Try for freeTry for free
Expert GuidanceIllusion of Self

Illusion of Self

By letting go of thoughts and feeling in meditation, we can start to have more balance outside of our practice.

Try 14 days free

Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

Try 14 days free
Better mental health starts with Headspace

So one of the biggest challenges in meditation is letting go of this idea of a lasting, permanent self. At first, that sounds ridiculous. "But I exist, I'm right here." But of course that's the intellect. meditation's about going beyond the intellect, being able to let go of thoughts. Not just some of them, but every thought, even the ones that provide a comforting sense of security, certainty and control. Ideas that are really important to our identity. There are some real advantages to releasing our grip on that fixed sense of me, myself and I. You can see the difference if you're experiencing a strong emotion like anger. If we attach ourselves to the anger and think, "I am angry," all of a sudden we become the anger. We've identified with it so strongly that's who we are in the moment. But by stepping back, we can watch the anger rise in the mind. "Oh yeah. Look, anger." When we do this, both the experience and the outcome of the experience are radically different. Applying this perspective to every thought and feeling doesn't mean that we don't get to experience the full breadth of emotion, joy, sadness or whatever else it may be. It just means we can choose more skillfully how to engage with them and to be able to let go of those things that trouble us. By practicing letting go of feelings and thoughts in meditation, even the ones we think we really need, even the ones we may believe define us, we can start to have more balance outside of our meditation too. The effect of this practice can be life-changing....


TypeExpert Guidance
Duration2 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

    More about Andy
  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

    More about Eve
  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

    More about Dora
  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

    More about Kessonga
  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

    More about Rosie
Your lifelong guide to better mental health

Your lifelong guide to better mental health

Stress, sleep, and all the challenging emotions — care for your mind with the everyday mental health app that's shown to make a difference.

Try 14 days free
Look After Your Mind

Look after your mind

Proven guided meditations and programs to help you stress less, sleep more soundly, and better navigate life’s challenges

Science Backed


Studies show that using Headspace for 30 days can reduce stress, increase resilience, and improve overall well-being

Explore Content

Explore 1000+ 
expert-led exercises

Access our library of meditations, breathing exercises, and guidance videos for stress, sleep, focus, everyday anxiety , parenting, and more.

Member reviews

Hear from some of our members

Your app brings so much peace and tolerance to our home.




Changing my thoughts has allowed me to change my life.




The stress and loneliness courses … taught me how to comfort myself.




Headspace provides me with … a connection to myself, and a disconnection from negative thoughts, feelings, and sensations.




More to explore

Beginning Meditation


Reframe Stress and Relax


New and Popular


Becoming a Mindful Parent

    • Terms & conditions
    • Privacy policy
    • Consumer Health Data
    • Your privacy choices
      Privacy Choices Icon
    • CA Privacy Notice
  • © 2024 Headspace Inc.
  • Terms & conditions
  • Privacy policy
  • Consumer Health Data
  • Your privacy choices
    Privacy Choices Icon
  • CA Privacy Notice