I feel so strongly about meditation. We have all heard the benefits, but do we really believe stopping and breathing will work? Do we really believe that we can be healthier, lead a more peaceful life, make better decisions and carve out new pathways in our brains?
Well, here’s my story. Anxiety appeared like a shadow in my life when I was about seven-years-old. It creeped in and gained a foothold because I did not have the tools to combat it. It grew like the mold that it is in my life until I was incapable of leaving for school without throwing up, unable to take tests in my college courses, panicked at dinners with friends and refused to leave my home with my babies just to name a few painful milestones.
I used to read every book I could on how to conquer my fears from The Relaxation Response to Feeling Good to Highly Sensitive People. I was in the self help section of Barnes and Noble at least once a weekend the year I learned to drive. To make a long story short, I would plow through these books and try every exercise, but it never took because it never cured my anxiety.
I went on Lexipro after my third baby was born and started weekly therapy. The world has never looked brighter. It was my beloved therapist that suggested this app, Headspace. Here is a sample…
OH those graphics and that voice! Right?! So up my ally. And the lessons were clear and made sense to me! This is an app and a resource that works!
I started with “Take 10“, which is 10 ten minute sessions that can you listen to from your phone as you sit in a chair, lie on your bed or chill out on your front porch. The sessions are short, Andy Puddicombe (the creator and former Buddist Monk)’s voice is so soothing and at the end of this concentrated time I always find myself in a new space mentally.
Headspace also offers guided sleep meditations and fear of flying meditations. There is also a monthly subscription offer if you want more. Right now, I just continue to use the free Take 10s. The app will look like this when you use them.
It was not until I started a relationship with my now therapist of six years who infused mindful meditation into our sessions. When she felt that I was getting overwhelmed with anger or grief or anxiety we would stop talking and she had me close my eyes and breathe until my body relaxed and my mind stopped racing. We call it meditation.
Meditation is not meant to change our lives, it’s meant to change the way that we look at our lives by relaxing the mind. This is not doable when you are in an anxious or overwhelmed or analytical place. It works by being still, quiet and breathing. Headspace has helped me immensely. And if you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll trust Emma Watson because who doesn’t trust Hermione.