When the word meditation comes to mind, many people would picture someone sitting on a yoga mat in a quiet room. Or maybe on a grassy hill with a gentle glow from the sun, the sounds from a nearby river. Both of these scenarios are pretty unrealistic for the modern day person. I myself had associated meditation with my yoga mat and sitting in absolute silence. I’ve been practicing meditation since I was twelve with my first experience in high school. I took on yoga and pilates as my extracurricular activity and meditation was a part of these classes. In my early twenties I began to invest more time in meditating on a regular basis and reaped the benefits of it. In 2015 I started looking further into new apps and how meditation has changed.

A couple of years ago I came across an app called Simple Habit. I decided to give it a go as there were plenty of free meditations to trial. Unlike some apps, I didn’t feel pressured to sign up to the premium version immediately. At the time I was experiencing a lot of anxiety, stress, and inability to sleep. This was surrounding the pressures of being a university student. I found the sleeping meditations were very helpful in settling me before bedtime. In particular the body scans. I would often not get through the whole scan before I fell into a deep sleep.

Simple Habit has made it so easy for me to use at home or on the go. I often listen to meditations while walking to work to prepare my mind for the day. Train rides are an excellent time to meditate when I’m not lost in a book. Useful meditations for me revolve around calming the mind, easing pain, and body scans. There are so many useful meditations that are helpful and won’t take up too much of your time. Most people would say they don’t have the time or patience to meditate. Simple Habit overcomes this barrier offering meditations as short as one minute. I find this helpful when I don’t have much time but know I need a moment to refocus.

Another barrier I noticed is the inability to stop other thoughts from interrupting. This is a big hurdle, especially for me with a racing mind. I appreciate that the instructors will often address this, that it is a normal human response. Particularly with the busy lives we lead today. There was some time where I stopped meditating years ago. I struggled to find peace in my thoughts no matter how hard I tried. It took some practice after I found Simple Habit, but now I have learnt to refocus my thoughts in a gentle manner.

The meditations that focus on pain have provided me with the training to change the way I react and manage my own. I am able to locate the source of pain, working through it with breathing exercises and body scans. When I have pain at work or away from home, I use the tips I have learnt. I am able to work through breathing patterns to calm my body. This has been most helpful when I am out of the house and a flare up strikes.

I have used other apps over the years and it comes down to what works for you and your preferences. I enjoy the diversity of choice and instructors available on Simple Habit. If I prefer the tone of someones voice over another, prefer someones approach to meditation, or I need something specific, there are so many options available. I used the study meditations when I was in university which helped me focus and manage stress. I cannot emphasise enough much meditation has made a difference in my life. It is so effective for me to switch off and focus for even a moment. My pain management has improved and it has made a positive impact on my wellbeing. I hope this inspires you to try a meditation and see how much it can change your thinking.