Everyone experiences stress to some degree. It’s just a body’s natural response to life’s everyday pressures. However, when there’s too much stress in your life, there can be serious consequences.
The World Health Organization has called stress “the health epidemic of the 21st century,” and for good reason. According to the American Psychological Association, more than 75% of all adults report symptoms of stress, including tiredness, sleep issues and headache. A Gallup poll found that about 30% of people around the world report feeling stressed, worried and angry. Many of the world’s developed countries report that over half of their populations experience “a lot” of stress on a near-daily basis. The causes of this stress range from work to money, family issues to personal health problems.
Oftentimes, today’s modern stress can be traced back to technology use in some way. After all, your cell phone gives your boss easy, constant access to you at all times of day and night, adding to your work stress. Meanwhile, frequent social media usage can cause you to compare yourself to not only friends and acquaintances, but also influencers and celebrities, adding to stress related to money or family issues.
However, technology as related to stress is not all bad. Used correctly, technology can provide a solution to stress. Such is the case with virtual reality meditation.
Meditation has been proven, through many peer-reviewed scientific studies, to be one of the most effective solutions for stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation provides not only many emotional and mental health benefits, but it can also help to improve medical conditions that are worsened by stress, such as anxiety, chronic pain, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome or tension headaches.
Over the last five years, more and more people have discovered meditation and its benefits, and now, thanks to technology, we can further enhance the meditation experience through virtual reality.
Intrigued? Keep reading to see how VR meditation can benefit your health, as well as how to use it.
What is Virtual Reality Meditation?
Firstly, what even is virtual reality meditation? Put simply, it’s exactly what it sounds like — meditation through a VR platform.
Virtual reality, if you’ve yet to jump on the VR bandwagon, is simply the use of technology to create a simulated environment. VR can help you tour museums around the world from the comfort of your own home, or it can immerse you into your favourite video game, allowing you to run, fight and explore your way through fictional landscapes. VR tech typically includes hardware such as goggles or a headset that allows you to be fully immersed in the virtual environment, as well as, often, some sort of handheld hardware.
The overall result is a very realistic experience unlike any other that technology has provided in the past.
Why Use Virtual Reality for Meditation?
While all meditation is a healthful addition to your lifestyle, there’s no denying that meditating within nature or in a controlled setting, like in a yoga studio, can be more beneficial than meditating in your crowded living room while your children play around you, or meditating in your bedroom while your roommate practices the clarinet in the other room or your neighbour in the apartment above you vacuums.
But not everyone has the opportunity to leave their crowded apartment or home and go out to a park or a yoga studio to enjoy meditation in a controlled environment. Whether it be geography, time or money, they just can’t always be where they want to be for a quick meditation session — but with virtual reality meditation, they can be.
Virtual reality allows users to take their meditation session to a range of settings, so that they can better enjoy and reap the full benefits of the practice.
Other VR Meditation Benefits
Beyond the convenience of being able to meditate wherever you are, whenever you want to, through the power of virtual reality, VR meditation provides a few other benefits as well. It can help you to…
Actually, keep up with your meditation routine
If you’re just starting to explore the benefits of meditation, you may be having trouble keeping to a consistent meditation schedule. After all, it’s not always easy to fit a new habit or routine into your busy week. VR meditation can help you keep to that routine or schedule so that meditating becomes a solidified part of your healthy lifestyle.
Make your meditation session more meaningful
You may find that you can more easily meditate and block out distractions if you’re using VR meditation software versus simply trying to meditate on your own. This results in a more meaningful and more fulfilling experience overall.
Keep your eyes open
While it might sound simple to sit for several minutes with your eyes closed, keeping your eyes closed is actually one of the hardest parts of meditation for new practitioners! With VR meditation, you’re wearing a light- and distraction-blocking headset, so there’s no need to keep your eyes closed throughout your entire session.
Expand your education and personalize your practice
A lot of VR meditation software is so much more than just software that transports you to a different place for a quick meditation session. Many also allow you to access guided meditations and practices that can help you expand your knowledge of meditation, challenge yourself and personalize your practice to best fit your needs and wellness goals.
Who is VR Meditation Right for?
Everyone! VR meditation can help enhance any user’s quality of life, whether you’re a single user, a family member looking to get the entire family into meditation or even a company or office looking to provide a new wellness benefit to your team. Both beginner users and long-time meditation practitioners agree that VR meditation is a great resource.
VR Meditation in the Office
If you’re specifically looking to add a new wellness benefit to your team, while simultaneously upgrading your company’s culture, Flow offers customizable subscription programs for corporate customers. We’ve worked with more than 50 corporate clients to date and they report that the Flow VR meditation programme helps to boost focus and productivity levels, strengthen teams, helps employees better manage work (and personal) stress and encourages a greater interest in well-being among employees overall.
To learn more about our corporate offerings, send us an email at email@example.com.
What Do You Need for VR Meditation?
You only need a few things to get started with VR meditation. You’ll just need a VR headset and a VR meditation app.
The award-winning startup-developed Flow meditation app allows you to meditate with your eyes open, as you’re taken along a guided session via experienced meditation practitioners. You can also choose to meditate to the sounds of nature, as you take in the calm Icelandic scenery around you (in gorgeous 4K quality), or to music from bands such as GusGus or Sigur Ros.
The app offers six meditation modes: Breathe, Focus, Move, Let Go, Calm and Restore. Each helps you to achieve a different wellness outcome and you can mix and match modes to create a personalized session that meets your evolving wellness needs and desires.
So what exactly makes the Flow app different from other VR meditation apps? The Flow app immerses you in full 360-degree video of real natural scenes showcasing Iceland’s breathtaking waterfalls, black sand beaches, volcanoes, and more. The high-quality guided meditations are led by real meditation experts, such as Flow’s founder, Tristan Elizabeth Gribbin. Plus, Flow makes meditation accessible on even your busiest days, with short meditation sessions that allow you to get into your meditative state of mind in as few as 4 minutes.
You can find the Flow VR meditation app (with 4 stars reviews across all of our platforms!) via Oculus Gear VR, Steam VR and Sidequest, with the app soon available on the Oculus Quest Store. The Flow VR meditation app is supported on a range of virtual reality devices, including Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest and Gear VR. But even if you don’t have one of these virtual reality devices, you can still experience Flow’s guided meditations and videos on your mobile device, if you download the mobile app.
Decrease Your Stress, Any Time, Any Place, with VR Meditation
We could all probably stand to reduce our stress. Now, you can do so anywhere, with meditation sessions that go where you go and that can be enjoyed in as few as 4 minutes. Learn more about Flow and our meditation solutions for the 21st century, at www.flow.is.