Ever Tried To Meditate?
Meditation, sounds so lovely, like some ethereal club that you would love to be part of, but CAN’T get in. If you’re anything like me, sitting quietly, focusing on your breathing is DULL. You fidget, keep opening your eyes to time-check, end up staring out the window and give it all up after 45 seconds of meh.
Yet there’s something about it that seems to connect with other people, pops them on a higher plane that you would love to join them on. If only. Can’t even get into mindfulness colouring because, well, there’s the washing to do or the kids to feed or that work thing gets in the way. Meanwhile, the mental turmoil in the brain-box is crying out for something, anything, to help it quiet down.
Difficulty Accessing Support
The sheer volume of mental health illness in the UK means that NHS services struggle to keep up with demand. Over the last eight years, I’ve had a mini-breakdown and two major breakdowns. At the start it took a few weeks to access talking therapies, by 2017/18 it was 3 months, and Psychotherapy took 15 months. I had to find something to keep me going during this time and kept hoping I’d find it in meditation.
The FREE Key to Meditation
I accidentally found an app that boomed into my world, and yes, you guessed it: helped me meditate. I’ve tried a LOT of Apps on meditation over the years, then “Insight Timer” entered centre stage: Game Changer!
Insight Timer is relatively new, but the ethos of its creators makes it stand out and shine above the rest. It’s absolutely free to access 30,000 meditations, which cover a whole range of ways to meditate. You can listen to specially created music, courses, guided meditations, and many more. It has excellent filters so you can find anything from 1 to 30+ minute meditations. Content includes spiritual/non-spiritual, religious/non-religious, focus on the needs of kids or adults, sleep, anxiety, depression, and lots more.
The reviews are incredibly helpful in navigating what you might want to try. It also helps you track your progress if that’s something you want to do. I wasn’t fussed at first, but now I love to see how far I’ve come (over 78 consecutive days so far).
I’m using it morning and evening, and with my young kids who can’t get enough of it, especially at bedtime – that in itself makes it worth its weight in gold! I love meditating now and can’t wait to pop it on when I wake or drift off with it just before sleep. I’ll often tap into a “Mid-day Boost” meditation too.
But what difference does it make?
As well as NHS Psychotherapy I’ve accessed IFS Therapy with Charmaine Berry, and Kirsty Almeida’s Leap Into Magic coaching, all of which are amazing and contribute hugely to the change in my mental health and world view. Meditation brings it all together and will continue as the person to person therapy ends.
It’s my companion as I walk into the light of who I truly am: THIS is what meditation brings. There’s a balance now that wasn’t there before. Relationships with others are improving; I’m dealing with patterns of toxicity that used to floor me for days. The depression and anxiety are pretty much gone, the need/urge to prove myself has lessened; I’m finding my worth from within, looking after the inner child that has desperately needed me to love and care for her.
What’s the catch?
It’s free without adverts. There’s the option to donate to particular Contributors on the App, which pays them for their efforts, and there is also a Premium Option of which Contributors receive 50%. Now I don’t pay for Apps EVER unless I feel it’s worth it, but I’m seriously considering it with this one. If / when I take the plunge, I’ll update you.
I’m not getting paid to recommend Insight Timer; I genuinely want to share it with you as I believe it’s absolutely worth a try – play around with it, give it some time, try lots of different meditations. Perhaps it might be helpful if you can’t access other therapies at the moment?
One thing I will say is that if you don’t get on with this particular app, don’t give up. The benefits of meditation have been proven time after time after time. Find a way into it bit by bit if necessary. Perseverance is the absolute key. The benefits for me showed up within days but disappeared again when I didn’t tap in. Now I’ve made it a twice-daily practice I’m really seeing positive change in thought patterns, behaviour, and my overall peace.
Have a go and let me know what you think in the comments!
UPDATE APRIL 2021: I paid for the app and incredibly glad I did. I’ll update the experience but possibly not on this website – a new venture is coming soon so watch this space!
PS: If you or someone you know is at risk in any way with Mental Health issues, please seek professional help immediately. This link to NHS advice is available to UK readers:
Please seek appropriate support if you’re in another country.