(An A to Z Challenge entry)
Today’s exercise is taking on different form. Much like training your muscles to become stronger, you can also train your brain. And new research shows that your brain is very similar to a muscle in that way. Meditation is one way you can train your brain to be mindful.
Meditation is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself. – Wikipedia
In the past year, I fell in love with meditation but I do not do it nearly as much as I should. Thankfully my therapist introduced me to two free phone applications to guide me through short (5-10 minutes) meditation exercises. I have used both Headspace and Stop, Breathe & Think phone apps — both have several free exercises along with upgradeable paid options.
Tonight I completed Day 4 of Headspace’s Take10 exercises, as well as Stop, Breathe & Think’s gratitude, compassion and mindfulness exercises. After completing each one of these, I felt way more grounded and relaxed. Let’s explore each of these apps more in depth!
Headspace was the first app I have used. Using its Take10 app, you meditate through 10 free 10-minute exercises, focusing on breathing and training your brain how to be mindful of your thoughts. Andy, your personal meditation trainer, guides you through different exercises, some just through listening and some through animation videos. Andy also has a fantastic British accent that is very easy on the ears.
In this Ted Talk, Andy explains the importance of meditation.
If you want more, there is an e-newsletter as well as upgrading to the paid version.
Stop, Breathe & Think
The Stop, Breathe & Think app allows you to check-in mentally, physically, and emotionally, and then based on your check-in, SBT suggests a couple of guided meditation exercises — both free and longer paid versions. Of course you can always bypass this check-in and go explore their entire list of exercises, especially if you know what you are looking for.
The Stop, Breathe & Think app was created by a nonprofit Tools for Peace.
Tools for Peace is a non-profit organization that envisions people across the globe connected by kindness and compassion. SB&T was created to help make that vision a reality.
Tools for Peace shares this video about their work:
While I may not be getting my healthy point challenge point today, I still consider meditation a mental win.
Have you ever meditated before? If so, what is your favorite way to do so? Do you use any resources/guided meditation, or do you do it on your own? Have you ever taken a meditation class?