Mindfulness, meditation, and more generally self-awareness has become extremely important in the field of psychology, being included in many therapeutic approaches. Studies show that it helps reduce stress levels, increases creativity and productivity, helps manage depression and anxiety, and can even aid weight loss. However, practicing it is not always easy. To find even a few minutes to devote to the practice of mindfulness between meetings, conference calls, emails, family, and friends, it almost seems impossible.
But there is a solution and is lies in your smartphone. Yes, it may seem strange at first but in fact, by downloading the right mobile app, you can have a powerful meditation and mindfulness tool always ready to use anywhere and without too much effort.
To help you get started, I've listed below some of the best free mindfulness applications that can be very useful in creating and maintaining your mindfulness practices. These apps were chosen for anyone who wants to become more knowledgeable of their lives, regardless of whether you're a beginner or an experienced meditator.
Stop, Breath and Think
Sometimes all you need is to stop, take a deep breath and think. These three principles underpinning Stop, breathe & Think. It comes with guided meditations that are brief and easy to carry out (from as little as 5 minutes). The interface is simple, young and appealing and you can access features without any login. The app helps you track how you're feeling and has a 'Learn how to meditate' section. It also monitors your progress over time.
This mindfulness app is beautiful, minimalist and meticulous. The application begins by teaching the 7 steps of 'Calm' (posture, breathing, etc.) and sets out to be your escape valve when the pressure is too strong. There are 7 guided sessions with the length of 2m to 20m and can choose from a range of background scenes and sounds (beaches, mountains, and sounds of nature). The voice enduring the guided sessions is remarkable and the music by Kip Mazuy - a big name in the music world for meditation - is superior to any other offering.
The app 'Centered' offers a unique program for stress management, encouraging users to add mindfulness meditation sessions into your daily routine. Users can track progress towards how 'centered' they are and can see how the addition of meditation sessions positively affects your mood during the day. Over time, as you fulfill your mindfulness goals, the circles of its activities and mindfulness meditations come together into one circle, representing the state of being 'centered'. This application includes much of what you need to develop your mindfulness activity including daily reminders, meditation timers and audio guides of various durations. You can also synchronize this app with Apple Health to help you keep monitoring their mind, body and spirit.
This is an excellent choice for those seeking guided meditation without too many barriers. Before starting any activity, the app invites you to watch three videos that practically summarise the basic principles of meditation and how it acts on the mind. The app is focused on the day-to-day meditations of the beginner. The application is very well designed and very easy to understand. Each session is narrated by Andy Puddicombe, who is the person responsible for Headspace project and who is also a former Buddhist monk. By using the app you learn the basics in 1010 sessions are all 10 minutes long, get points for regularity and can download recordings for use when offline. According to some studies, Headspace allows you to obtain the first results after a few days of use, decreasing significantly stress and improving mood.
Mindfully me is the combination of a mobile application and a website that promotes mindfulness, self-awareness, authenticity and other skilled lifestyle practices. The application Mindfully Me has three functions. (1) a general meditation timer; (2) guided meditations and; (3) mindfulness reminders. Reminders can be set to notify you at regular intervals throughout the day. They are made up of several short messages that direct their attention to your experience in the present moment and aims to improve your mindfulness practice every day.
The ZenFriend application works as a tracker of meditative practice, timer, record, send reminders and more. Everything about this app is simple, soothing and appealing, so it is no wonder that users appreciate what offers . The application is designed to feel like your friend - your ZenFriend to be exact. You can monitor your sessions and cam make notes of your thoughts after a session. The application is fully customizable and can be used by anyone, thanks to its simplicity. It has a choice of guided meditations (Internet connection required) within the categories available, such as Mindfulness, Loving -Kindness, Healing, Sleep & Relaxation, etc. ZenFriend has recently been updated with a host of new features, including more interesting sounds, bug fixes, and a variety of improvements.
Perfect for those who do not know where to start. This app provides a custom meditation program for those who have busy days. It comes with many colourful program choices, focused on different situations and states of mind. The audio tracks for meditation are calibrated on 14 different activities – from eating to traveling, even for working online – and makes it possible to improve the approach to the workday. By doing so you can develop your awareness from anywhere and at any time. More than 11 hours of recorded meditations are included, and you can track your performance over time.
Developed in Australia, this is primarily designed for children and young people. It is divided into three age groups between seven to 22 years, and another for adults. The objective of this project (non-profit), is to promote meditation as a way to explore the present, focusing one's attention and consciousness in specific ways. Their aim is to provide tools that help create happy healthy and compassionate youth.
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