I have been on quite a journey recently, one that I never anticipated and if I am honest I was a bit sceptical about. It all came about when I saw that Spotify was offering a deal to subscribe to Headspace alongside themselves for three months at a bargain price before the cost went up to an ongoing amount. As I had nothing to lose I thought I would give it a go, although meditation was not something I had really done before.
Introduction to Meditation
I started my Headspace journey at the beginning of July. As I am a bit of a completionist I started with the Basics 1 course, the first day starts with about 3 minutes so it creeps into your life very gradually. The first thing I discovered from the offset was that meditation although it is about the mind actually impacts all parts of your mind but also your body. Even that first three minutes made a small difference and gave me a sense of peace.
Building the Habit
I got into the routine of doing my meditation course in the evening before settling down for the night. However, it felt right to start the day with a few moments too so I started doing the “Wake Up” each morning. This features an inspiring and motivating story and a couple of minutes to take ten breaths or do a very quick meditation. I found that this helps to set me up for the day in the same way my evening routine lets me leave the day behind me and clear my mind for sleep.
How Meditation is developing my mind
Let me take a few moments to be really honest with you. As you may know one of my mantra’s is that Fibro may take my body but it will not have my mind. I have always been quite proud of my brain. In fact back in my early twenties I did a supervised Mensa test and received a score of 140. For all the flaws I have I know I wasn’t stupid. My brain worked! Although I can’t lie Fibro Fog has led it to have its moments… Yet, when I began my Headspace journey I discovered that intelligence is only one small part of the brain. For all my ability to process information, plan things and be productive. I don’t think my abilities to be in tune with myself were developed very well.
How Headspace is helping me manage my Fibro
Pain is one of the many symptoms of Fibromyalgia that we have to live with. Sometimes I can do a mindful activity like my Diamond Painting, you can read about the benefits of Diamond Painting in this post, and I don’t so much remove the pain but become distracted from it by the concentration needed for the craft. Other times though when my pain levels are bad I find myself fighting with it. Becoming determined to push it away. During one meditation in the Basics 2 course we had a guided session on how to not fight with pain but melt into it. In reality I my pain levels were quite bad that day, not just because of the Fibro but due to a dental infection.Without realising it I was trying to fight with the pain, and as (following the instructions) I relaxed and let the pain melt into me, it reduced. Click To Tweet
Continuing my Headspace Journey
I have now, just yesterday, completed the Basics 2 course. It goes without saying that I will be starting Basics 3 “Deepening the Practice” tonight. After the initial period I am aware that (with the Spotify partnership) it will cost me £5 a month. But this is money well spent.I have a limited income and more than ever I am aware that if I purchase something it has to add real value to my life. Click To Tweet
Here are some of the differences I have noticed in myself after just 24 days of learning to meditate:
- I was far more patient talking to my elderly parents
- My pain dwells alongside me not around me
- I am able to put fear into perspective
- I am listening to my body more
- When working on a project I can focus rather than obsess.
- I am starting to control my snacking
- My busy brain is learning to take time out
- I am seeking simplicity rather than abundance
Has Meditation Helped You
As such a newcomer to Headspace and meditation I am interested to hear from other spoonies who have used Headspace or similar apps, or have been long time meditators without using an app. I have already heard from NewFrameThePain on Twitter who loves Headspace and Mindfulness. Drop a comment below if meditation is an important part of your life and let us know if it help you to manage your pain.