“Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of introduction.” - Aristotle

The phaneron is a blog about beauty and lifestyle.

90 days of meditation with headspace

90 days of meditation with headspace

I meditated everyday for 90 days straight!

One of my new year resolutions this year is to meditate everyday. And I'm proud to say that I stick to it. In fact, this is probably the only resolution that I actually follow through in my entire life. At least, it is the most consistent one.

I'm using Headsapce, a guided meditation mobile app, to help me commit to meditating everyday. Basically, the app guides you with a voice, teaching you various meditation techniques. But I'm gonna first talk about the benefits and then talk about what I like about this app.

meditation 90 days headspace

How I do it

I usually mediate in the morning for 10 minutes. If I didn't have time in the morning then I will meditate during lunch break. I find meditating in the morning to be the most beneficial because I can practice techniques that promote mindfulness through the day.

 

The benefits

Now if you expect life-changing results from meditating just 3 months then you may be disappointed. The noticeable "benefits" that I get from meditation are minimal, though not insignificant.

less anxious

I'm not saying that I'm getting rid of (or trying to get rid of) anxiety completely. You will always have moments where you get anxious but you can handle it better.

So the the goal is to build a better relationship with anxiety. Know how to deal with it when it arises.

Morning Trail on Hong Kong Island

Morning Trail on Hong Kong Island

I'm generally quite anxious. I get anxious just about anything. I can't say I have "social anxiety" because I get anxious even when I'm alone. It stems from my tendency to overthink and jump from one idea to another without examining each one carefully or objectively.

Meditating for 3 months teaches me how NOT to engage with my thoughts that make me anxious. Whenever I find myself drowning in that kind of thoughts, I learn to "take a step back", observe, disengage with them, and then carry on with whatever I'm doing.

I think "not engaging with your own thoughts" is an underrated skill and it takes a great deal of self-awareness to master it. And I think meditation is helping me with that. 

 

More focus

One of my primary goals of meditation is to gain more focus in life. And I can see that I’m slowly gaining focus within these 3 months.

As mentioned before, meditation helps with my self-awareness. I’m the kind of person who gets easily distracted. And during these months, I am able to catch that “distraction". I would be like “oh, what am I doing? I should be doing...”.

For instance, I realize that I do spend an awful lot of time on Facebook*, just scrolling the feeds without even looking at the content - the gesture of “scrolling” almost becomes a reflex.

Cape D'Aguilar 2018

Cape D'Aguilar 2018

By meditating and boosting my self-awareness, I am able to take better control over my attention. To me, being focused is about what you attend to and the intensity & duration of that very attention. And meditation is definitely helping me give better attention to things that actually matter.

*It's not that I didn't know I wasted time on FB. I just didn't know I wasted THAT MUCH time on it.

 

Headspace

Headspace is my favorite mobile application right now. I love the aesthetic and the user experience. But apart from its design, the product itself is also very good.

meditation Packs

Headspace Meditation Pack

What I love the most about Headspace is that it has many "packs" of meditation. A pack is basically a series of meditation sessions (usually 10-30 sessions). Each pack has a goal/theme. Some focus on the foundation of meditation, like breathing. Others focus on emotions, like anger. Each pack teaches you different meditation techniques.

It is designed that you do one session a day and each session is about 10-15 minutes long. This means by simply starting a meditation pack, you basically set yourself up with a meditation schedule with a clear goal - getting better at whatever your pack says - be it breathing, prioritization, handling regrets, etc.

 

Meditation streak

I also love that they gamify this experience - it really makes me want to stick to meditating everyday even on days I don't feel like doing it. They keep track of your meditation history with streak (think Snapstreak).

Currently I on 90 days - meaning I've been practicing meditation for literally every single day for 90 days!

IMG_5706.PNG
IMG_5707.PNG
 

Information Architecture Study on Headspace

As an aspiring UX Designer, I also analyzed the Information Architecture (IA) of Headspace. An IA of a product is basically the structure of content - how designers and developers organize the information on the digital product.

You can read more about it here.

A part of photography is about being mobile

A part of photography is about being mobile

落日飛車 Sunset Rollercoaster at This Town Needs, HK 2018

落日飛車 Sunset Rollercoaster at This Town Needs, HK 2018