On Mental Health

My Brain On Guided Meditations

NOTE from 2021: When I noticed my blog was getting hacked in February of 2020 I did some quick fixes and somehow all of my draft posts from the previous 16 years ended up assigned to that month. This is one of those posts. It was written sometimes between 2004 and 2020 but I don’t know exactly when. I deleted most of the posts but obviously I thought this one was worth keeping so I wanted to add the note to clarify any publication date confusion for future Me.

I love guided meditations. I always feel better when I’ve been using them regularly to fall asleep to, or to start my morning. It’s a much better way to start the day than scrolling through social media which is a habit I’m trying to break. I use an app called “Insight Timer” and I just paid the $4.99 for the basic access and while I know people who say purchasing more is worth it, I haven’t run out of useful meditations to use yet so I’m okay with just having spent the initial $4.99.


I’ve had some hilarious brain responses to some of the guided meditations lately. Most of the time I decide in the first 15 seconds if I like it or not, because it usually depends on the voice or the quality of the recording. (Some submit meditations with scratchy audio which is the WORST.) In the mornings I’m just looking for something short to start my day in the right mindset, and in the evenings I’m just looking for something to help me shut off my brain and relax my body. I’m not too picky and theres hundreds of both types out there.

BUT THIS WEEK, I’ve I had some hilarious brain responses to some of them. No insult to the guides, but mainly just an insult to myself and how my brain works. I was listening to one to help me fall asleep the other night and the guide was basically trying to get me to breathe out the day, guiding me through cleansing breaths. The guide was telling me to “Breathe out the soles of my feet,” and do you know how my brain interpretted that in my relaxed state of mind? My brain had me envisioning the bottoms of my feet traveling UP through my body and being exhaled out of my mouth. Like…in my head I was turning myself inside out? I guess? And I was really trying to focus and felt like this was a weird visual to imagine but I was trying to work with it.

Okay. So the bottoms of my feet are traveling up through my body and coming out of my mouth with this exhale. Maybe I’m just expelling parts of my body one piece at a time? Maybe I’ll breath out my whole foot next? And then my ankles? Or maybe I’m turning myself inside out to empty out the anxieties of the day?

And then the guide changed his verbiage a bit and said something like, “You’re exhaling but see the air traveling through your whole body and out the bottoms of your feet.”

Oh…OH! This makes much more sense! I’m exhaling OUT of my soles like…INSTEAD of my mouth! I GET IT.

I was too distracted then to continue and had to start a new meditation.

And then recently I chose one that was supposed to help me let go of my day’s anxieties and it was a female voice and she was telling me that she knew how hard it was and I was totally into it because the way she talked about “dark places” and wanting to be “in the light” I was totally like…Yes. She gets it! But then she’d just switch to a new metaphor about how the world was singing a song I didn’t know and I was like Okay, yeah, another great metaphor to describe where I’m at and where I want to be! and THEN she switch to ANOTHER METAPHOR about feeling the sun shining on my face and basically it was a six minute meditation with nothing but metaphors of how the life you are LIVING is not the one you WANT and I stuck with it for the full six minutes just to see if we switched to anything actionable and NOPE. ALL METAPHORS ABOUT MISERY. And I just found myself so entertained by all of the different ways to compare misery and so curious about how her method was supposed to help me start my day because basically it was just 6 minutes of me thinking, “Yes! That’s how terrible I feel sometimes! Like there’s a party and I’m watching through the window!” It was the WEIRDEST THING.

But the best one was this morning. I just chose one that was just a meditation to start the day feeling “grounded” and I wasn’t sure exactly that that meant but it seemed like a good thing. I clicked “play” and the voice first guided me through some breathing exercises and I was totally in the zone and getting focused and relaxed and then suddenly she says, “Now think of your tailbone…” and it just caught me so offguard in my relaxed state that I shot my eyes open and just started cracking up. I mean, immediately she continued about focusing on the connection between me and the surface I was sitting on, which is a very common guide technique but something about getting me in the ZONE with breathing and then…BAM! “Think of your tailbone…” just got me SO TICKLED that I immediately had to stop the meditation and move on with my life.

Some days I’m in the perfect headspace and I find the perfect guided meditation and all is right with the world. Other times I’m on a different brain train than I need to be and it just never lines up and giggling ensues.

But really…that’s not a bad way to start or end the day, is it?

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