So you downloaded Headspace and got through the first 10 days (or as we like to call it, the Basics). Nice work! But what comes next?
Building a new habit into your life, even one that feels great, can be a challenge. Now that you’ve created a rhythm, it’s important to stick to it. How you meditate or incorporate mindfulness into your life is up to you — everyone’s journey will be different. If you’re looking for a little guidance on what to try after Basics, we've got some tips that might help you decide. There are important lessons to pull from each meditation or exercise, but for the sake of choosing, we'll break things down into a few common categories:
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Sure! If you just want something quick, try an Everyday Headspace meditation. You can find a new one on your Home screen every day, and they're great at helping get you on on the right track. You can always pick a course from Explore later.
1. I only have a couple of minutes. Help! It’s OK, we’ve got you. Press the Explore icon, select "Meditation essentials" from the drop-down menu at the top, then scroll down to "Mini meditations." There you'll find options like Restore, Breathe, Focus, and more, all of which are 3 minutes or shorter. 2. I’ve got 10 minutes, but I don’t want to do one of the courses or minis. Try one of our single meditations: they range from 3 to 10 minutes and are catered to a range of feelings you might be dealing with. Where to find them: press the Explore icon and then use the drop-down menu at the top to select a topic that suits your mood or goals. Scroll down to the section titled "Single meditations." There, depending on your topic, you'll find all sorts of individual meditations for however you might be feeling, including Under the Weather, Managing Conflict, Listening to Others, Fear of Flying, Gardening, Presentations, Business Travel, Eating, Running, End of Day, Panicking, In Pain, and plenty of sleep meditations and sounds. We also have SOS meditation exercises that are 3 minutes long and can be found under the topic "Stress & anxiety." 3. I want to dip my toes into doing a course. Why not start with a 10-day course? You can get a feel for how they work before diving into a 30-day course. Where to find them: press the Explore icon and select a topic from the drop-down menu at the top. Most of the topics have a section called "Meditation courses" that is filled with — you guessed it — meditation courses. We offer both 10-day and 30-day courses. In case a topic doesn’t have a "Meditation courses" section, you can always tell if something is a course, meditation, animation, or exercise by the label under the title to the right of the duration. Some of our most popular 10-day courses include Patience, Happiness, Acceptance, Appreciation, Kindness, Generosity, Navigating Change, Transforming Anger, Restlessness, Productivity, and Prioritization as well as the ones under the topics "Movement & sport" and "Students." 4. I’m ready for a 30-day course. Let’s do this. Great! Investing in yourself can take time, and we’ve got you covered. First, as usual, select your topic from the drop-down at the top of the Explore section, then scroll down to find a course. Our 30-day courses are actually segmented into three 10-day levels, so you can always try the first 10 days and see how you feel. It is totally fine to pause and try something else and come back to it at a later date. Some of our most popular 30-day courses include Letting Go of Stress_,_ Mindful Eating, Sleep_,_ Managing Anxiety_,_ Pregnancy_,_ Coping with Cancer, Pain Management, Self-esteem, Relationships, Finding Focus, and Creativity.
That’s great! Many users do the Basics courses first (a total of 30 days) to get acquainted with Andy’s teaching style and build a foundation since all the other courses build on the Basics techniques. But it’s also OK to skip around, do multiple courses at the same time, or even put aside courses for a bit to do Everyday Headspace or a single meditation if you want. Many new Headspace users find the Appreciation and Kindness courses are great for building a new habit while also bringing a little extra warmth and light to your day. We also recommend trying the Pro courses between the topic courses. These can be found in the Explore section, in the section called "Expanding your practice" under the topic "Meditation essentials." Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an experienced meditator to use these. They’ll just help you get used to a little extra silence and a little less guidance as your practice progresses.
There are currently eight different meditation techniques used in the Headspace app, all of which have their foundation in mindfulness: Body Scan, Focused Attention, Noting, Visualization, Resting Awareness, Loving Kindness, Reflection, and Skillful Compassion. All of these techniques incorporate elements of both calming and insight meditation. Additionally, they all have an altruistic intention at their core that aims to help you train both awareness and compassion at the same time. If you want to know more, you can watch the short animated explainers in the app. When you select a course or single meditation, you will see what techniques are used. To help you get acquainted, you can watch an animation that explains the technique. We really recommend doing this if you're having trouble. The techniques can also be found in the Explore section under both the "Meditation essentials" and "Helpful tips & support" topics. Our 30-day courses include more than one technique, but with those, you are fully guided by Andy.
There are a few meditations that might be specific to where you’re at in life. These by no means cover every life stage, but we hope they help.
Andy’s take for what to do after you’ve completed the first 10 days is to choose the theme that resonates most with your life. He also makes the following point: “The truth, though, is that as long as you are turning up with the right approach and positive intention, you can practice courses where the theme is in no way related to what’s going on in your life and still receive considerable benefit from the techniques.” Creating a regular habit is essential if we want to experience the benefits of meditation. That doesn’t necessarily mean every single day, but the more we do it, the more likely we are to meditate again. Start with your motivation, and make sure you’re crystal clear about why you are sitting to meditate each time. If this isn’t clear, sometimes meditation won’t seem important. Our motivation often changes over time, but just be clear about that motivation every time you go to meditate.