For the past 177 days, I have been meditating daily. I wanted a way to “switch off” before bed in order to fall asleep faster. After a few false starts, I have kept the habit going for almost six months. Before developing this habit, I had never really meditated. While many starts with YouTube videos of guided meditation, I didn’t go that route because I was worried I’d get distracted by other, more exciting videos. Instead, I downloaded an app called Headspace onto my iPhone (I believe there is a version for Android as well). Many may find the act of meditation as too crunchy or hippie for their tastes, which I completely understand. I did not look to mediation for a spiritual experience. I merely wanted a way to quiet my brain before bedtime. Headspace, for me, does a great job at handling both the long history of meditation, as well as the facts about what happens when a person meditates. According to the Headspace website: “[W]e see meditation as both a practice rooted in ancient history and a topic of modern science. This is why we are as equally committed to providing authentic expertise in meditation and also studying the science of meditation” (LINK HERE).
There are many benefits to meditation according to the research that has been done. Some of these benefits include: reduced stress, better emotional health, enhanced self-awareness, and improved sleep, among many others (LINK HERE). The Headspace website even includes peer-reviewed studies on the list of benefits (LINK HERE). But, again, I am not pushing this on anyone. I just found that it works for me.
In the past 177 days, I have meditated for a total of 24 hours over the course of 231 sessions. I have integrated mediation into my nightly routine. I turn on the app and select from one of its many courses. I only do between 3-10 minutes per night, although I find myself more focused the longer the session. Since I began this routine, I have found myself slipping easily off to sleep at night, instead of overthinking and tossing and turning before sleep happens. It has made me feel more rested in the mornings and more aware throughout the day. I’ve always been told I was a self-aware person, but this routine has helped me realize my own thoughts more. I can usually catch myself when I’m too deep into my own head. I highly recommend this app or any others out there. I should also mention that the Headspace app isn’t free. If that holds you back from trying it, please do look for other options. Any mediation is better than none at all.