Google “mindfulness” or “meditation” right now and you’ll probably come up with thousands of results – classes, books, 10-step programs, personal coaching, even $120 mindfulness trackers. Mental self care is currently a hot topic, from social media articles to free e-books on meditation. I personally found the advice from many mindfulness articles intriguing but vague in terms of application. I also found many books to be hard to interpret. How do I sit? What do I focus on? Can I pray while I meditate? What does it mean by “bodily energy?” Today, I’m writing to share two new phone apps I found to help incorporate mindfulness and meditation into your daily life, in small doses, in a way that makes sense to you.
- Calm – This is a free app. It has activities you can choose from, or it has a breathing timer that directs you how to breathe when you just need to pause for a moment. It can also sync with your health app on your phone and record “Mindfulness minutes,” which can be helpful to track your progress or be used to report to your health insurance company if it has a health tracker program like Redbrick. You can do the breathing exercise for 30 seconds or however long you wish; everything is up to you. The goal of this app is to give you a break to breathe and relax. I think it is great to use when you first wake up or before you go to bed.
- Stop, Breathe, & Think – This is also a free app. It asks you to pause for thirty seconds, close your eyes, and address how you feel, and then you record it. Then, it directs you to appropriate mediation exercises to help counteract these feelings. These can be longer than the ones from the calm app, many ranging from 5-7 minutes. A calm voice directs you through every step, so nothing is left to interpretation. You can choose from a male or female voice, which is helpful. At the end of the exercise, you record your current emotions. Then, the app graphs your progress for the day and compares it to overall progress. The goal of the app is to teach you a method to address and handle your emotions and to enable you to better manage them in the future.
Have you tried these apps, or do you have other apps to recommend? Let me know. This post was in no way sponsored by the apps; I just wanted to share what I found.