• Aging Well Denver

AWD Technology Series | Headspace

*This tutorial is for the Apple iPhone at this time, however the app will work relatively similarly across platforms.

It may seem counter-intuitive to use an app on your smartphone to relax and practice mindfulness. The opposite is true though with some of the new meditation apps that are out now! You've likely read about the benefits of meditation and how it can help you sleep better, focus more during the day, bring clarity to a situation or just imply relieve stress. These things are all true but where do you start?

Meditating on your own at the beginning can feel more like just trying your best to zone out for 5 minutes while the dog is trying to climb in your lap or the kids are playing outside your bedroom door. So why not use an app to guide you and get you started? We use instruction manuals and directions for so many other things in life and mindfulness doesn't have to be different.

Do you have something you'd like to work on? Let's start today! You can download the app Headspace for free on the app store and begin meditating daily. Here's how it works!

Step 1. Open the app store on your smart phone, then click on the search tab and begin typing "meditation" or "headspace" into the search bar. When you find the app, press "GET.

Step 2. Once the app has finished downloading you can open it by clicking "open" as shown in the photo below or you can open it through the icon on your home page. Click the button prompting you to "create an account". As shown in the center photo below you can then choose to use your Facebook account to log in, your Spotify account or simply enter your email address and create a new account that way. Once you're in the app will prompt you to "begin" as shown in the third photo below.

Step 3. Start by clicking the button to let the app know your experience with mediation. For the sake of this tutorial we have chosen to go with "none." Because you're brand new, the app will suggest the amount of time you should start with. If you would like to start with a longer session, you can choose the drop down shown in the middle photo below and change the time before clicking "next." Then choose the reason that you are choosing to start a mediation practice. We chose "sleeping better" but choose the square that best represents your reason.

Step 4. Once you have chosen a reason to start meditating, it will bring you to a screen asking you to choose the time of day that works best for you. Because we chose sleep as our reason, we clicked the option for evening meditation. Choose the option that works best for you on either screen and then adjust the specific time using the drop down in the third photo below before clicking "next."

Step 5. After choosing all of your options, the app will recap with you. Make sure that everything on the screen is correct and then choose "meditate now." If you don't want to meditate right now you can choose to "explore the app" instead - we will go over that in the next step. Once you have chosen to meditate now, the middle photo shown below will pop up. Press play to begin your session and enjoy!

Once you are finished the app will take you back to your new home screen within the app. From here you can begin to explore everything else they have to offer.

Step 6. From the discover screen you can go through the different types of meditation that they have to offer. You can choose "packs" as shown in the first screen to work through specific issues in several back to back sessions. This requires a subscription and the app will prompt you through those steps if you choose to work within a pack. You can also try new "singles" sessions as shown in the center image. Scroll down and see which sessions there are to choose from. You can do these both guided or unguided. Next is the "mini's" pack. These are small sessions to quickly work through a breathing exercise, unwinding, refocusing or restoring. Scroll through the page as shown in image three below.

The app will remind you to meditate at the time you chose in Step 5 unless you turn off the notifications so that it can become a daily practice for you! So what are you going to work on? The options are endless and just think of how relaxed you'll be.

Have you meditated before? Do you think that using technology is a good way to get started? Let us know in the comments below or in our forum!