Over the last 20 years or so there has been an increasing interest in the use of mindfulness meditation in mental health. Our psychology research community is still gathering data as to how effective it is in managing mental health difficulties. Evidence to date, however, looks promising. Headspace is one of the most popular meditation apps available, with over 65 million users worldwide, including me. Andy, the voice of Headspace, guides users through a huge variety of meditations designed to assist with difficulties such as sleep onset and a range of overwhelming emotions. Using the app, you can set reminders to meditate, choose how much time you spend meditating and track your progress. I sometimes use Headspace to assist clients to get into the habit of meditation to augment the work we do in session.
Headspace has recently teamed up with Netflix to produce a series of 8 20-minute episodes introducing the use of meditation through animation and the voice of Andy. Each episode looks at using meditation for different issues, such as stress and anger. Some of the research base supporting the use of meditation is explored in an easily accessible manner. Finally, each episode introduces a different meditation technique. If you have access to Netflix, this series feels like a simple introduction to meditation which you can enjoy along with a cuppa in the evenings. I suspect to get full value from the series you will need to watch each episode (and practice the exercise) several times. Fortunately, there is no reason why you can’t do this!
If you have been considering exploring mindfulness and meditation, please check out Headspace and the new series.