They say modern times requires modern approaches and this saying seems to be working pretty well when it comes to mental health.
Headspace, a mobile application, is one of the most popular ways to help train your mind to remain calm and alert and bring about mental balance and peace that we all need to live a harmonious life.
We take a deep look into this meditation app, what it is all about and how it helps the modern mind.
What is Headspace
Headspace is a meditation app that is aimed at helping people improve their level of mindfulness, meditate often and enhance other aspects of their lives.
The app comes with a wide variety of resources that allow the user to meditate better and also keep tabs on their mental health and development.
If you are having problems with sleep, Meditation, calming your chattery mind, fears that hold you back such as flying, releasing stress, anxiety and depression, among other needing self-improvement issues, headspace can be a really good fit for you.
It is designed to work on almost all areas of self development for both beginners and advanced enthusiasts.
Headspace was founded by Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson back in 2010.
Andy has a huge background in meditation having spent around a whole decade as a Buddhist monk. He traveled to India, Russia, Thailand, Nepal, Australia and Burma with the aim of increasing his knowledge and experience with meditation and mindfulness.
He later went back to his home country, the UK, after being ordained in the Indian Himalayas. There, he met Rich Pierson who would become his partner in Headspace.
The headspace meditation app has been in business for more than a decade now and has millions of users in over 190 countries.
How it Works
Headspace, in a nutshell, can be said to be a gym membership for your mind, just as the companies describes it.
The whole idea behind it is, just like a gym membership for your physical fitness where you train your body as a whole as well as certain aspects of it, headspace helps you train your mind.
The app is designed to get people to meditate more and build the habit of doing the exercise so that they boost their mental health. The app works with exercises that are scientifically backed so that you make the science work in your life and get the right results.
A good concept that Andy introduces about meditation is that you are not supposed to focus on fighting your thoughts to be calm, but to build a relationship with them and see them from another perspective as he trains you.
This not only helps you understand how your mind works, but also use the knowledge to train it to be what you want.
Headspace can be accessed from your browser, both on phone or computer, or the app which is very convenient for someone who wants to take a rest from their phone.
Something unique that sets the app apart is the use of cool graphics. You get lots of video illustrations and photos with animations that explain things in a much better way and you get to understand the ideas without struggling.
This is one thing many users seem to find interesting.
You also get guided through the different meditation resources by Andy Puddicombe, who has a soft, soothing, calming and relaxing voice that brings you to a place of peace and calmness as you meditate.
Andy also breaks down meditation in a simple and easy way for beginners to understand and follow through. He uses visualizations and comparisons with things we know well and can easily relate to.
There is also a female voice, which is just as soothing and relaxing as Andy’s that you can go with, if that is what you feel works for you.
What is Included in The App
Headspace comes with a variety of features tailored to meet the needs of all users. Some of the features include:
* Meditation courses – This includes a list of courses that train you on meditation together with other areas of life. They range from 10 minutes to 20 minutes and include a series of trainings and guides in the particular topic they cover so that you have a wholesome, deep and thorough training.
* Singles – You also get one off training resources that help you handle specific areas of life such as feeling overwhelmed, burned out, sleeping, vacation, stressed and mindful tech among others. They last from 3 to 10 minutes and really come in handy when you listen to them during the times when you need help in that particular area.
* Mini’s – These are far shorter guides for the busy people. They last about 3 minutes and you can listen to them quickly before going to bed or work, or even during your breaks. They help with aspects like productivity, calmness and control, to name a few.
* The kid’s section – As a comprehensive app, headspace also has a place for kids to benefit from. They can listen to the focus, sleep and calm singles to help them improve upon these areas. The content in the kid’s section is pretty useful if you want your kid(s) to have a well-balanced mental health.
* Other features – Apart from the mentioned features, you also get the ability to invite a friend and train with them using the app. Moreover, you enjoy features like daily reminders, informational guides, motivational messages sent to you, session timers, tracking progress and even a community to connect with like-minded people, among many others.
The good thing with the team behind headspace is that they are keen on feedback and they use it to make future decisions. They work to improve upon the popular content so that users can enjoy more and they keep customizing the resources to make sure everyone from any group benefits.
There are also constant developments and updates to the app that helps keep it delivering quality experience to the users, just as they would like it.
Benefits of Headspace
The benefits associated with using headspace on the long term are:
* Improves your meditation experience
* Improves your level of mindfulness
* Helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression
* Helps increase focus, calmness and concentration
* Raises your levels of awareness
* Gets you more involved in your daily activities and enjoy them
* Helps you understand different aspects of life better
* Helps you sleep well
* Helps you become more productive
* Improves your overall well-being
Following some user feedback on Apple store, Google play store and Trustpilot, the headspace app seems to be doing fairly well. A good deal of people have rated it well and have been happy with their meditation experience using it thus far.
However, there is an increasing few that are not pleased about the delayed customer service response, the cost, constant crashes of the app and the subscription fee issues.
These are the major complaints.
Other than that, everyone agrees that the design of the app and the quality of the trainings and guides in the app are excellent.
Pro’s and Con’s
– It is backed up by science
– It is adult and kid friendly
– Interesting explanations through animations
– Considerable options for length of audios to suit everyone
– Free trial
– Lots of mental health training varieties
– Advanced meditators also have to go through the basics first
– A bit of hefty price for unlimited access
– Requires consistency
How to Use Headspace
When you download the headspace app, you are required to create your account. In your account, you will receive daily reminders and will be able to do other tasks like tracking your progress and following through a course or pack without wondering where you stopped last time.
After you have an account, you will be directed to the 10 days free trial where you will be taken through the basics of meditation by Andy Puddicombe. You will be receiving new concepts with every session to increase your knowledge of the practice.
Once you are done with the free trial, you may choose to upgrade to get unlimited access of the app or keep using the free resources provided in the singles and other areas.
Upgrading allows you to unlock level 2 and 3 of the basics as the free trial includes only level 1. These other levels will ground you on meditation and help you approach other resources well with the understanding of what exactly you need and how to make it work for you.
Costs and Discounts
There are 2 types of headspace memberships. There is the free membership and paid membership.
The free membership offers a taste of the app and is good for people who would like to test drive the app and get a feel of the experience there. There is the “take 10” and other free trials on many of the resources to help you get a good idea of what you are getting into. Although, you should note that this is a very limited membership and will barely help you achieve a healthy mental lifestyle.
The paid membership is the real deal where you get to have access to all the resources available. All the singles, courses, packs and animations are here. You get to have 2 choices to go with the payment. You can decide to pay on a monthly basis or yearly basis. The yearly basis is recommended as you will save big.
The creators of the app say that the cost of this membership varies from one country to another due to the conversion rates so you may want to check how much it costs in your country as you download the app.
Essentially, headspace is made to help those who mind their mental health keep it at optimum level even with their busy schedules.
You only need to set a few minutes apart each day to use various features of the app to train your brain to become stronger and healthier.
Although the app has received mixed reactions from different people, it is a good app to work with. Ultimately, it depends on your taste and preferences, and the only way to know if headspace is good for you is by giving it a try yourself.