Mindfulness and Meditation Apps
Mindfulness is paying conscious attention to the present moment. It can be developed through the practice of meditation and mindfulness training. This helps you not to dwell on the past or worry about the future.
Meditation is the deliberate focusing of attention to bring about feelings of calm and heightened energy and awareness. There are many different ways to meditate, such as using a mantra, looking at an object, or focusing on the breath. It can be done sitting still or moving around while maintaining self-awareness.
Scientific research has proven that mindfulness meditation:
- assists with the management and reduces the symptoms of pain and stress
- helps build resilience and compassion
- improves focus and concentration
- helps with creativity and collaboration
- improves amount and quality of waking time and sleep quality for people with insomnia
- promotes healthier relationships
- alleviates symptoms of anxiety
My two favourite apps are Smiling Mind and Headspace. Below I have provided a brief description of each and how they might benefit you.
Smiling Mind is a not-for-profit organisation that works to make mindfulness meditation accessible to all. Developed by psychologists, and based on mindfulness meditation techniques, the program can be tailored to your needs. There are 10 modules of mindfulness training and guided meditation and 42 sessions included on the app. They start at 3mins in length and can be easily incorporated into your daily routine.
I have found this app as a great starting point to learn about mindfulness and meditation. I use it to help me relax before going to sleep or during a quiet moment in the afternoon if I feel stressed or anxious. The app is free to download and use.
Headspace is digital service (not the same as the Australian organisation) which has a free trial but requires a monthly or yearly subscription. There are hundreds of themed sessions on everything from sleep to stress. Some are small meditations designed to be worked into busy schedules. The web site includes a “how it works” video.
This is a great second step for targeted mindfulness and meditation to be used in specific situations such as “SOS” short sessions to be used at work or during sport etc. Also check out their series of blogs related to mindful meditation in sport.