm, patient and understanding. My road rage has considerably decreased and I find myself less irritable overall. If I can do it, you can too. Namaste!

Ps, Have you tried setting intentions? Read about that RIGHT HERE, and maybe you’re interested in learning more about yoga? Britney shares her inspiring story about finding yoga and/or magical rainforest medicine HERE

 

Photo courtesy of: pcwallart