So many times throughout my anxiety/stress/depression journey, I have been told to try meditating. I always resisted trying it, because it seemed too easy. Just sit still for a bit? They didn’t understand! My mind was always racing. I needed to relax by watching TV or maybe reading. Sitting still and breathing did not seem to be my thing.
A couple of months ago, when my anxiety was super high, I decided I had nothing left to lose. So I tried it. I bought this app.
I love it. I love how easy it is to use. I only use the guided meditations right now, because I am not disciplined enough to go unguided. Usually I will start out with just the breathing. I started at 5 minutes of just breathing. At first it was incredibly hard for me to stay focused and not look at the timer every minute. (One thing I wish they had: I wish they had a way for you to set your meditation time.) I am now up to 11 minutes of breathing, and I usually only check the timer once or twice (although when my mind is really racing, I still check it too often).
After breathing, I move on to a guided meditation. Right now I am doing gratitude. I’ve done anxiety, calm, and loving-kindness. These meditations help me focus on the good things in my life and release the bad.
I do my meditation at night, before bed. I find that it relaxes me and shuts my brain down before I try to sleep. If I have time after the guided meditation, I will do a sleep meditation. Usually I fall asleep before I finish it. They also have sleep stories, which is basically listening to someone read you a story to help you fall asleep.
The app also appeals to my Type A organization crazy because it keeps track of all my stats, and that’s soothing to me for some reason. I can see how often I’m doing my meditation, how long I’ve been doing it, and what programs I’ve already finished. I also set a nightly reminder to take time to meditate. I have found that through meditation I have been able to calm myself down, turn my mind off, and focus. I didn’t think it would help so much, but I actually miss it when I skip a night and I don’t sleep as soundly. I wish I’d listen to that advice I was given and started years ago.
Calm is free to download, but requires a monthly or lifetime subscription. There are many other meditation apps that are free or cheaper. Calm is the one I that I have had the most success with.