In case you can’t tell by my posts, I have what the kids these days would call “no chill.” Along with the positive side of it (being an energetic, positive person), I also experience the negatives of “no chill” (the constant whirring sound in my brain that says I should be thinking about or doing something, and I should be thinking or doing it right now). However, I recently starting using an app called “Headspace” that has made meditation make more sense to me. Seeing that “meditate” is defining only as “to spend time in quiet thought for religious purposes or relaxation” and listening to what Andy (the man who narrates Headspace) has to say, I have come to realize that meditation is nothing at all like what it has been billed as.
If you’re anything like me, you have probably had some pretty terrible experiences with the concept of meditation in the past. It probably consisted of somebody telling you to sit cross-legged on a yoga mat on a floor with your eyes closed while you put your hands, palms up, on your knees and breathed and contemplated how one should spell the sound “ohm.” That right there is too much effort for me, and by extension, for you. You were probably asked to “clear your mind,” and reverse psychology forced you to start thinking about things that hadn’t crossed your mind in years.
Basically, nothing good came of it.
Headspace (and hopefully I am interpreting this correctly) doesn’t push for anything like that stereotypical meditation. And that’s not me putting that style of relaxation down. It’s just me saying that it simply doesn’t work for me. Headspace provided me with a completely different perspective on mediation. Instead of forcing me to “clear my mind” which in all honesty could require up to three rented moving vans and a team of therapists, it asks me to not force thoughts (or a lack of thoughts) upon myself.
The style of meditation Headspace uses is much more about letting your thoughts move about freely. You can think, just don’t dwell on things or force them. As somebody with a head full of thoughts all the time, I much prefer this to the extreme effort of trying to clear my mind completely.
Along with this free thinking experience, Headspace asks you to focus on things like your sensory perceptions, breathing and the feeling of your body (the weight of it, muscles that are tight or not, etc.). Those kinds of things are relatively easy to do because, quite honestly, we are constantly doing them. You are always seeing things, hearing things, breathing and assessing your physical state. You just don’t generally bring it to the forefront of your thoughts. In this way, rearranging the things in your head can have as much of a relaxing effect as trying to clear everything out all at once.
I can’t say I know all that much about meditation (which is probably a weird confession since I just wrote a post about it, but hey, I’m nothing if not honest with you). All I do know is what works for me, what makes me feel good and what actually lets me relax. I am by no means trying to sell you on “ohms” or on Headspace or on anything else. I do believe meditation is good, especially on those days when everything is happening all at once, but how you do it is up to you. Hopefully, you can find something that suits your mood and take a breather. Trust me, you need it.