At our Her Campus all-staff meetings, a go-to icebreaker is always “If you were a dog, what breed would you be?” My answer is consistently “a Chihuahua.” On the one hand, I am quite tiny. On the other, I’m often shaking— either because I’m almost always freezing, or because I’m anxious more often than not. Lately, though, I’ve shook only in the AC, a change I attribute greatly to the fact that I’ve begun meditating. With the help of 10% Happier, a free app, I’ve begun to enjoy the practice of meditation, which I avoided like the plague previously. I’d give a crazy-high star rating to my 10% happier review if I had a star system in place here on the blog.
This post is not sponsored by 10% Happier; I legitimately love it and want to share it with you all!
10% Happier promotes the tagline “meditation for fidgety skeptics.” To be honest, that’s what drew me to it. A few months ago, I sat in the woods of Cardiff waiting for a non-existent taxi while one of my companions worked on our ever-increasing pile of school work and the other meditated. I admired her ability to shut out the world and successfully meditate, but remained adamant that it wasn’t for me:
My brain doesn’t shut up.
I don’t have the time.
For brevity’s sake, know that I covered every excuse in the book as to why meditation would not work for me.
I don’t clearly remember the day I started, but I can guess as to its origins. Super stressed, I caved and looked for a potential way to start. Someone somewhere (and probably on the internet!) suggested it to remedy whatever symptom was most ailing me that day.
And so, I stumbled across 10% Happier.
It begins with four tabs (on iOS, I can’t vouch for other operating systems): “Courses,” “Just Meditate,” “Coach,” and “Profile.” I’ve spent most of my time within the first two.
Here’s the obligatory disclaimer: there is a paid subscription option. With it, you’ll have access to more content, more flexibility, and more lessons
However, I’ve been using just the free app for some time. I’ve seen more improvements than I can feasibly list. It’s controlling my absurdly high blood pressure and fast heart rate a bit more (I’m not looking to replace medication, but every bit counts!). I already find myself turning to my favourite guided meditations almost daily:
- “Falling Asleep” with Alexis Santos for when I cannot get my thoughts to quiet enough to get to sleep (which is more nights than not)
- “1 Minute to Sanity” with Dan Harris for when I’m short on time (remember that excuse?) or need to break the cycle of stress immediately.
Overall, meditation changed my life.
Not only has it made me a healthier, slightly happier person (still working on that last bit), but it has made me a believer. You have my permission to imagine the Shrek soundtrack playing here!
No time? There are 1-minute guided meditations for that. Heck, you can take what you’ve learned and freestyle it for half that, if that’s all you can manage. But, I bet you’ll want to use up the full minute.
Talkative brain? That’s okay. As my good friend Dan (I really consider him a friend after all of our sessions together!) says, “Every time you get distracted, just start again.”
I used to think that my mind’s constant wandering meant I couldn’t meditate. Now I know that getting distracted is an opportunity. I still think about my to do list or what’s for dinner. Then, I take a mental note of it and go back to focusing on my breath. Every time I do that, I solidify that focus a bit more.
Eventually, I want to try the paid version, but for now? I’m absolutely thrilled with the app!