After a particularly anxiety-ridden three months during the summer and fall of 2014, my best friend — who also happens to be a licensed clinical social worker — suggested I download a meditation app called the Calm app for some meditation practice. I’d been waking up at 3am every night for weeks, often never able to fall back asleep. I was irritable, quick to cry and feeling pretty helpless — a total bummer, in other words.
How Calm Works
I started using the app’s free, 20-minute body scan guided meditation every night before bed. You can choose from a 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30-minute guided meditation. Calm says that this meditation helps tune you into your body, your breathing and your thoughts.
The guide’s voice is incredibly relaxing and so soothing. I could listen to her read the iTunes Terms of Service and probably still get the same meditative benefits. The actual guided script is easy to follow, positive without being cheesy and paced just right.
There are a lot of “scenes” to choose as your background white noise during your meditation. From the traditional beach waves and pouring rain to the more mystical “moving cloudbreak” and “snowflakes in moonlight,” there’s a soothing soundscape for everyone’s taste.
It was only a few days before I was falling asleep before the 20 minutes were done, and if I did wake up in the middle of the night, nine times out of 10, it would put me back to sleep in minutes. Of course, while there are other factors that went into resolving my stressors and the subsequent symptoms, I believe the app helped me change my life during a particularly stressful time.
While I am no longer in that same head space, I still use the app most every night to unwind and relax. You can even track your progress with the built-in calendar in the profile section, which, for may Type A’s out there, is probably just as meditative as the practice itself!
The only negative thing I can say about Calm is that if you want to use any of the targeted meditations (like the creativity booster or gratitude guide), you have to pay for a pricey subscription of either $10 per month or $40 for a yearly payment. With that said, I’ve only ever used the free meditations and received incredible, mindful results.
Do you have a favorite meditation app? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!
(Feature photo via Getty)