I'm always looking for ways to make myself happier. Although I feel that I am pretty happy in my day to day life, there's nothing wrong with a little more happiness. Meditation has numerous effects, such as decreased anxiety/stress, increased emotional intelligence, decreased feelings of loneliness, and increased positivity, among other compelling effects. Since it has all these positive benefits, I figured that I would try it out for myself. 


According to Headspace, "Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective."

In order to embark on my mindful adventure, I downloaded the app, Headspace, which was the first app that popped up when I searched for mindfulness apps (not paid promotion). Headspace gave me guided meditation, which essentially consisted of recordings that would help to direct the mind to focus on various things throughout the meditation. During my week, I aimed to listen to the guided meditation every day, setting aside time for it.

Day One

On the first day of mindfulness, I went through the first day of the basics pack guided meditation from the Headspace app. During the meditation, I found my mind constantly wandering to other things: what I was going to do next, what my next blog post would be, what I would record in this blog post about the experience, etc. The point was that I found myself having difficulty focusing on the present. This was, of course, expected, which I read on many internet sources on mindfulness, but I'm hoping that in the next ten days (although short) I'll at least see a tiny bit of improvement.

Day Two

On the second day, I did not complete day two of the guided meditation on the Headspace app. While I was intending to, my reminder was set at 8pm, which was the same time as a friend's surprise party that I was attending. Although my goal was to set a routine, I found that due to my changing schedule, the routine could not always be constant. While I did have time to do about 30 minutes of yoga, consisting of super light meditation, it was not as focused as the guided meditation.

Day Three

On the third day, I ended up completing two sessions: the one meant for day three and also making up for the one that I missed previously. I did them both at separate times of the day in order to space out the effect. During the first session, although I felt my mind wandering, at the end of it, I did feel calmer and more relaxed. However, during the second session, I found myself unable to focus and instead wondering how much more time of meditation was left.

When I wasn't as motivated to spend that time for meditation, I found that it wasn't as effective, causing me to become impatient quicker. 

Day Four 

On day four, I tried to go into meditation with more intention and more motivation to really commit to the session. I do think that throughout the process, I felt less impatient because of that. At the end of the session, when I opened my eyes, I noticed something that I didn't really notice much or pay attention to. After having that moment, I looked around the room, scanning it, and all of a sudden I noticed that even weeks after Christmas, my letter lightboard still had "Tis the season" on it, something that I forgot I even had. I'm not quite sure if it was a result of the meditation that I was becoming more aware of my surroundings or just chance, but I thought that it was worth noting.

Day Five

I think that one thing that I struggled with during the week was balancing my own time with time for meditation. 

On the fifth day, I found myself with lots of things to do. By the end of the day, I was exhausted. Thankfully, I had already accomplished a lot and gotten what I needed to finish done, but all I wanted to do was sleep. I contemplated still trying to fit in that meditation time, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. For me, it was more important to get a few extra minutes of sleep than time meditating.

Day Six

On the sixth day, I found myself knowing exactly what to focus on during meditation without the prompts. The guided meditation often repeats similar ideas in every session, so by the time I got to the sixth day, it was like I had the recording memorized. In fact, I found myself able to meditate in a less calming environment without the guidance of the app. I'd consider that a bit of a win, because I found myself being less reliant on the app and also less constrained to when I could meditate.

Day Seven

Since I already felt pretty acquainted with the idea of meditation after day six, I decided to try and change things up by trying out a difference Headspace pack. Instead of the basics pack, I tried the self esteem one. It didn't have as much as a focus on self esteem as I expected and was instead pretty similar to the ideas in the basics pack, but it honed in on a specific idea during meditation: noting. From the app, I understood that noting is becoming aware of thoughts and then lightly pushing them aside. I didn't feel like the noting method was any different than what I was already doing in the basics pack, so I think that I just felt a little bored during the meditation.


Would I continue?

I think that I would not continue. I don't know if it's just because I didn't spend a very long time meditating, only a week, but I felt that I didn't really have the patience for meditation and the meditation felt very forced. Although I went in with an open mind towards meditation, I think that I always had a gut feeling that I wouldn't really love meditation. Sure, it can be calming, but for me, I can find similar calming experiences in other situations besides meditation.

I'm sure that meditation is beneficial for some people, but based off of this week, I don't believe that it really benefits me. That said, if you're interested in meditation, I highly suggest that you do at least try it. Even if you feel that it might not be for you, at least you've explored the possibility.

Related: FiveThirtyEight - I Was a Skeptic of Mindfulness... Until I Tried to Make My Case

Throughout this week, I feel that I have definitely increased my understanding and admiration for those that can actually meditate, especially for long periods of time. Moreover, I feel one of the big things that I've learned regarding meditation is that if you want to make meditation effective, you have to really focus on the task to make it worthwhile.

Have you tried meditation?


I Tried Meditation for a Week and This is What Happened


2 comments:

  1. This was so informative! I'm glad to find that I'm not the only one who doesn't really resonate with meditating. I can certainly see the desired effect, but like you said, I've been able to reach a state of mindfulness and tranquility through other experiences. I particularly like doing morning pages–3 pages of stream of conscious journaling in the morning. Maybe that can be your next "try it" post! I'd love to see your experience with it. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. That's an interesting idea! I generally don't like journaling in the morning, but maybe I'll still try it!

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