It's been quite a while since I gave myself the time to meditate. I became very good at making excuses as to why I couldn't find the time. It wasn't until I had a week or two of stress and anxiety that I realised what was missing and what might actually help me.
I started to consider meditation before I began my practice again. I had had a long absence from it and knew my concentration wouldn't be very good. I knew my mind would drift and think about all the things that were making me stressed or anxious. I knew I had to give myself time to consider what I wanted the meditation to do for me otherwise I would be practising mechanically and on auto-pilot, with my mind elsewhere.
This is when I turned to the app store on my phone, somewhere I never thought I'd end up looking for meditations. There are so many apps to choose from. I wanted to get an idea of the meditations that are available as I normally practice 'Japa'. I wanted meditations for different feelings, emotions and objectives. I wanted there to be a person talking me through it as I felt my mind would be less likely to wander off if there was a person to bring me back to my practice. When left alone, I am usually sat in what looks like a meditative state but I'm typically just thinking about the day ahead of me or what I have to do in the week.
I heard of Headspace through a training course at work so decided to check it out. I understood it was useful for gaining mindfulness and helping with stress levels. It seemed like the sensible choice for me.
Headspace is free to download with the 'Take 10' sessions being completely free too. These sessions are a ten minute meditation for ten days. Andy (the creator of the app) talks you through simple breath meditations which I found helped me to escape my jittering mind. I began to feel that inner sense of calm I had lost.
After a few of the 'Take 10' sessions, I could feel the positive effect it was having on me and felt connected to the idea of meditation again. I decided to look into paying for a year's subscription. I'm not someone who would invest in something like this but I could feel it was worth it, especially when it works out at £4.99 a month for a year's subscription. £4.99 for your health and well-being in the comfort of your own home sounds like a good deal to me. Buying a subscription with Headspace opens up so much more of the app with the meditations targeting specific things which was exactly what I was looking for.
I am still continuing my journey with Headspace. You have to complete the foundation course (30 days to complete if you meditate every day) before it unlocks the specific packages. I find that keeping them locked and knowing that I want to experience them, keeps me on track. I actively look forward to waking up and starting my day with Andy talking me through ten minutes of blissfulness.