FAQ's — Our approach to meditation and mindfulness
Click below to learn more about the Headspace approach to meditation and mindfulness...
Headspace can be defined as the inevitable result of being more mindful, either during meditation or in everyday life. It is a mind which is spacious, focused, relaxed and content.
At Headspace, we define mindfulness as the intention to be present in the here and now, fully engaged in whatever is happening, free from distraction or judgement, with a soft and open mind. Meditation is the simple exercise to familiarize oneself with the qualities of mindfulness. It is a way of providing the optimum conditions for training the mind to be calmer, clearer and kinder. Just as exercising regularly makes you fitter and feel better, regular meditation can transform your mind and wellbeing. People of different cultures have practised it for thousands of years. Headspace is meditation for the modern world. Without the sitting cross-legged or incense-burning. We teach practical techniques that anyone can learn. Our guided sessions are available online, on your computer, tablet or smartphone, at a time that suits you. By practising these, you’ll experience less stress, more contentment and greater clarity in your life. Why not treat your head right?
Not necessarily. Meditation has evolved over thousands of years, rooted in various spiritual disciplines. But at its core, it’s a deeply practical set of techniques that can benefit anyone, independent of any religious practice. At Headspace, we believe that meditation can benefit everyone, regardless of their spiritual orientation, so we draw upon the essence of these tried and tested techniques, but without any spiritual agenda whatsoever. Our approach is completely practical and absolutely non-religious, so it can complement whatever your world view happens to be. Why not treat your head right with a free 10-minute Headspace session online now?
There are loads different kinds of meditation, and many different names for each approach. Generally, though, you can divide them into two groups (which often overlap): calming meditation and insight meditation
With calming meditation, you concentrate on a particular object, such as your breath, a mantra, a visualisation, a physical object, or even physical sensations within your body. Benefits include a quieter, more peaceful state of mind, and improved concentration.
In contrast, people have traditionally practised insight meditation to transform their minds by developing qualities such as wisdom and compassion.
Headspace combines techniques from both calming and insight meditation. Also, while most types of meditation were originally part of various spiritual disciplines, Headspace uses them in a non-religious way. We won’t ask you to chant mantras, burn incense or even sit cross-legged!
Designed for modern living, Headspace helps you deal with the stresses and strains of 21st century life. While you might be looking after your body by eating right and going to the gym, are you taking proper care of your mind? You can with Headspace. Our convenient online sessions help you find contentment, greater clarity, and improved feelings of wellbeing and happiness
Why not treat your head right? Try Headspace right now, right where you’re standing or sitting.
Yes — it’s a buzzing field of scientific research, and the evidence is growing all the time. Check out some examples of clinical proof in our science section.
But what better proof is there than your own? With a free Headspace trial, you should experience a boost to your wellbeing after your first 10-minute session – and it’s free. Why not treat your head right?
Headspace founder, Andy says:
“Yes! Absolutely, anyone can learn to meditate. With the exception of people suffering from the most severe forms of mental illness, where we strongly recommend seeking expert advice from a GP or specialist.
“Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years by people from all walks of life. In my own teaching experience, children from as young as six and adults well into their 80s can all learn and benefit from meditation.”
It’s particularly easy to learn with Headspace. You don’t have to sit cross-legged or learn a mantra, and Andy will guide you online at a time that suits you.
Why not treat your head right with a free 10-minute session?
Because it’s good for you. But we’re not just talking “eat your greens” good-for-you.
Meditation, practised regularly, can transform you – literally: scientists have found that mindfulness (the result of meditating) actually changes the shape of our brains.
But more importantly, it changes your experience of life for the better. It helps us feel more energetic, yet peaceful inside, better able to deal with problems and get on with others.
Specifically, regular meditation is good for treating:
· Lack of concentration
· Weakened immune systems
· Physical illness (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, and psoriasis, a stress-related skin disorder)
And meditation helps you:
· Feel less anxious, sad or angry
· Switch off after work
· Fall asleep at night
· Control your cravings
· Focus (in your work, sport or other activity)
· Find a healthy weight
Are those good enough reasons for you to learn to meditate? Here’s one more: Headspace makes it really easy. Our meditation programmes are made to fit into your life. You can learn wherever you’re online, at a time that suits you, in 10-minute sessions (they later build to 20 minutes).
Why not treat your head right with a free Headspace trial?
The key to learning meditation is having authentic and reliable information.
If you’re lucky enough to have personal instruction from a qualified teacher, that’s great. But you can also learn the fundamental techniques from a reliable book, DVD, or website — like Headspace.
The Headspace Foundation Course is an online guided meditation programme that will teach you all you need to know to start practising.It also has lots of great added motivational support to help you every step of the way.
Our Foundation Course is presented by Headspace founder, Andy Puddicombe, who is well-experienced in helping newcomers learn how to meditate. If you want to know what it’s like having Andy as your guide, why not try a free introductory session? It’s only 10 minutes long. And unlike having to go to a personal instructor, Andy will come to you, whenever you want! Why not treat your head right?
It’s different for every person, but generally you can learn and get comfortable with the basic techniques within 10 days. That’s why the first 10 of our 30-day Foundation Course are free.
The daily 10-minute sessions are the minimum time you need to really notice positive, sustainable changes – things like more contentment and focus, and greater awareness. Then you can see the potential further benefits of continuing with the Course.
Everyone is different though, with differing levels of commitment and motivation. It’s essential to not be too hard on yourself and respect your own pace of learning. If it takes longer than you expected, that’s fine. In fact, the very worst thing you could do is have unrealistically high expectations and a particular timeline in mind for results.
After completing our Foundation Course you can always learn more if you’re interested. The Headspace Journey will take you step by step, day by day, through 10 unique programmes. These will build on and deepen your experience, expanding the benefits of meditation throughout your daily life. Why not treat your head right?
A good question, because meditation can be relaxing – profoundly so. But, even though the words relaxation and meditation are often used to describe the same thing, they’re actually pretty distinct practices.
There are many different ways to just relax – either through specific techniques designed to achieve just that, and others where you simply find yourself feeling relaxed through doing something pleasurable, like sitting in the sun, walking in the park or listening to music.
By contrast, meditation is an exercise you practise in your head to train your mind to be more aware of the here and now. When you meditate, relaxation isn’t the goal, but more of a wonderful side effect. Also, compared with relaxation, meditation offers you much greater benefits, such as better self-knowledge, clarity of thought, focus and wellbeing, to name just a few.
Does meditation sound like it’s worth 10 minutes of your time? Then why not treat your head right?
In the West we tend to think of yoga as contorting ourselves into all manner of positions at the local gym.
Actually yoga is a complete system of spiritual training which incorporates a wide range of guidance, ranging from ethics and morality to contemplation and meditation. Meditation, although integral, is just one part of this.
If you’d like to learn how to meditate without the other yogic practices, or any mystical aspects at all, Headspace is for you. Why not treat your head right?
Andy's Answer on this topic...
I think most people would agree that the sheer volume of technology and digital chatter these days tends to interfere with our peace of mind. It's worth saying that the tech itself is not the problem, but rather our relationship with it and how we choose to use it. So we need to experiment and find out what works best for us. For example, bright screens late at night will inevitably stimulate and waken the mind. At the same time, I would discourage an all or nothing approach to tech and instead find a way of enjoying the benefits of technology in a way that work for you.
The overall mission of Headspace is to improve the health and happiness of the world. Unfortunately, if we don't have a healthy business there is no way we can fulfill this mission. Headspace, like many businesses, has a significant amount of running costs in order for us to produce the web services, apps and many other products that we offer. We employ people in the US and the UK and they include animators, illustrators, project managers, finance controllers, customer service representatives, a full tech team as well as marketing and community managers to make sure the message gets to the right people. This doesn't include all the 3rd party suppliers that help us create all the content. We employ over 60 people and we have produced over 700 hours of audio and video content for the Headspace Journey. Not to mention all the scientists that we work with to help us prove the validity of our products. All of these people have families, mortgages, rent and food to buy in order to live a healthy and happy life. We feel very proud that we can play a part in helping them live the life that allows them to be healthy and happy.
To help us fulfill our mission of improving the health and happiness of the world, for every Headspace subscription purchased, our Get Some/Give Some initiative donates one to someone in need through our charitable partners. So, whenever you’re getting some Headspace, you can be confident that you’re also giving some headspace to a person who wouldn’t normally be able to afford or have access to it.
We feel very comfortable with the fact that we charge for our product so we can continue to run a sustainable operation and we feel even more confident that it's value for money. There are many excellent free services that can help you if ours isn't quite the right fit.
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