For the month of August, I decided to challenge myself to meditating every day for at least 10 minutes to help manage my stress and to learn how to have a clear mind with better focus.  Meditation is completely new to me and I knew I would need some help.  After researching apps to download on my phone, I came across one called Headspace.

I started off with a free 10 day trial using the Headspace app.  There were 10 different modules, one for each day, of guided meditation exercises that were easy to follow.  Being new to this, it was really helpful to have a guide walk me through each step by telling me where to turn my attention to, when to take deep breaths, and how to focus on and acknowledge how my body felt during this exercise.

After a few days, I found myself feeling like I had a better handle on my stress and got curious about the additional features and modules a paid subscription would offer.  Headspace offers a lot of specific modules that focuses on things like stress, sleep, productivity and more.  But I would have to sign up for a subscription to tap into those features.

Timing was on my side and I came across a promotional discount for a year’s subscription.  The total was a little over $50, which I thought was rather reasonable so I decided to give it a try!

When you first sign up for a subscription, you need to complete their “basics” module which sets the foundation and teaches you the first steps to practicing of meditation.  I had to complete a 10 session module before the app unlocked other modules I could choose from.  There are 3 “basics” modules, so I decided to complete all 3 before exploring the others that are available.

Modules I’ve tried – basics, happiness, stress, anxiety, appreciation, self-esteem

What I’ve learned from this:

  • Yes, my mind wanders when I’m practicing meditation, even after I’ve done it for a full month.  It takes practice!
  • Counting while breathing helps me keep focused on meditating.
  • Sometimes I’m so focused on counting…I’m not paying as much attention to what the guided meditation is telling me to do.
  • Research shows that meditating is most effective in the morning.  I feel much more relaxed and at ease when I practice this in the morning.  It helps me through the rest of the day.
  • I’ve learned patience in 10 minute intervals.
  • Taking slow, deep breaths actually does help me calm down!

Additionally, drinking water and exercise helps the meditative process even more.  I feel more awake, alert and focused during my regular day-to-day and going about tasks.  It was really difficult for me to do all of these things on a regular basis, but I’m really finding that it’s helping with my overall health and well-being!  Wins all around!

If you’re looking for some stress relief, I would encourage you to try drinking more water, exercise and meditation as a way to alleviate stress.  I know it’s really hard to find the time to take time out of your day, but it’s very important to care for yourself!

I’m still working on managing my stress and continuing to learn and improve my meditation “skills”.  Let me know if you’re interested in hearing more about my experience as the months go by.

What helps you relieve stress?  Have you tried meditation before?  Do you have a favorite workout that you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear about them!  Leave a comment and tell me what kinds of activities you like to do!

*This is not a sponsored post.  I have purchased the Headspace subscription with my own money because I was interested in trying the mobile app on my own.  I always promise to give my honest feedback.*

September 8, 2017

Shelly at Simple Casual Chic

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