Meditation gets recommended all the time as a means of lowering stress levels, but how many of us actually make it a daily practice? I went through a period where I learned firsthand the physical toll stress can take on the body. I would get these attacks at night - a clenching pain in my gut that would persist till morning. Each night.. for weeks... it was like being visited by a phantom - quite frightening. I happened to be reading a book that described a simple meditation technique. I started meditating every morning, and damned if those attacks didn't go away!
You would think that would have made me a lifelong meditator, but nooooo. As soon as I figured I was in the clear I stopped. I tried to pick it up again several times, but I could never get it to stick. Then, recently, I was listening to an interview of Andy Puddicombe, creator of the meditation app Headspace. Interesting guy. He dropped out of college, moved to Tibet, and entered a monastery where they meditated for 16 hours a day. Now that's hardcore! But you could tell from the interview that he is a very practical guy, and his idea with Headspace was to make meditation more accessible to the masses.
I liked his story, so I decided to give Headspace a whirl. And... it has stuck! I've been very consistent over the past 3 months. 20 total hours spent in meditation (the app keeps track of this). I think it has helped me to be more calm. Even my kids have noticed... and they're teenagers... on Instagram! So check it out. The first month is free, then I think it's something like $90 for a year. A small cost to ingrain such a powerful habit.