Mindfulness apps - Headspace
Life can be hectic, whether you live with sight loss or not. We all have ways to destress and step back and take time to yourself. Although sometimes, this can be easier said than done.
Technology, although normally an enabler for a busy life, can also help to calm things down and balance your thoughts and feelings.
We will be producing several tips on using technology to help with mindfulness and wellbeing.
Headspace is a subscription-based app that allows you to practice mindfulness through daily meditations. It claims that it will teach you how to meditate. The app provides access to guided meditations in audio format, allowing you to pick and choose which video to watch.
The app also allows you to progress through different ‘levels’. This stage by stage approach means you can move through a journey, like a zen master, to develop slowly, yet methodically to more advanced exercises and levels of understanding. The app also claims to lead you towards becoming healthier and happier through guided exercises and videos. Access to the ‘Move Mode’ which allows you to train your mind and body at the same time with exercises to strengthen mental and physical wellbeing.
The app connects you to over 60million other mindfulness headspace users. The app has a database of hundreds of articles from meditation, sleep and wake up, stress and anxiety, movement and healthy living, to new articles added every week.
The app seems to be well designed for accessibility with it being quite easy to use using Voice Over. Most buttons are well labelled and you can scroll through them with little problem. Some of the buttons need to be better labelled to help inform the user, especially on some of the videos. Some of the information is still invisible to the app. However, Headspace are working on making the app more accessible and welcome feedback to help make the app more inclusive.
Andy Puddicombe, the founder and meditation teacher can be reached on Twitter: @andy_headspace
Further helpful information
It is also recommended that you set your lock / unlock timer for longer than the Headsapace / meditation videos as you may be rudely snapped out of your calm state of mind by the reminder.
You can also experiment by using Headspace with Alexa, by using such commands as;
- ‘Alexa, open Headspace’
- ‘Alexa, tell Headspace to start my daily meditation’
- ‘Alexa, tell Headspace I’m ready to sleep’, etc…
Enabling the Alexa skill
To enable the skill in Alexa, you can either, ask your Alexa to “Enable Headspace” or enable from your Alexa app, by going to your skills section and searching for Headspace.
If you are wanting to sleep better, improve your mental wellbeing, or just have some ‘me time’ away from the hectic and sometimes unpredictable modern day living then this app is the one for you. There is a two-week free trial once you sign up and after this there are option to cater Headspace to your individual needs. You can cancel your subscription whenever you choose and report any problems via the website, facebook or twitter account. Happy OMMMMMMMMMing.
How to use Headspace
- Download for your appropriate smart phone:
Android – Google play store
iOS – App Store
- Select to open the app – locate Headspace
- Review the terms and conditions and go through the app tutorial – if you chose to agree, select ‘I Agree’ at the bottom of the page.
- The next screen is the main screen of the app, where you will find Home content, this section becomes personalised as you use the app, on the bottom of the screen you have the menu bare, which consists of:
- Sleep, - use this section to access the help with sleeping.
- Move, - useful for motivation and moving around.
- Explore – use this section to browse the full catalogue of guided meditation and help.
- and account – from here you can access your account and subscription information.
Things to keep in mind
- To use this service, you will require an active internet connection, whether that be through Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection.
- Be mindful of your expectations – this service is provided a third party who are not affiliated with Guide Dogs.
Covid-19 specific information
Even though this service can be useful at any time, it maybe a better time than any to give it a go.
Whilst at home and living our lives through these uncertain times, it is good to try and embed routines and take time to separate your thoughts and feelings.
This service and others like it, allow you to focus on your mental health and wellbeing.