By: Jane Shersher, LSW & Founder Counselors Autonomous
Meditation 101 With Helpful Apps
Attending a yoga class or a group meditation is a powerful way to incorporate a regular meditation practice into your day, however, whether factoring in cost, geographic location, or timing, these in-person options are not always accessible. Here is, therefore, a list of meditation apps that are helpful for everyday meditation routines that can be implemented during a morning commute, before/after an especially stressful meeting, or before bedtime.
Mind Valley’s Omvana
This app sports the 22 minute guided meditation- The 6 Phase Mediation (which can be found on YouTube if you do not have an iphone). This wildly successful meditation was created by the founder of the company Mindvalley. He researched meditation habits of successful people and aggregated their exercises into this condensed recorded practice. The 6 Phase Mediation helps individuals to clearly visualize the futures that they may want for themselves. The experience helps listeners to start to take action-oriented approaches toward self-actualization. It supports listeners to continually revisit long-term goals and implement steps toward achieving them via a daily action plan.
Headspace is great for people who are new to meditation. It is light and entertaining yet soothing and purposeful. There is a free program in Headspace called Take 10, which includes a collection of 10-minute sessions for 10 days involving varied approaches to meditation that can all serve their own meditative purpose.
Breathe offers a great way to track any changes in mood and cognition through weeks of meditation. There are also educational materials to teach you about the basics of meditation, how it works, and its many benefits.
Studies have shown that exposure to nature can reduce stress and increase focus and productivity. Calm unites meditation with sounds and scenes of nature. There are also options to focus on specific types of meditation or resolutions for particular problems. You can choose how long you want to meditate and also just play nature sounds (without any meditation) while you work or prepare for sleep as well.
Whil offers guided mediation and yoga videos. You can choose topics like Calm Anxiety or Mindfulness 101 and choose how many sessions you want. With the WhilPower feature, you can plug in your mood, goal, and time frame and the app actually scans its library to provide you with relevant programs that specifically meet your needs.
This is a simple meditation tool where you can plug in your preferred time to meditate with an ambient sound, and a Tibetan bowel will ring at the end of your session. This app also provides a sense of community meditation, as you can check out who else is using the app around the world in real time.
Another app that we suggest is called Buddhify, however it is not free ($4.99). Remaining calm throughout the day, knowing how to re-center yourself when things get stressful, and continuing to grow internally will help you to resolve interpersonal issues and manage your stress as either may arise throughout your day. These apps are meditation in your pocket, available for free (or for purchase if you order advanced versions) whenever you want them and for whatever purpose you need them.