anxiety · meditation · Uncategorized

Meditation for Dummies

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.

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