Saving my mind

Number Six of the weekly emails and how at a near breaking point my life was saved.

We often talk about the overwhelm we feel, the number of jobs to do and the constant demands from various places. This was certainly my experience and for a time it made me quite unwell and while I thought I knew how to manage and take care of myself my usual tactics were falling short. And then I was introduced to an app that literally (I think) saved my life.

Mindfulness is talked about a fair bit everywhere nowadays, I attended a session at APAC in 2013 on mindfulness at work, there are a courses springing up everywhere, groups introducing mindfulness are nominated for awards. The connection with our health and resilience at work is established. I'd heard of meditation but figured it was never for me, my head is always thinking, I'm no good at sitting still, I jump from one thing to another. Of course, meditation is exactly what I needed. It was only when a registrar pointed me in the direction of this app that I found something that clicked and worked for me.

I figured out my routine and before I knew it I was meditating every day! Who would have thought. Yes the mind still jumps off everywhere, I'm usually itching to get up and get going but I find just taking that short amount of time sets the day up. The headspace app has some useful short SOS sessions that I find can help focus and give a little time out when needed. It also makes great use of animation videos to explain the process and understand what's behind the sessions. And yes a doctor pointed me in the direction of using this.

Setting aside just ten minutes a day (you can alter the length of the meditations from 10 minutes upwards, the SOS sessions are 3 minutes) is really possible.

More on Headspace here and here

You can listen to Andy Puddicombe one of the founders of Headspace (and the guy that does the talking on the app) here with a 10 minute TED talk.

While you are there TED has curated a couple of play lists for us

Needing five minutes peace

Slow Down

Another app I have added is the Stop, Breath and Think app. I have found this a great complement to Headspace as it has a mixture of meditations that can be used at different times and for different reasons, it's a little more interactive and has a different 'voice'. There is also a Facebook site so reminders and mini meditations pop up on my Facebook feed.

These two work for me. There are heaps of apps, articles, books, groups, courses, and other apps out there. Find what works for you and take it from there.