Mindfulness: Getting Started

I began my personal experience with Mindfulness by researching the concept of Mindfulness and, to be honest, it was a bit overwhelming!  Type in “mindfulness” on Google and you’ll find enough to read for a million life times.  I, needless to say, don’t have that kind of time on my hands.  In fact, I was struggling to find any time for researching Mindfulness.  I think I was having a hard time prioritizing this pursuit because I was so overwhelmed with everything that was out there.  Finally, I decided that it was time to just do something and commit to the journey.  

Having previously reached out to my PLN on Twitter about “good mindfulness apps” I had a place to start and headed to the app store.  What I found in the app store was once again overwhelming.  I found the app I went for but I also ended up downloading 10 other free mindfulness apps, yikes!  Mindfulness is certainly a hot topic these days and it shows in the amount of material available to download for free.  Despite downloading all these apps I decided that I needed one place to start, not 11!

The recommendations I received all pointed me toward Headspace, so this was going to be my starting point.  I had no idea what to expect when I opened the app.  My research led me to believe there would be some element of meditation but also that there were different types, three or four popular varieties, associated with Mindfulness.  Thankfully, Headspace has been super user friendly.  In fact, they have a 10 day starter series for people like me (well, for everyone really.)  This series includes a short two-minute introduction animation that walks you through some helpful tips for getting started, exactly what I needed!  

Tips for getting started:

  1. Find a place to be undisturbed for 10 minutes (silence isn’t required but to start out, peace and quiet might be helpful.)
  2. Research has shown that creating a new habit is easier when we do it at the same time each day, so find a good place in your schedule to plan this exercise (also doing it in the same place each day is even better.)
  3. Time of day isn’t important but Headspace strongly recommends trying to complete this exercise at the beginning of the day (more on this later).
  4. Some days this exercise will feel easy and other days it will be hard but sticking with it is important!
  5. Sit comfortably before you begin (you don’t have to sit cross-legged on the floor unless that’s what you’d prefer!)  

Now that I’m started I’m happy to report that the overwhelming feeling of “where do I begin?” has finally subsided and I’m able to sit back and reflect a bit.  I’m three days into my 10 day series, and wouldn’t you know it I received a supportive email from Headspace today reminding me that “three is the magic number.”  I’m not exactly sure what their point was with that title to the email but I think they’re encouraging me to keep going 🙂  Well, I was going to do that anyway but it sure feels nice to get the reminder!!  Although, to be perfectly honest it’s not as easy as it sounds!

I’ll leave it there for this post, I’m off to a good start and I’m already starting to see changes but I will wait to complete the first week before I say too much about that.  Next time I’ll share my challenges in the early days of my meditation cycle as well as some of those changes I’m beginning to see.

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