There have been hundreds of papers citing the benefits of mediation. Over time the benefits can include reduction in stress, depression, increase in focus, and immunity to name a few.
I am currently using Headspace to foster my meditation habit. They offer a 10 Day Challenge which is essentially spending 10minutes each day meditating over the course of 10 days. The meditation is guided by the founder Andy Puddicombe and there are mini videos to explain the purpose and what to be focusing on through out the meditation sessions. I decided to use Headspace as it is accessible and convenient as it’s on your phone or tablet depending on where you want to install it. I wanted to try the challenge because trying to foster the habit alone would have a few hurdles like where to start, how much time to do, finding time and such like.
This is my experience:
Day 1 – I meditated in the morning. I watched the introductory animated video which talks through the … It felt pretty straight forward and my mind wasn’t really wondering around the place. I felt happy and positive that I had done my 10minutes.
Day 2 – I meant to sit down earlier in the day and do my 10 minutes as it’s not really a huge amount of time to dedicate to meditating. Well easier said than done! I ended up meditating at 11:45pm just before going to bed. I am happy that I remembered but I felt I want to be doing it earlier in the day.
Day 3 – At the start of the day 3 session is a mini animation video about relaxing into the process. I meditated after taking the dogs for a walk at 7am. It helped relax my mind as I had been rudely awoken by one of the dogs barking at a noise outside. I had felt tired and grumpy at the early wake up. The moments meditating helped to bring me into a happier space – still tired though!
Day 4 – I sat down to do my 10 minutes in the afternoon. It was an interesting session as I was going through it I kept feeling like I was going to fall asleep. I would put it down to a combination of not sleeping well last night and being too relaxed. I did have two small dogs nudging me to stroke them which was a little distracting.
Day 5 – This animation around effort and finding your natural place of rest for your mind was very apt for me today. It a simple reminder to simply relax and not put pressure on the process of meditating. I felt present doing my meditation today.
Day 6 – Today I had set my time into my calendar. I meditated in the morning before starting my day. It made me feel quite productive.
Day 7 – Ahh! I forgot to do my session today. I remembered earlier in the day and then I don’t quite know what happened with my time. It was the next morning when I had that momentary panic about it.
Day 8 – I did my Day 7 today which is ok. I have the intention to do the program even if it includes an extra day!
Day 9 – Another day complete! Today’s focus was on being aware of my emotions. I would normally say that I am connected to how I feel and the practice today made my awareness much more focused. I feel that at the moment I’ve been job hunting and sorting lots of life admin out which has been causing me to feel anxious. The session today also made me incredibly grateful to my immediate support network who completely look after me across all levels with love and care.
Day 10 – I’m into a mini routine today and found that I was looking forward to my mini session. It helped me focus for my day and I felt more productive on my tasks.
Day 11 – Yay! I’ve completed the 10 Day program. It was a good challenge and I am glad I completed it. The benefits I feel at the moment are feeling less stressed, more present and relaxed. I feel a sense of achievement at having completed the 10 days. I would say that part of the process is making the time for myself to do this and the realisation that those simple 10minutes can have a great impact.
Overall I would recommend Headspace to others to try even those who are sceptical on the benefits. It’s a simple tool that can be used any where. I am spending some times exploring in Head Space for other features. I like that this can be a personalised practice with the paid subscription options. I am going to use my calendar to schedule in the times so I am doing one of their introductory offers for a few months to continue the practice further. Are you ready for the 10 day challenge of meditating and taking the time for yourself?