After my freshman year of college and the beginning of COVID-19, I found the pressure of my responsibilities beginning to weigh heavily on my shoulders. My stress and anxiety began to take over my body and negatively affect my mental health. I started getting constant migraines, had increased mood swings and lost countless nights of peaceful sleep due to my mind racing at 1000x per minute.
Though I had motivation, the immense pressure I had put on myself to be a perfectionist and meet others’ expectations had utterly taken control of my mental capacity. I realized that I was tired of thinking so much about the future, work, school, relationships and caring what others thought of me. I was in desperate need of relief and turned to mental health blogs and articles to enhance my understanding of meditation.
From my research, I found that mental health decreases anxiety, depression, and stress and enhances self-control, concentration, mental clarity, among other benefits. After conducting further research, I was cautioned that practice is key to benefit from meditation. With this information, I then began to search for the best meditation podcasts, videos and apps to start my journey to peace of mind.
Throughout my meditation journey, I slowly began to find relief- my migraines, stress and anxiety decreased, and my body free of worry. Once you have started to feel some relief and have allowed your mind to focus on the voice of your guide, you may feel ready to practice meditation without a personal guide. By listening to meditation music or Tibetan bowls, you can learn to guide yourself. From my experience, speaking aloud helps you to recognize your worries, and you feel them slowly lift away.
While my journey positively affected my mental health, everyone's experience is different. Meditation can help you find peace of mind if you put in the time and effort. It may take a few sessions to see the benefits, but I believe that it’s worth it. Videos vary between five, ten, to even thirty minutes- you can choose how much time you want to set aside to meditate.
**Before beginning meditation, settle yourself in a quiet and comfortable space and turn off your electronics to avoid distractions. If your mind wanders or gets distracted by some other sound, try to refocus your mind on your guide's voice. You may choose to either lay down or sit up with your palms up.
- Calm: $70/year ($6/month)
- Headspace: $12.99/month or $95/year ($8/month)
- Step 1: Recognize what you are struggling with, whether that's stress, anxiety, mindfulness, sleep, depression or something else.
- Step 2: Go to Youtube and use your recognized struggle as a keyword in your search.
- Example: Stress Relief Meditation or Anxiety Meditation
- Step 3: There will be countless meditation-videos- you may need to listen to a few different videos to see which you find the most soothing. Often we find different voices, music, and sessions helpful!
- Some of my favorites:
Podcasts & Music
While there are countless forms of meditation as shown above, I hope this helps you begin your journey. If you or anyone you know is struggling with similar issues as my own, this can be a great tool to share with them!
** Please remember that my recommendations are from my personal experience and research, and in no way am I a professional.