Getting some Headspace

July 17th 2014katie

Brighton

I’ve been using the Headspace app for the last week or so, and thought it deserved a bit of a write up as I’m really loving it. Have you seen it? – it’s a charming and simple app to get you into the practice of daily mindfulness meditation. As a freelancer and working for myself, I’m usually juggling a few clients and projects at once so often find my thoughts getting jumbled and overwhelming. I especially find myself prone to over-analysing about what might or might not happen in the future, which is a sure-fire recipe for needless anxiety.

headspace

The ‘Take Ten’ program, which the Headspace app offers for free, is a simple introduction to mindful meditation which takes just ten minutes out of your day. From the beginning I found the app warm and encouraging, with sweet interface design and animations to introduce the techniques you’ll be using in the program.

London: Trip-35

I’ve been doing my ten minutes right after waking up – a much healthier start to the day than immediately checking in on emails or twitter. From the first day I could feel it working wonders on my brain and body. Taking a few minutes just to sit still, breathe, and do a quick once-over of your body and mind feels incredibly valuable and I always look forward to the next session.

Berlin 35mm

My favourite part of the exercise is where you go from concentrating on counting your breaths to just letting your mind loose to wander free and settle on whatever it wants to. On a good day I completely zone out at this point and think about absolutely nothing, which feels pretty blissful. The app encourages you to not worry if you do feel thoughts and anxieties creeping in: the point is to notice when that happens and try to draw your attention back to your breathing. You’re encouraged to notice noises, sensations and even smells around you to heighten awareness of your physical presence in the here and now.

The only minor issue I’ve encountered so far is that I’ve started feeling so relaxed and focused on single thoughts that I’ve been letting semi-important stuff get neglected as it’s no longer a source of anxiety for me! I think when you work for yourself you do need to maintain a slight level of tension so that you actually get stuff done and don’t let people down. It’s no good being so laid-back that you can’t be bothered to work or deal with people. I’m interested to see if this is addressed later on in the Headspace program. As my ten day trial draws to a close I think I will pay to subscribe to the ongoing program, which costs the equivalent of £3.75 a month.

Barbados: Trip-35

Just one week of Headspace-ing has already had quite a profound effect on me. I haven’t had nearly so much work-related anxious baggage rattling round my head, and I’ve even become more focused on doing some personal projects that are working towards how I might want my career to go some day. I really recommend giving the app a go if you suffer similarly with low-level anxious thoughts and lack of focus.

(Do you like my suitably calming photo selection? Not sponsored by the way, I just really liked the app.)

Comments (10)

  • Anya

    July 17th 2014 at 9:11 pm

    I found this app sometime last year after stressing out during my final year of uni, it really surprised me how much it actually helped! I’d never tried meditation before but Andy (the app guy) has such a calming voice its so easy. Plus the sleep sessions work so well i’m yet to hear the end of it!

  • Marilla

    July 18th 2014 at 7:54 am

    Work anxiety is the worst! Definitely important to be able to forget all your stresses once in a while. Deadlines are important, but living is too. Sounds like you’ve found a solution!

  • Tamsin | A Certain Adventure

    July 18th 2014 at 1:21 pm

    My mum went through a really rough patch at work this year and said that the Headspace app was her saviour through the period! I’d definitely download this if I went through a stressful time. Really glad the app is helping you!

  • Holly

    July 18th 2014 at 9:25 pm

    So glad you posted this. I’ve had Headspace on my shortlist of apps to investigate for a while now. Mindfulness is a concept I first learned about when I studied Psychology at uni, and then again when I had some therapy for general anxiety problems. It’s amazing how much the constant background noise of worry can affect your mood and motivation.
    Mindfulness is a habit worth cultivating, and as I tend to need a bit of prompting to keep up with it, this app could be really useful.

  • She

    July 19th 2014 at 6:19 pm

    That app sounds very interesting it sounds like something I should try!

  • Kim

    July 21st 2014 at 10:06 am

    Good to read a review from someone who’s actually used it! I’ve been told about it before to help with work stresses and all other silly dramas.

    I’m going to give it a go :)

  • Louise

    July 23rd 2014 at 10:31 am

    Fantastic app recommendation! I’ve been using Buddify2 and also some yoga DVDs I have but really enjoy the way this app has been designed and love the 10 day program to get you started. Even if I’m not feeling tense, I find a forced 10 minute break does wonders for my motivation and mood.

    I’ve also downloaded the Mindful app but haven’t had a chance to test it out yet. The constant pop-ups on my phone before I’ve even started using it are getting a bit much though!

  • The Lex Chapter

    August 2nd 2014 at 10:13 am

    I keep hearing good things about this app, I think I should go ahead and give it ago.

    Thanks for your insight!

    http://thelexchapter.blogspot.co.uk

  • austin

    October 23rd 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Was wondering if you have kept up with using headspace and if so had any additional feedback.

    1. Katie

      November 3rd 2014 at 10:54 am

      I did lapse unfortunately, but I miss it – I plan to pick it up again soon.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post Next post