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Everyday meditation made easy with the app »Headspace«

This new issue of sisterMAG features an exciting app that shows you how to make everyday meditation and relaxation a part of your life. We talked to Miriam Junge from »Headspace« about the benefits of the app.

Meditation in your everyday life – easy as it can be with the »Headspace« app

Everyday meditation is the more and more chosen and rather trendy way of dealing with a stressful lifestyle. But what’s behind this hype? How does meditation even work and what happens in our bodies during meditation? Since »Headspace«, the biggest app for mindfulness and meditation worldwide, has just been launched in Germany, we asked Miriam Junge these questions. Junge, who has a Master’s in Psychology, is the face and ambassador for mindfulness and mental health of »Headspace« in Germany, Switzerland and Austria and has been recommending this app to her clients for years.

Miriam, what is the goal of everyday meditation?

The goal of meditation is not really not having any thoughts at all and being completely »clean«, but rather to concentrate on the moment and to not give your thoughts, whether ones about the past or the future, too much weight. Meditation and mindfulness, which can be viewed similarly, are about being in the here and now.

What happens to our bodies when we meditate?

Meditation affects the brain. It reduces tension as well as our heart rate and pulse and we start to provide our brain with a lot more oxygen through active breathing. We become more conscious in general and about what happens in our bodies. Meditation also sharpens certain memory contents – it increases our ability to concentrate.

How does »Headspace« help me to meditate?

»Headspace« helps with different topics for which there are different exercises. Topics such as focus, concentration, happiness, serenity, content, sport, food, children – but also topics that play a role in my job as a coach and therapist such as frustration, anger, sadness, anxiety, loneliness and stress – stress is a big topic. The exercises guide you through meditation step by step. Although you notice distractions, you let them pass like clouds in the sky. Your concentration goes back to your breathing, because it is the one thing that keeps you alive right now. This is what makes the app so great, especially with the different methods such as the body scan, which is also used in psychotherapy. Short videos explain everything to you in detail. So »Headspace« does not only offer guided meditation but inspires and accompanies you throughout the day. You for instance receive small push messages during the day such as »Why don’t you try to breathe consciously twice for one minute« or »Be sure drink enough«. You develop an inner voice that lets you treat yourself with more love. That is what »Headspace« has done for me.

What about everyday meditation is it that makes us more healthy?

»You are more healthy if you can distance yourself from stressful situations. Stress is a big risk factor for illnesses.

Many of whom I introduce to the concept of mindfulness tell me after the first session that they feel more stressed or anxious than before. That may well be, but the app did not cause this. You simply felt what was going on on the inside, so you should start dealing with that. Maybe this is exactly what you have to address or work on.

How long and how often should I meditate with »Headspace« to feel a positive effect?

Together with the NHS, National Health Service, »Headspace« has conducted an extensive study that has produced exciting results:

Eight weeks of using »Headspace« daily will result in a 46% decrease in depression and a 31% decrease in anxiety. Whether you do a one-minute exercise or a 15-minute session.

If you do the »focus« exercise daily for 4 weeks, the study found that you will be 14% more focused. According to the study, 10 days of doing the Headspace exercise regarding »irritability« reduces your personal irritability by 27%.

And even one »Headspace« session can improve your ability to focus and reduce the time your thoughts wander each day. That is something I find extremely interesting. Just because it brings you back to breathing. I recommend everyone to try it for themselves – go for it.

Do you want to try »Headspace«? You can download the free test version from the app store. A clear recommendation by sisterMAG!