If someone told you that breathing was the key to having more energy and less stress would you write them off as bonkers? Yeah, me too. When a hiccup with my health was attributed almost entirely to stress the judging stopped — and the search for balance began. 

Wellness is one of those things I just don’t have time for. That was my excuse and I was sticking to it. Then a friend of mine (who is a respected writer in the wellness and self-care genre) said something to me that changed everything, “You don’t have to rearrange your whole life. All you need is ten minutes.” 

Then she introduced me to Headspace

Headspace is an app that takes you through daily guided meditation sessions, ten minutes at a time. I’ll be honest, the thought of slinking off into a dark corner of the house in an attempt to find a quiet spot to sit and breathe for ten minutes made me roll my eyes more than once. Something had to give though and I was determined it wasn’t going to be my health.  I gave it a go.

The minute the dulcet British accent of co-founder Andy Puddicombe began to flow out of my headphones like honey I was instantly relaxed. Sessions begin with a brief body-scan geared toward helping you connect with how you’re feeling. Andy talks you through your session with easy banter that’s almost funny. “Don’t force your breath, your body already knows how to breathe.”

Each time you complete a meditation, you move up the ladder in the app. Think of it like a game, complete with cute animations. As you level-up within the app, you unlock new techniques and tips to help you find your center, fully relax, and really work toward quieting your mind.

It isn’t as easy as it may sound. Learning to listen to your body {and not giggle at how silly this has got to look}, empty your thoughts, and just be is really tough. We’re parents; there is always something that has to be done. Forgetting about that stuff for even ten minutes is tough, yo.

You’re in good hands for this wellness trip with Headspace. The background? At 22 years old, Andy set out on a journey to understand the practice and benefits of meditation. He ended up taking the vows to become Buddhist monk. Ultimately, the journey brought him back to Britain with a deep-seeded desire to make the transformative powers of meditation both accessible and approachable to as many people as possible. 

Headspace App - (cool) progeny

five days of headspace

Here’s how my first five days using Headspace went…

day one

I’m not a ‘crunchy’ person who burns sage and chants. My parents were hippies, not me. How did I get into this? What time is that conference call this afternoon? I love British accents. What’s for dinner? The cat box needs to be cleaned. Wait, did I forget to breathe? 

day two

I refuse to let my brain beat me. I can do this. Hey, where is that pain I had in my left shoulder?

day three

Oh, time for meditation! Looks like the daily 2:00 pm headache is late. Maybe it won’t show up at all.

day four

I like this quiet brain stuff. Killed today’s to-do list in record time.

day five

Skipping the coffee. Okay, maybe that wasn’t such a great idea but I’m not going to stress about it. I’ll just breathe.

Three months later and I rarely miss a daily meditation. I’d love to tell you that all stress has vanished, everything on my to-do list gets done, and that I’m totally transformed. While that isn’t the case {yet} I do savor each day’s session. The stress is less and I’m learning that time for wellness is time you just simply have to take.

app info

where to get it: Available on both iTunes and Google Play

cost: First 10 days are free, then it is $12.95 monthly

what you get: Guided meditation, tips and video tutorials.

is it worth it?: For me, totally. In fact my kids even use it now. The teen for test anxiety, the eleven year-old likes it to help him sleep. I think the nine year-old just doesn’t want to be left out. 

 

 

Image from Headspace