My therapist recommended mindfulness.. How cliche. These were actual thoughts of mine (yes ME, a therapist who recommends mindfulness to many of his own clients), though these thoughts were many years ago when I was in college, experiencing anxiety, and going to therapy to develop strategies to reduce these symptoms. I basically rolled my eyes at my therapist when she told me I should try meditating. (Does this sound familiar?)

To me, meditating was humming, holding your hands out in little circles, and letting time go by trying to force myself not to be anxious. My therapist led me through a few mindfulness exercises. The first one, I simply couldn’t relax and just nodded my way through telling her that I think it really helped me, knowing that it didn’t help me at all. I played along in the coming weeks and tried to buy into this with failed attempts. I stopped going to therapy and mindfulness vanished from my life, as quickly as it came.

Fast forward three years, I’m in graduate school. My professor brings up mindfulness training. Here we go, I thought with an internal eye roll. Learning more about the practice of mindfulness and the evidence based research that suggests the impacts of mindfulness on your brain, physical and mental health, and general mood, convinced me that maybe I should try this again.

I found the Calm app from (what else but) a social media ad. I clicked the app and I was on my way to the free trial. I played around with the app for a few minutes, tried a mindfulness audio, and felt like I still didn’t know what the hell I was doing. Then I came across “A 30 Day Meditation Challenge” on the Calm app, that provides daily 10-15 minute guided meditations, promising to teach mindfulness for a novice like I was. The narrator does a beautiful job explaining what mindfulness is, how to be patient with yourself as you learn what works best for you, and the benefits of how meditation can help you better focus.

When experiencing anxiety or even just a difficult day, I always go back to core coping strategies and I am happy to report that mindfulness training is one of them. Even after finishing the 30 days, I continue to use the Calm app because they have so many great guided meditations and come out with new ones often. So yes, roll your eyes at me and this whole post, but I am telling you from a therapist who thought mindfulness was a hoax, it actually works. give it a try, what’s the worst that could happen?

Jason Gorski, NCSP, LPC

*This is the first post in our series “Our Favorite Things,” where we get to share the podcasts, blogs, books, apps and social media posts that inspire, teach and connect us. We are not affiliated, endorsed or associated with the Calm app or any of the resource that we share in the posts. of Send us message to are your favorite resources

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