Are you getting some Headspace yet?

Andy Puddicombe is a meditation and mindfulness expert. An accomplished presenter and writer, Andy is the voice of all things Headspace. He’s done some pretty cool stuff around the world which culminated with him being ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Northern India. It gets better folks, on his way back home he decided to pit stop and brielfly train at the Moscow State Circus.

Andy is the now author of two books, now available in 25 countries and 10 languages. He has been featured widely in international press, appearing in Vogue, NYT, FT, Entrepreneur, Men’s Health and Esquire, to name but a few. He also makes regular appearances on TV and online, having been featured on BBC, Dr Oz, Netflix and TED. He is also the creator of Headspace.

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Our simple idea is to teach the world to meditate, so that everyone can live a happier, healthier, more enjoyable life.

Since the project launch in 2010 there are now events, books, and a comprehensive online resource AND mobile app service. Headspace is now used in over 150 countries, with the books translated into 12 different languages. AMAZING!

As you may already know regular mindfulness practice, through meditation, is an effective treatment for stress, worry, lack of focus, relationship problems, addictions and more. It leads to peace of mind and wellbeing, greater focus and creativity and better relationships. Everyone’s a winner! The problem is finding the time, right? Fret not, Andy and the gang have the answer.

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Headspace is like our very own personal trainer, here to help you train your mind. You can even fit them in your pocket with their free app. You can find some extra calm and clarity with their free Take 10 programme. For just 10 minutes a day you can listen to Headspace on the go on your mobile and tablet and download sessions to use offline, On your computer, you can play any session, any time. It’s great, I love it! You can browse their collections and pick sessions to suit your mood and lifestyle. Choose your session length, replay your favourites and learn how to apply mindfulness to your everyday activities. Brill!

Do we really need to switch off?

switch-offA survey of over 2,000 Brits found that 80% think “life’s moving too fast and that the number of things we have to do and worry about these days is a major cause of stress, unhappiness and illness”. Over 50% said they had “difficulty relaxing or switching off”, and that they couldn’t stop thinking about “things they’ve got to do”. ~ The Mental Health Foundation. (2010). The Mindfulness Report.

Do you want to be more creative?

In 2012, scientists from the University of Groningen and North Dakota State University tested the theory that mindfulness affects awareness and the filtering out of other mental processes during creative tasks. Studyingreduce-hero a large number of volunteers, the researchers found that mindfulness practice predicted and improved “insight” problem solving, which is “seeing” and solving problems in a novel way. This study was the first of its kind to document a direct link between mindfulness and creativity. ~ Ostafin, B. & Kassman, K. (2012). Stepping out of history: Mindfulness improves insight problem solving. Consciousness and Cognition. 21, 2. 1031 – 1036.

Are you unable to focus?

A 2012 US study examined how meditation training affected individuals’ behaviour in multitasking at work (if you’re an employer or an employee, this is well worth your attention). Researchers tested three groups: (1) how-you-wantthose who underwent an 8-week training course on mindfulness-based meditation, (2) those who endured a wait period, were tested, and then underwent the same 8-week training, and (3) those who had 8-weeks of training in body relaxation. The researchers found that, compared with the people who didn’t meditate, “those trained in meditation stayed on tasks longer and made fewer task switches, as well as reporting less negative feedback after task performance.” ~ Levy, D., Wobbrock, J., Kaszniak, A. & Ostergren, M. (2012). The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation Training on Multitasking in a High-Stress Information Environment. Proceedings of Graphics Interface. 45-52.

Do you worry a lot?

Numerous scientific studies have found meditation to be effective for treating anxiety. One group of US researchers looked at how mindfulness management-herohad helped with anxiety management across various types of people: from those suffering with cancer, to those with social anxiety disorders and eating issues. They examined 39 scientific studies, totalling 1,140 participants and discovered that the anxiety-reducing benefits from mindfulness might be enjoyed across such a wide range of conditions because when you learn mindfulness, you learn how to work with difficulties and stress in general. ~ Hofmann, S. G., Sawyer, A. T., Witt, A. A., & Oh, D. (2010). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 78, 2.169-183.

Do you want some help with your relationships?

A study at the University of Leuven, found that couples who meditated help-herodisplayed more mindful observation and more empathy toward each other. They were inclined towards more mindful description, acting with awareness, and non-judgmental acceptance. With those changes, couples were better able to identify and describe their feelings, more satisfied with their bodies, less anxious socially, and they were less likely to share any distress. ~ Dekeyser, M., Raes, F., Leijssen, M., Leysen, S. & Dewulf, D. (2008). Mindfulness skills and interpersonal behaviour. Personality and Individual Differences. 44, 5. 1235 – 1245.

Need more convincing?

Over a million users are already getting some Headspace. You can even buddy up with friends and motivate each other along the way! If you have more questions just pop over to the site to find out more. What are you waiting for?

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Perhaps the most “spiritual” thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness. ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

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First Published 2014/07/16

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