Date of Award

5-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies

Department

Holistic Health

First Advisor

Carol Geisler

Abstract

Stress is increasingly prevalent in Western culture, and researchers associate it with physical and psychological health issues. Previous research indicates meditation, specifically through meditation apps on smartphones, is beneficial for reducing stress. However, limited research addresses qualitative data regarding meditation apps; therefore, this study describes the lived experience of adults using a meditation app called Headspace. We used phenomenology as a method to describe the essence of participant lived experiences. We collected qualitative data by having twelve adults journal about their experiences after completing a series of ten meditation app sessions. We completed a thematic analysis with the journal entries, which resulted in six emerging themes: relaxation, thoughts, emotions, senses, breathing, and reduced stress. Results suggest that meditation using Headspace is beneficial for relaxation and reducing stress in adults in Western culture. Implications for holistic health include that practitioners have a new method of promoting relaxation and stress reduction to their clients. Further research could be conducted to measure quantitative relaxation and stress reduction in adults experiencing stress in Western culture using the Headspace app.

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