I am so happy that it’s Tuesday! Mainly, I’m just glad Monday is over. I don’t hate Mondays anymore (ever since leaving my corporate job), but yesterday had me in a funk.
I felt unmotivated and just blah (even after coffee!). Days like that can be reliably saved by one thing: a workout! But I wasn’t even feeling that. So I meditated.
I’ve only tested the waters with meditation so far, but I keep discovering new reasons to jump in. Meditation has been shown to mitigate stress levels, boost creativity, improve focus, calm anxiety, and strengthen relationships. These are all good things.
Did you know…
- Research has found meditation to promote ‘divergent thinking‘ a type of thinking that allows many new ideas to be generated.
- Research from 163 different studios suggested that mindfulness-meditation practice had an overall positive effect on improving anxiety and stress.
- Research with married couples has found that increased mindfulness through meditation improved marital quality and communication.
- According to neuroscientists, as you continue to meditate your brain physically changes, even though you’re not aware of it re-shaping itself.
Last Friday, I mentioned that I had downloaded an app called Head Space. Head Space offers a paid membership, but I’m still working my way through the free trial, which is ten days of guided 10-minute meditations. Ten minutes a day isn’t a lot of time to sacrifice, and I’ve already noticed a slight improvement in my ability to study and focus, following the daily meditations.
I’m not a huge fan of apps that cost money, so I did a little digging. Below are a handful of free apps that can help ease you in to the world of meditation.
Free Meditation Apps
Calm – This is the app I plan to try once my free trial of Head Space ends. Calm offers an introduction to meditation step-by-step program in addition to guided meditation sessions ranging in duration from 2 to 30 minutes. You can also choose from a library of soothing nature sounds or meditation music tracks, and new content is added monthly.
Take a Break – This free, highly-rated app allows you to enjoy the deep relaxation, stress relief and benefits of meditation. Featuring two popular meditations from the the Meditation Oasis podcast, the app gives you the option to listen with or without music or nature sounds. You can also listen to the relaxing music and nature sounds alone.
Breathe to Relax – Focusing primarily on breathing, this free app helps users learn a stress management technique called ‘diaphragmatic breathing’ and offers additional breathing exercises for users.
Simply Being – This app helps users focus on the now. Exercises are designed to improve mindfulness and attention in the present moment. The app allows you to choose from 5 meditation durations and gives you the option to listen to the guided meditation with or without music or nature sounds. Unfortunately, it looks like this app is no longer free, but at $1.99 it’s still fairly reasonable.
Have a zen day, everyone!
Question: Have you ever tried meditation? What’s your favorite way to relax?
Congratulations to Dani L., the official winner of the Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts giveaway. You should have received an email from me this morning with instructions on how to claim your prize.
Thank you to everyone who entered. If you didn’t win, but still want to try hemp hearts for yourself, you can use promo code: HHSWeatPink215 for 20% off your next order.