Headspace and meditation
I think we can all agree anxiety is something that we have all experienced at some point in our lives. Feelings of unease, worry and fear can become all consuming whether it is for a short or long period. Anything from worrying about an argument you've had with a friend or partner, a job interview or day to day activities, we can all experience it in different forms. Whether anxiety and stress in the body is triggered by something external or internal it can adversely affect our health. You can be eating the perfect clean diet and yet if you are constantly feeling stressed and anxious its pretty hard to thrive and be healthy. This is something that we are both learning and over the past year as someone who is studying nutrition I've come to realise that taking care of your mental health is as important as what you are eating. We would love to share how we are both learning to manage anxiety and stress in our own lives. This week I would love to share what has been particularly useful to me!
Meditation is a hot topic in the wellness industry at the moment, most of us have heard it is good for us, however for some reason I have felt resistance towards meditation. Over the past couple of years I had tried a few different unguided meditations during yoga classes and I was immediately put off as I believed I was incapable of shutting off from my thoughts and therefore felt that I was either rubbish at it or that it just wasn't for me. However I had heard great things about a guided mediation app called Headspace and signed up to their 10 day free trial. Although I completed all of the meditations months passed by and even though I had really enjoyed the trial meditations. You know that feeling when you haven't worked out in ages and it's really difficult to get that initial motivation going again, that's exactly how I was feeling about meditation and truth be told I was a little reluctant to fork out the £71 yearly cost for the app. It's definitely not a small amount of money to part with especially when you are unsure whether you will stay committed to it. It was my 30th Birthday in February, this gave me the chance to ask for the app as a birthday gift and my luck was in because the app was on sale. To begin with I thought I would try out the sleep meditations. At this point I was travelling quite a bit and sleeping in different beds. I could not believe that I fell asleep before the meditation was even over every time I have used it! (within 10 minutes) I'm not even sure how the meditation ends because i've always fallen asleep. I was so happy to finally be getting into meditation, and it was taking up no extra time in my day because I was meditating in bed right before I would normally go to sleep!
That was the catalyst that gave me the confidence to explore other meditations like - early mornings, finding focus, fear of flying, mindful tech and falling back to sleep. There's hundreds more that I can't wait to try out. What's so refreshing about headspace is that there is a guided meditation for what ever mood you are in. There is also the option for different durations - from 1 minute to 20 minutes. Which helps me stop feeling guilty if I don't have 20 minutes to meditate. Over the past few months I have began to realise that meditation can be different for everyone, that its ok to have thoughts pop up during meditation (there is a great visual video on the headspace app that describes thoughts like clouds passing). As a result of meditating I have felt more calm, relaxed and present in my life, if i've gone a few days without meditation I can feel anxiety creeping in and know that I need to make time for a meditation.
I don't use the app every single day and that's ok but since February i have meditated for 15 hours and completed 99 sessions, I love that the app calculates this for you as it really gives you a sense of achievement. I honestly couldn't recommend headspace enough! Especially for people (like me) who have felt that meditation is only for really experienced people who are able to transform themselves into a meditative state of complete bliss. I really do believe that headspace can support everyone, not just for those experiencing anxiety, it can help over all wellbeing! There are options to pay monthly, yearly or a lifetime subscription. If you're feeling reluctant like I was to commit to the subscription give the 10 mediation trial a go for free!