What I Learned From Using A Meditation App For One Week (And Failing)

What I Learned From Using A Meditation App For One Week (And Failing)

I like the idea of meditating. Taking time out to disconnect with the world and just… be. If only it were that simple. As it turns out, I couldn’t even keep it up for a single minute.

Meditation picture from Shutterstock

Last week I used the Mindful Minute Meditation app. On the website it asks:

“Is this you? Stuck in your busy office, working so hard and then suddenly you realise it’s 5pm and it’s time to go home? Where did the day go? You sat at your desk for hours without having a break because you’re just too busy?”

Yes, yes and yes.

Sounded easy enough: “Take one minute from your day to stop, relax, reflect and unwind”. If any meditation was going to work for me, then one minute, a couple of times a day would be a good starting point — or so I thought.

Now, I don’t consider myself particularly wound-up, but this mental exercise was excruciating.

On the hour, every hour, I had to put down everything I was doing, walk away from my desk and listen to my pre-selected Tibetan bowl sound and stare at a fake sunrise trying to think of anything but work.

Meditate, the app suggested. Breathe deeply and close your eyes, repeat a mantra or affirmation.

Instead of feeling zenned out, all I felt was rushed and under pressure as I returned to my desk, most often frustrated that I’d lost the roll I was on or had forgotten where I was up to.

Needless to say I failed miserably. In fact, I only made it to day four and gave up meditating.

Sure, this type of app is perfect for someone who is looking to break up the day by taking allocated breaks. But for someone like me, who wants to get in and get out of the office and spend my down time at home or at the gym, this was not for me.

It hasn’t put me off meditation altogether. I still like the idea of it but perhaps I’m more of a once-a-day meditator.

Actually let’s make that a once a week.

This story originally appeared on Business Insider Australia.


  • I prefer to walk away from the desk for 1 – 2 minutes when I finish a particularly onerous task OR when I feel a ‘block’. Get up. Walk away. Have a drink of water. Say g’day to a work colleague. Go back to desk. Don’t need any tibetan bowls, pictures of sunrises or anything. But who said meditation has to be a period of focusing on chi’s, chang’s whatsits or whosits. Just get your mind off the task and let it relax for a moment.

  • I’d argue if you’re focussed properly when doing an activity like training in the gym, that IS your daily meditation.

    • Or simple three ball juggling. The learning can be a bit tricky, but once you’ve got it you can do it with very little concentration and it seems to block out everything else. Not done it for years though, perhaps it’s time I started again.

  • I love meditating once a day for just a short period as it helps my creative process heaps. Standing back, unwind and relax for even such a short time can work wonders for me. LOVE IT!!

  • Stop trying so hard! So many people think (incorrectly) that to mediate you have to clear your mind quickly, and that if you can’t then you have failed. It takes practice, and time, but the most important thing is just to let the thoughts roll by, and remember not to stress out about not doing it correctly.

    Try shutting your eyes and monitoring your breathing – nothing else. Notice yourself breathing in and out, and when your thoughts wander, as they will, come back to the breathing. If you can do that, then you are meditating. It’s more about focusing and allowing the distractions to happen but then coming back to your point of focus each time. Gradually, you will be distracted less and less, and worry about doing it correctly less and less..

    • So true WillD! There is no right or wrong way to meditate and it does take practise. I’ve meditated for years and don’t do it exactly the same every time.
      That’s the beauty of it, there is no fixed way.
      I actually really like the concept of this app. I have 2 friends at work that have no idea how to meditate but they use this app to break up the day and they think it’s great.
      I think being mindful is something that should be taught in schools and workplaces so people get that being mindful isn’t just about sitting cross legged, chanting ‘om’ and closing your eyes – it’s much deeper than that.

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