It is sometimes forgotten, but apps are also available for your mental health. Erwin used Headspace for a year, and shares his experiences.
A year Headspace: meditate with an app
In healthier living we soon think of physical health, such as more exercise, better food and make sure you sleep enough. What we forget is the importance of mental health. Working on it can now also be done with various apps in the Play Store, of which Headspace is the best known.
The idea behind Headspace and the similar apps is that you are guided in short meditation sessions. That may sound a bit woolly, but that is absolutely not the case. The idea is that for a short period of time you focus completely on your breathing so that your head comes to rest. Just think about how rarely you give your head the space to do nothing for a moment. There is always something on your smartphone, on the television or someone who talks to you.
I only became aware of this after my first sessions with Headspace. After a meditation you are asked to let your thoughts run free and then I noticed how busy my head is all day long. Training your head in this busy world is just as important to stay fit as sports.
Headspace liked right away. Meditating will probably not be for everyone, but if you want to try it, this app makes it practical and practical. Because of the clear explanation it is always clear what you have to do. For example, supervisor Andy explains that it is very normal if your thoughts wander. You also do not have to push those thoughts away, but only be aware that you have them and you focus on breathing again.
You choose how long you want to sit per session. Ten minutes is the shortest option and good to do in between. I have even done a regular session in the silence compartment of a train. You have to time well that the train does not arrive at a station within ten minutes and hope that the conductor does not pass in the meantime, because otherwise your concentration will be gone again.
The app has different ‘packs’ to follow, think of ‘anxiety’, ‘creativity’ and ‘focus’. Each pack is divided into lessons. That means in practice that you learn very slowly new things to use in your meditation. For example, one pack uses visualization techniques for that, while in the other pack you mainly focus on the thoughts that arise when you focus on breathing.
Ready after a year
Headspace was indispensable in the year that I used the app. I have noticed that meditation is indispensable and I have learned more about myself. That is why I will continue to meditate, but without Headspace. I did the packs that I wanted to do. Certainly the pro-packs, in which the pleasant accompanying voice only starts and ends the session, prepare you to go solo and I am doing that now.
That’s why you have to think carefully about whether you are going to subscribe directly to life on Headspace, because there is a chance that you will no longer need the app at any given time. However, these and similar meditation apps are something we certainly recommend if you want to be healthier in the new year. Just do not think that this is an easy way to score some zen points. Just like training your body, this involves work. You have to hold on to it and regularly take moments when you put everything aside.
→ Download Headspace in Google Play (free)