In 2016 I decided I wanted to establish a habit of meditation. I had been avoiding meditation for years. I am not entirely sure why I avoided it. I think part of it might have been that I was not prepared to slow down; part of me thought it was a bit “woo woo” and part of me thought I didn’t have time to add one more thing in my day.
To help my running, I started doing some yoga, specifically Yin yoga. All the exercise I was putting my body through was depleting me. Yin yoga had been recommended to me as way of putting something back. I found a great yoga studio and after one Yin yoga class I was in love. I particularly loved the shavasana position at the end of the session.
I would almost fall to sleep, but once I stood up and moved on with the rest of my day, I felt so much calmer and energized. This made me think that I really needed to try meditation. Even the smallest amount of research will show you that meditation is scientifically proven to:
- Help you regulate your emotions
- Increase focus and attention
- Decreases anxiety
- Increases immune function
- Plus many more benefits which you can read about here.
I had heard people rave about the Headspace App as a great tool for beginners, so downloaded it and started with their free 10-day series. I agree it a fabulous space to start. It helps you understand the how and why, breaks it down to manageable chunks and each day it is quite short less than 10 minutes so not overwhelming.
Once I finished the free series though, I just didn’t want to have to pay for ongoing-guided meditations, so I left Headspace at this point and moved onto the Insight timer App.
Insight timer App
The Insight Timer App is a free app and houses the most extensive range of guided meditations. You can also use the app to set up timers for your own unguided meditations which I do a lot of now.
Within the app you can search for meditations based on time or topic or length of time, it really is the most amazing free meditation resource!
Below I have listed 7 guided meditations to help you relax. The links go to the Insight Timer website, but if you have the app simply search for the name of the meditation and give it a try!
- Annoying person meditation – I love my family dearly, but this does not mean they do not annoy me at times and I know I annoy them too. This meditation reminds me that we are all on different paths with different struggles and it has a super calming affect on me.
- Sleep meditation: Awaken to a clean slate – this is by Bethany Auriel-Hagan and she is one of my favourite teachers on the app. I love all her meditations but find this is a perfect one to do at the end of a day that hasn’t gone the way you planned.
- Letting Go: Meditation on Breath - this is recorded live near the ocean and the ocean sounds provide a beautiful background.
- Letting Go - this is a very calming meditation to do if you have some heightened emotions at the moment.
- Let Go Easily & Quickly - a short guided journey to easily release stress
- Welcoming Acceptance - when there is so much that we cannot control at the moment this guided visualisation is designed to create space for acceptance and shift our mindset into one of control and empowerment.
- Being The Calm Center For Yourself & Others - this is a great guided meditation for the trying times we are in.
Do you have any guided meditations you use to help you relax?