Let’s set the scene. It’s just over a month ago at Luton Airport. I’m waiting to get on a Wizz Air flight to Budapest. As with all budget airlines there’s a massive queue. As with all budgest airlines nobody’s entirely sure why there’s a queue, but the wisdom of crowds dictates everybody joins the queue regardless of whether they actually want/need to be in the queue or not.
Again as is inevitable with budget airlines there are more people queuing than there is queue space so the queue snakes out into the terminal building, criss-crossing with another queue for another overflowing flight and then doing the same again. People are trying to work out where the hell their queue starts and trying to get past in every direction. We seemed to be standing in a spot where everybody who had a buggy wanted to run us over/get past. It was a little bit stressful.
My friend James who I was travelling with pulls out his phone, loads up an app and starts having a little meditation sesh in the midst of all this chaos. It actually seems to work and James is the most chilled person in the building. I figured I gotta get me some of that.
The app James loaded up is called Headspace and it advertises itself as:
￼Headspace is meditation made simple, a way of treating your head right. Using proven meditation and mindfulness techniques we’ll show you how to train your mind for a healthier, happier, more enjoyable life.
This would usually be the kind of thing that gets my BS detector singing loudly, but given James was doing it — and he has a much more sensitive BS sensor than I do — I figured I’d give it a go.
I didn’t realise at first, but Headspace offers a suite of apps which more or less duplicate the functionality of its website. The app is available on iOS and Android and Headspace.com has the same content. The handy thing about the app is having it with you everywhere (obviously), so I probably don’t see myself using the web version.
Once you’re signed up and ready to go, you make a start with Headspace’s introduction series, Take 10. This is the only part of the app that’s free, but it serves as a really neat introduction to the whole concept and will basically tell you if it’s something that’s going to work for you or not. James figured he could manage without the guidance the app provides after doing it for a couple of days, but I’ve found it really useful so I’ve stuck with it.
You’ve got to really concentrate for Headspace to work; you kinda get as much back as you put in. At first I found it kinda eh, but a couple of days in I really started to enjoy doing it. This stuff actually works. After Take 10 you need to buy yourself a Headspace subscription to continue. It’s kinda expensive, so for the moment I’ve just got one month and if I’m still using it at the end of the month I might get another twelve, which is a fair bit cheaper per month. I’ve even cancelled my Netflix subscription I don’t really use anymore so it’s compatible with my budget.