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Meditation and Mindfulness

Community Member
Looking for help and ideas on how to get the best out of mindfulness and meditation. My pycologist gave me some mindfulness apps with exercises to help with my stress but I cannot get the hang of them and breathe in all the wrong places. Same with meditation I went along to a couple of groups followed the instructions but just could not get the hang of it.

Is there any special techniques that people would like to share.

I follow the instructions on the apps but never seem to get rested
5 Replies 5

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi contrarymary,

Thank you for your question- it's such a hard practice to get into especially when you're not used to it or it seems like a breeze for basically everyone else.

Can you tell us what you tried- was it a guided one? 2 minutes? How did you 'breathe in all the wrong places?' Lots of questions but I think it's worth building on what you've tried and seeing what works and what doesn't.

For me, I like unguided and guided meditations. One of my favourites for a while was body scan exercises- which is focusing on your body and tensing/relaxing each part. I really liked that one because it gave me something to do constantly rather than this idea of having to shhh my brain.

I think it also depends on the wording of the meditation - so if someone says "empty your mind" I basically feel crap because I can't do it right, but if they say "focus on your breath" or "repeat this phrase", then it feels a little more doable.

Hope this makes sense! I promise you're not the only one.


Community Member

Hey contrarymary,

Mindfulness and meditation is a little weird to get used to at first, but once you do get used to it, it really helps you feel centred and calm (for me atleast).

I use the smiling mind app - its a meditation app but it also has elements of mindfulness. As RT said, the body scan exercises are great to start with. You don't shut your mind off, you simply follow the app. Another I like is the walking meditation where mindfulness is used.

You can use mindfulness anywhere. Think about walking into your backyard? what do you see? what do you smell? how does it feel when your walking? what do the plants feel like when you touch them?

as I said, its weird a first but once you get used to it, its helpful.


the ones I have tried began with learning to breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose and also holding and counting to five then breathing out. Another one was lying still and focus on different parts of your body eg start working up from your feet and total relax your body from the bottom up and ou should feel calm. I just don't seem to feel any different.

i am going to have a look at smiling minds app which somone has recommended

hi contrarymary,

there are quite a few applications out there and if you do a google search for something like "best apps for meditation" you will get some sort of list of pages to look at including apps like calm, headspace, smiling mind etc.

now the app I use is virtual hope box. It might not get a mention on any of the "best" apps but it also works for me. This same app however was not good for my dad - there were some things he did not like about it.He liked headspace. I did not, and the reasons are purely subjective. Honestly.

In a similar manner I also did that search for the best app and tried them. Things to take in to consideration for me included:

  • gender of voice
  • accent
  • types of meditations included
  • length of neditation
  • ease of use
  • recommended by professionals
  • cost
  • etc

Right now on my phone I have smiling mind and virtual hope box and relax melodies.

In some respects, a bit like shopping for computer or phone or ??? And something have to try them out to see how well they work for you.


Gambit87- thank you for sharing these! I actually read your post before I went for a walk and it was a great reminder to practice again. I like to think I practice regularly but maybe not often enough 🙂

contrarymary - ah, thanks for clarifying. Yes I see what you mean now when you say you're breathing in the wrong places. For me, I've tried that one and the only thing that works is breathing both in and out through the nose.

Have you ever tried stretching with mindfulness? (Or yoga) I'm suggesting this one because it can be a great way of noticing progress, especially how you are feeling within your body (achy, tired, contracted, expanded), or even noticing your anxiety (overthinking, fast heart rate, sweaty, tense). This can tie into meditation really well. Whatever you decide to do will help, even if you may not notice it straightaway.

smallwolf- such good points when looking for an app too. There's so many out there.

I've tried smiling mind, calm, oak, stop breathe think, insight timer and headspace. There's so many!