By Teresa Acosta
Daily mindfulness meditations can improve well-being and decrease distress.
In the last year, mental health awareness and mental needs have increased as a side effect of the pandemic.
Tools to help combat these issues just got easier.
Headspace is a mindfulness app that provides guided meditation, and right now you can subscribe for free.
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, together with Headspace is offering county residents a $69.99 annual subscription for free.
A Headspace Plus subscription includes exercises in meditation, movement, sleep and focus.
Daily tasks can be customized with your favorites or chosen for you, and most can be completed in just a few minutes. The meditation section of the app teaches meditation techniques.
A few minutes a day can increase mindfulness.
The focus section of the app has playlists instrumental for when you need to concentrate on a task. One study found that using the Headspace app a few times a week for eight weeks eased anxiety and depression.
“Meditation has always been difficult for me,”said Marisa Martinez, a user of the app. “ I have a hard time focusing my mind. It wants to think about everything all at once. The Headspace App starts off with very simple and basic exercises so you can slowly train your mind to quiet little by little, and really take a breather.”
The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released last month, found that between August 2020-February 2021, the percentage of adults with symptoms of an anxiety or a depressive disorder increased from 36.4% to 41.5%, and the percentage of those reporting an unmet mental health care need increased from 9.2% to 11.7%.
Increases were largest among adults aged 18-29 years and those with less than a high school education.
While this application cannot address more serious mental health issues, it can be a gateway for those who need a starting point on improving their mental health. Please visit the following websites for more information on the app mentioned.
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7013e2.htm?s_cid=mm7013e2_w – suggestedcitation