I have meditated on and off using the Insight Timer app and Youtube videos. However, it has never been consistent enough to see results. Over the last few months, I have found that my mental health wasn't doing too well. I was overthinking more than usual and my anxiety was getting out of hand. I found it especially difficult to get restful sleep. Even when I got 8 hours of sleep, I still woke up feeling like I barely had any. Tired and wanting to get ahold of my emotions, I decided to try Insight Timer again.
First impressions and falling off track
The first time I used this app, I took the Learn How to Meditate in Seven Days course. It was indeed a useful introductory course to meditation because it covered a different technique each day. Through this, I learned that doing Breath Work and Mind-Body Connection was effective for me.
Unfortunately, I soon fell off track after completing the first course. Thinking back, it might have been because I did not keep in mind the techniques that worked for me when choosing other meditations in the app to try. I simply chose those that were guided and had titles that felt relevant to me at that time. This likely led to me not finding them as effective and eventually getting off track.
Being easily distracted isn't a good reason to avoid meditation. It's a reason to meditate.
- Josh Terry
Getting back on track
However, I came across this quote which pushed me into giving meditation another shot. It felt like a sign especially since my mental health and lack of quality sleep were taking a toll on me. This time, I was more intentional with what I chose to try, and when they were not as effective I continued to explore other options in the app. Eventually, I came across The Guided Meditation for Sleep which ended up helping me tremendously.
I listen to it lying down on my bed and always feel more well-rested when I woke up the next day. I've realised that to reap the best results it has to be complemented with 8 hours of sleep and rejecting the temptation to use my phone after meditating which I am guilty of falling prey to. I also found that Meg Cox, the teacher who guides the meditation, to have an especially soothing voice that left me feeling relaxed at the end of the meditation.
Not only does it contain elements of Breath Work and Mind-Body Connection, it includes affirmations as well! I found this helpful with calming the anxious thoughts that plague my mind in the night. It's 10 minutes long which I find is the appropriate amount of time required to help me feel calm, although sometimes I do get impatient (something else I need to work on). In general, meditation does help me tackle my impatience to a certain extent but I might have to be more intentional about it moving forward.
Something else I appreciate about this app is its Daily Check-Ins feature. Before a meditation, a prompt for users to select their current mood and the reasons for it appears. Upon completing the meditation, a similar prompt appears to take note of if there were any mood changes. Over time, as these daily check-ins are completed, the app identifies the elements that nurture a better mood. For me, it was exercising and this, in turn, motivated me to exercise more! By scrolling back to past entries, I can see how my mood has been changing, helping me identify any trends and come up with my own insights.
Through this experience, I've realised that meditation is not a one-size-fits-all nor an instant remedy. One truly has to take the time and effort to explore and find what works for them. Consistency is also key when it comes to reaping long-term benefits. This is another thing that I struggle with. Sometimes I am simply not in the mood to meditate. However, especially in those times, I do think meditating is crucial. When I skipped it, I found that my distressed mood carried over to the next day, only to be made worse due lack of restful sleep. Now that I've found a mediation that works for me I do plan on working on being more consistent.
In my next post, I'll be sharing my experience making pottery! It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time and this experience only made me realise the importance of actually doing such things.