Why Everyone Should Try Meditation
I probably started meditating around a year ago. Maybe a little less. I had heard of the potential benefits of it, but thought it sounded too complicated to do on my own. Then I discovered Headspace, an app that offers guided mediation. I love it. Andy, the voice that guides you through the 10 minute sessions, is great at keeping you focused, yet makes the overall experience relaxing. You are learning after all. And there is no "the universe is flowing through you" talk. Not that there is anything wrong with trying meditation for a religious like experience, but for me personally, I just want to get better at clearing my thoughts and letting go of stress. The first 10 sessions are free. Kind of like a beginners course to meditation. Quite a bit of talking, but I found it necessary in order to stop my mind from wandering on to my "to do" lists. Unfortunately, after the first 10 sessions, you have to pay a monthly fee to unlock the other sessions. I did this for a few months for around $13/month. They do offer a yearly subscription that brings it to around $8/month. Doesn't sound like much, but I suddenly stopped doing it everyday and eventually canceled it because I wasn't using it.
This past April, though, I decided to pick it back up. I tried to extend my sessions to longer than 10 minutes, but I think 10 minutes is my sweet spot. I might be able to get to 15 minutes, but after that I don't think I'll be able to stay committed. It seems silly to find 20 minutes too long for meditating, when I can stare at my phone for 30 minutes before realizing what I've been doing this whole time (sigh). Anyways, I've been trying to save money so instead of getting a subscription for Headspace, I just listened to the free ones again. Those work fine, but after a while it gets old listening to the same recordings over and over again. Then I tried to find a few sessions on youtube, but those haven't been very successful. Either the music is too intense or unpredictable (you get very jumpy during these sessions). Or the recordings are a little too strange for me. I just want Andy! (am I the only one that has a sweet spot for him? haha) So I might go back to paying monthly subscription for Headspace. It isn't a waste of money as long as you use it daily.
Anyone else out there try meditating, and if so are you using a guided meditation? Something about having a voice leading you through it, makes it much more beneficial to me than just listening to music. My thoughts don't have a chance to wander too much. If you haven't tried mediation, here are a few reasons why you might want to consider trying it.
Reasons to Meditate
Stress - this one is the obvious one, but studies have shown that mediating (and learning mind-fullness) has led to decrease in symptoms of stress.
Anxiety- this and stress are often closely linked. It's that sneaky part of you that you don't realize you are carrying around with you. If the thought of sitting in silence for 10 minutes gives you anxiety...it might be time to give it a try.
Sleep - meditation has been found to not only help you fall asleep, but also stay asleep throughout the night. No more insomnia!
Relationships - being mindful can help our relationships by making us think before yelling or saying something thoughtless that might end up hurting someone we care about. With stress and anxiety, it's hard not too take out our frustrations on others. Mediation can help make us more thoughtful and considering (two things I definitely need to work on).
Memory - meditation can improve memory and ability to process visual information, but also can help with concentration!
As you can see, all of these benefits can overlap and work together. If you are less stressed, anxious, and getting a good nights sleep, you are probably a happier and nicer person! It will make it easier to make smart choices throughout the day that are healthy and make you happy. So what's stopping you?!