Mar 19, 2021 | LIFE | By Lucy DeLuca | Illustration by Patil Khakhamian
Feeling stressed, anxious, or upset? According to the American Psychological Association, more than 40% of college students suffer from extreme anxiety and depression, and these emotions have only been heightened by the fear and uncertainty of COVID-19.
A common strategy for dealing with stress or anxiety is meditation. However, it can be difficult for those who have never meditated before to know how to begin. Netflix’s “Headspace Guide to Meditation” seeks to solve this problem by guiding its audience through the process in a simple, easy-to-follow way.
Headspace is created and narrated by Andy Puddicombe, a sports science major turned monk who traveled the world for over 10 years learning about and experiencing different kinds of meditation.
While Andy’s British accent can be soothing, his voice can also get a bit monotonous. However, the colorful graphics that accompany his narration help to make the episodes a bit more intriguing. The relaxing images make a wonderful addition to the show and are reminiscent of childhood drawings, reminding the audience of a simpler and less stressful time in their lives.
The beginning of each episode explains a small aspect of the meditation process and how the practice can help improve the audience’s daily life. The science behind the positive effects of meditation is discussed for all those who may be skeptical, and at around 20 minutes each, the episodes are easy to fit into a busy schedule.
Each episode in the mini-series targets a different problem or emotion that can be addressed through meditation. Someone dealing with a recent loss might jump to episode six, “How to Deal with Pain,” while someone feeling a bit stuck may find comfort in episode two, “How to Let Go.” The guided meditations tend to run about 15 minutes, making them a great length to be utilized in the audience’s daily life well after they’ve watched the series.
It can be difficult to get into the process of meditation for those who aren’t used to taking the time to sit still. The eight-episode mini-series can be helpful when getting used to meditation, especially if the audience commits to watching the whole show (I recommend watching one episode a day for about a week).
However, audience members who are more experienced with meditation may find the series somewhat hard to get through since it strongly focuses its attention on those new to the practice.
For those who aren’t fans of the Netflix series but like the idea of meditation, Headspace also has a website with many helpful articles and videos. The website is a larger resource that includes guided meditations for audience members of all experience levels.
While the Netflix show discusses some of the most common issues the audience may face, the website also goes much deeper with articles and videos discussing everything from financial stress to how to become a morning person. A subscription to the website and app runs about $6 a month for a year-long commitment, but there are many helpful articles and videos available for free.
Although the digital age offers thousands of different websites, apps, books, and TV shows dedicated to helping individuals cope with difficult emotions, it can be helpful to have a website like Headspace that offers information on many different topics, all in one place.
However you may feel about meditation (or Netflix original shows), it is important to seek out help when you feel stressed, alone, or anxious. Overall, Headspace is a great place to start learning how to cope with difficult emotions or events.
The Netflix series can be a great introduction to ideas and concepts that can help you feel better, happier, and more content, regardless of what is going on around you.