Looking for meditation apps to beat that stress? Our list has some great choices that can really turn your routine around.
Modern life is all about running, escaping, restlessness, and multitasking. We never have a moment to sit and stare, literally and figuratively. If anytime we have some free time, it makes us restless, fidgety and all over the place.
Today, sitting still is almost considered a crime and instills guilt for not engaging in some activity.
Lifestyle diseases are increasing due to chronic stress. Sometimes it feels like we have become addicted to cortisol. What was a temporary fight and flight response has become our constant dwelling state. A healthy diet, exercise and a relaxation routine is necessary and is crucial to come out of this unhealthy loop.
There are many relaxation practices to restore optimum health like Yoga, Tai Chi and meditation. The key is to stop running and tune in to your body.
Why relaxation is important
The simplest meditation practice is focusing on breath, the inhalation and exhalation. It helps to slow the breath, quietens the mind, makes you peaceful and helps to heal or control physical, mental and emotional issues.
Guided meditation practices gently lead you through the duration of the session and end it smoothly with a gentle sound of a bell to start and end a session. An alarm is harsh and jolts you out of the relaxed state, which is not good.
If you would like to start a meditation practice, your Smartphone can be your buddy. Yes, the very Smartphone that keeps you engaged morning and evening with constant chatter, and distraction can help you relax and de-stress with meditation apps.
Personalized meditation apps
Many meditation apps are available today. Selecting the app depends on personal preferences and on the iOS.
Some apps consist of guided meditations or sounds of nature, bells or singing bowls. Many offer a selection of time duration from 5 minutes to 20 or more minutes.
Apps have free, partially free and paid versions. It is good to try out the free version before buying any app as it would be a wasted investment if you don’t use the app for any reason.
Here are five meditation apps you can explore.
This is a paid app for both Android and iPhone. Users have access to custom meditations with focused exercise for specific aspects like help with sleeping, staying offline, dealing with stress, handling difficult emotions, and taking a work break. The practice tracks are in the range of 4 to 30 minutes.
Headspace is a good app for beginners. There are 10-day meditation packs that are great for beginners. These meditation exercises help newbies understand what meditation is and familiarize themselves with the process. Headspace has a personalized progress page to keep track of the practice. After completing the free ten-day meditation pack, it offers monthly and annual subscription packages that feature advanced meditation practices.
This is a very popular free app for both Android and iPhone with more than 3.9 lakh meditators! Users have access to custom meditations with focused exercise for specific aspects like help with sleeping or staying offline. The tracks are in the range of 5 to 30 minutes.
Smiling Mind app is for both iPhone and Android phones. It has meditations for diverse age groups, from kids as young as 7 to adults of any age. This could be a family app used by the whole family, creating sub accounts to manage everything in one app. A special section for teachers with appropriate levels for different grades helps educators to introduce and practice meditation in the classroom.
Stop, Breathe & Think
This is a free app for iPhone, Android and also the web. It helps you to do just what it says. You can select from more than 55 guided meditations to do every morning and evening. These exercises help to tackle depression, anxiety and insomnia.
Take baby steps with these meditation apps
Experts believe that meditation should be practiced at the same time and place every day. This helps the mind to accept it. When you practice for few days in a row you will understand that the strong reluctance to sitting still slowly goes away and there comes a time when you actually look forward to those few minutes of stillness.
Start with baby steps. Don’t have very high aspirations of meditating for an entire hour right at the beginning. Initially, it is difficult to practice even for few seconds but with these apps, you can start with a 3 minute practice and slowly increase the duration.
Regular meditation practice makes you mindful, enhances clarity of thought and concentration. You become less reactive and develop a healthy response to stressful occurrences.
Featured image credit: Flickr