I have been meditating for about a year and a half now, and through some trial and error, I’ve finally figured out how to make it work for me. After trying out a few different meditation techniques, guided meditation plus soothing music is the two-punch combo to make meditation something I can do every day.
Within my first week of meditating, I noticed I was starting to get more focused and have more patience for people. Both great things! I decided to keep going. Couple that with me actively working on my health issues and things were slowly, but surely, turning around.
I found two apps that work really well for meditation and outlined some of the pros and cons for each.
App #1: Headspace
This was my first foray into meditation. They have a free 10-day introductory trial with a daily meditation that’s around 10-12 minutes long each day. They have multiple purchase options, with their most popular one costing $7.99/month (around $96/year).
Pros: They offer different modules for meditation (creativity, focus, etc.). I tried the 10-day trial and was hooked. A soothing male voice facilitates each meditation.
Cons: No background sounds to listen to during meditation and cost may be prohibitive for some.
App #2: Calm
This is the app I currently use. They offer a free 7-day trial with a daily meditation that’s around 10-12 minutes long as well. You can purchase a 12-month Calm subscription as a gift to someone for $39.99, or there are various package options you can choose from ($12.99/month or $4.99/month if you purchase for the entire year, which comes out to $59.99/year).
Pros: They offer different modules for meditation (gratitude, self-esteem, anxiety, sleep, etc.) and a new daily meditation for each day. A soothing female voice facilitates each meditation. They also offer different background sounds to listen to while the meditation is playing (rain, waves crashing, spa music, etc.).
Cons: App is not free and cost may be prohibitive for some.
The combination of meditation plus working on my health issues has enabled me to manage my stress better, give me greater focus and increased my patience. It reminds me not to sweat the small stuff, which is a very important reminder.