I was on Oxford Street four weeks ago.
Anyway, I stumbled upon a pretty blue book with 'Calm' on the front. Short, snappy title; I was intrigued. So I flicked through a few pages, liked what I was reading, and what I saw, and what it was selling me. So I bought it. Easy enough. And for about a week, I took my time flicking through the pages, learning about the concept behind mindfulness and meditating as means for keeping the mind and body more in tune with the present moment, than constantly stressing over the past and future, which you might have caught a whiff of in my last blog post.
Human life is so consumed at the moment about what's on the agenda next. We're so busy constantly worrying about what we still have to do that we're almost completely ignoring what's occurring right at this moment. Take yourself for instance, take a moment to just pause, and observe your thoughts. What are you thinking about? I doubt it's only what I've written in this moment. Are you thinking about dinner? Or school? Or the TV echoing background noise right now? I'm certainly not 100% focused. I'm thinking about making dinner tonight for my mum and I, and the dog eating the cat food and Atomic Kitten weirdly. The difference with mindfulness is that you don't punish yourself for not concentrating. It's just about going 'OK, so I'm not entirely focused right now, but that's OK.' Just let your thoughts come and go, but gently coax your mind into thinking about what's going on right now. That's what I liked about this book when I was reading it; it's so non-judgemental and understanding of human nature. To paraphrase Alexander Pope here, to umm and ahh is human, and to forgive is divine. It's what makes us spectacular and makes meditation so healthy and natural and peaceful.
With downloadable soundtracks to soothe the mind, and help you focus into the zone of meditation, I think this might be one of my favourite apps so far, an essential up there with all my social apps, and I think I might genuinely use it more than Facebook, and with it constantly linked to my Twitter, I am constantly sharing the inspiring quotes they provide in each Daily Calm session, quoting from Confucius to King Fu Panda.
I've been using the app for about 3 weeks now, and I usually do 1-3 sessions a day, including the Daily Calm, a '7 Days of' session and usually a Deep Sleep session just before bed to get me into the relaxed state for sleep.
I feel calmer; I'm less anxious. I keep taking the mickey out of it a little but I do genuinely believe Calm is helping me discover my 'zen'. I highly recommend it guys. It's really working for me, and if you suffer with any of the issues I've mentioned, though I'm not a doctor, and everyone responds to different treatments differently, give it a try. It's incredible for me.