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All Over The Map

How I Found Some Headspace.

Headspace was something my girlfriend Poppy first mentioned to me a while ago, but at the time it didn't appeal to me (probably because 'Match of The Day' was on). I was recently gifted a book called 'Tools of Titans', which touched on mediation and how, if used regularly for 10 minutes a day, makes a big difference on your mood, behaviour, thinking and overall happiness.

The 'Headspace' app was recommended when first starting out. Now 10 days after first trying it myself, I can understand why it's very popular. Not only because the app is mostly free - although to unlock more content you need to pay a subscription - But because it's really simple and doesn't require a lot of set up.

I've been sticking to the free content they offer for the time being just so I can get used to the idea that I'm now someone who mediates (I can already picture my dad's face when I tell him) "You what son? Meditate?". It will be nothing but orange robes and candles for my birthdays and Christmas from this point on from him now.

It did feel a little odd when I first started as you sit listening to the voice of Andy Puddicombe (the guy behind Headspace) coming out of your phone as he instructs you on breathing exercises for 10 minutes. (Still picturing my dads face as he says "Breathing exercises?!"). However, that idea of breathing is to take your mind away from the rush hour traffic of thoughts we're constantly trying to manage. I found once passed the first 2 minutes I'd really settle into it and feel much more present rather than thinking of my todo list.

I'm a chronic over-thinker and so when someone says 'I don't want you to think of anything' my brain goes into hyperdrive and moves from a todo list to 'why did I miss that penalty when I was 15 when we played Fenny Stratford and then cry afterwards about it' (Dad's face the same as when I tell him I meditate... utter disappointment) mixed in with the internal voice of 'if you're not thinking about it your never gonna solve it'.

The entire idea of Headspace is to think of the mind as a pool of water (Dad, if you are reading this, please bear with me). Each thought is like a raindrop that creates a ripple on the surface. The more thoughts, the more raindrops and that makes it hard to keep the pool clear. It's about quietening all that noise and the chaos of heavy raindrops so that you have the total clarity to think and see clearly. This video explains it best. I know even after that my Dad would be like "If you want clarity to think, don't have kids".

I was surprised that after 10 minutes I actually felt better about my todo list and had more energy and confidence in my conviction of it. I know it's 'different strokes for different folks', but as I mentioned at the start when I was first introduced to it, I didn't take much notice. I didn't think it would work for someone like me, however, it's been the opposite. I've found it very usefully and a great way to start my day.

It's easy to laugh at this type of thing and assume now that I'm someone who mediates, come Christmas I'll be a vegan. But even if you treat mediation as exercises of simply not looking at your phone for 10 minutes and focusing on how you physically feel, I think there is 100% more to be gained; compared to worrying about liking an Instagram post of someone

from two months ago notifying them you're a little bit of a stalker.

I challenge anyone who's reading this to give it a go. I'd be surprised if come to the end of the 10 free sessions you don't feel better. ​


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