A year and a half ago, a friend posted something on facebook about an app she had found called Headspace. She said she had just finished the Take 10 program and was going to sign up to take the rest of the series the app offered. “I pay for a gym membership and this would be like a gym membership for my brain!” was her rationale (or she said something like that, don’t take it as a direct quote).
It was around the time when I was having horrible pain, wasn’t sleeping and no one knew what was wrong with me. I saw her posting and was excited to try the app out! Meditation was always something I wanted to do, but never something I knew how to do.
Since the app and the Take 10 program were free, I downloaded it and started taking 10 minutes out of my day to be mindful. I loved it! Andy, the creator and narrator, is adorably british and has created the program to be fun and easy.
I finished the Take 10 program, was admitted into the hospital and craziness ensued after that. Annnnnnnnd then I forgot about the app for awhile. Once I started getting back into a regular yoga routine, I loaded the app back on my phone and did the Take 10 program again. I contemplated buying a year membership, but at the time was working through Dr. Lissa Rankin’s Mind Over Medicine and was listening to a lot of her guided meditations.
Then at the end of Sept 2013 I decided to sign up.
And I’ve sucked at keeping up with a regular program.
I’ve completed Take 10 like 4 or 5 times now. Every time I start over I feel like I need to start from the beginning and learn the basics again.
This past time starting over, I’ve successfully completed Take 10, Take 15 and I’m halfway done with Take 20. I can’t promise you they’ve been completed in consecutive days, but anythings better than nothing – RIGHT?!
In my ativan post, I talked about using tools other than medicine to combat anxiety. Meditation is definitely one of these tools. Using the Headspace App, I’ve learned extremely helpful techniques for getting into a meditation practice. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s a PRACTICE! There’s no perfect way to do it and every day will, more than likely, be different.
And that’s ok!
As long as you’re taking time out of your schedule to shut out the world, direct your attention inwards and relax you’re doing something very beneficial for your body.
My feet always fall asleep. I used to HATE going to assemblies in Elementary School because we’d have to sit on the floor and my feet would be asleep within a few minutes. Sitting in lotus position and meditating for a set amount of time always turned me off because of my feet. Haha! With Headspace, Andy instructs you to sit in a chair, but sometimes I’ll do it sitting in my bed, on the floor or my yoga mat.
I’m now learning, in the Take 20 program, how to deal with the emotions and feelings that I have while meditating. For instance, if my feet fall asleep – instead of focusing on how bad they hurt, and how I want the tingling to stop, I’m now WORKING ON breathing into that feeling and trying to see if there is anything behind that feeling that my body is trying to tell me. I’ve realized a lot of heavy emotions, that I wasn’t even aware I was feeling, until I took a step back and really looked inside myself.
I do this activity a lot right before bed. It helps relax me, gets my body working at a slower tempo and helps put my mind at ease. If something comes up during my meditation it gives me the time to sit and really look deeper into that emotion. Two nights ago I started feeling a sad emotion. I wasn’t exactly sure why and I definitely wasn’t sure what it was coming from. The deeper I looked into that emotion, I realized it was coming from my heart. And the deeper into my heart I went, the more I realized the true cause of that emotion. Once I was done meditating I wrote about 10 pages in my journal – getting it all out. Then, once I was done, I was able to get into bed and fall asleep pretty quickly.
Getting your body used to slowing down, reflecting and relaxing can really be beneficial in times of high stress and anxiety. If you get in the habit of having a regular practice, then when you really need to pull the tool out of your toolbox you’ll know how to use it.
Be calm, be relaxed, be love 🙂
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!