A while ago I said that I’d test out a few meditation apps on my iPhone – I think that it was straight after I’d come back from a guided meditation session at The Sanctuary in Covent Garden. Anyway, test I did – I have about ten on the go – but my favourite so far is one called Simply Being. I listen to it most nights before I go to sleep and I find that it really helps me to clear my head. Sometimes I feel as though there’s just too much going on in there – it’s as though it’s overstuffed with thoughts and worries and silly bits of information – and a spot of meditation just brings it all back into perspective. It’s easy, I think, to become a victim of information overload – most of us are glued to some form of computer or smartphone for a good part of our days – and so being able to push some kind of “reset” button is really important. During a guided meditation session you’re encouraged to let your thoughts pass over you – they just come and go, and you don’t hold any importance to them. At first I panicked that I couldn’t not think and that I should have a completely empty head, but I soon realised that it’s not about stopping your thoughts from coming through (impossible), it’s about letting them wash over you.
I never thought I’d be one for meditation (always chuckled at the suggestion, shamefully) but I have to say that I think it’s brilliant. In this digital age, in this time of rushing and stressing and trying to do a hundred things at once, it’s essential that we are able to switch off. Meditation, for me, is like going to some kind of brain spa. It gets cleansed and then massaged with nice rose-scented oils. (Ugh. Sorry. What an image!) The Simply Being app has been my favourite yet because it is so genuinely relaxing – you can choose from background noises of “rain”, “ocean” and “stream” (don’t listen to this on the tube when you’re dying for a wee-wee), and the woman who talks at you has the calmest, gentlest voice. I’ll admit that at first she sounds quite creepy – you have to get used to her. She’s like a cross between some kind of softly-spoken serial killer and an announcements voice on a futuristic spaceship. Attention all crew, this ship is approaching the Tinuarium Solar System, prepare for warp speed. (Also, I have been watching you while you sleep.)
Try it, without any preconceptions and without scoffing (if you hate it, you’ve only lost out on 69p) and let me know what you think. Give it a few sessions, though!
Tip: wear headphones so that you are totally immersed in the experience. Darken the room. Turn off your phone. Shut out the cat/dog/TV/radio/boyfriend. Simply Be……. (You’ll hear that a lot.)