From Chaos to Calm: Mindfulness Apps
by Linda Janasz
Mindfulness meditation, the ancient practice of focusing the mind and increasing nonjudgmental present awareness, has made its way into the business community. Individuals and corporations are embracing these skills to help them better manage their stress and find more satisfaction along the way.
While the digital revolution has profoundly impacted our lives and often appears to have increased chaos, there has also been an interesting intersection between mindfulness and technology. Although it’s important to create boundaries as to how we interact with our personal devices, some apps can be a thoughtful introduction to mindful meditation. As programs and apps become increasingly popular, I am often asked to suggest ones that can help individuals learn some basic meditation skills. Here are some to check out:
Stop, Breathe & Think Free (small fee for premium content)
This app samples the basics of meditation, featuring a range of exercises with varying lengths (mindfulness meditation, loving-kindness meditation, the body-scan practice), ideal for short practices at work and longer sessions at home. It also offers customized meditation for beginners.
One of the more comprehensive apps, Sattva offers a variety of guided meditations by leading experts. It also includes a meditation timer, a heart-rate monitor, a mood tracker, challenges and a guide to help you measure the impact on your well-being.
Calm Free (small fee for premium content)
This app offers “7 Days of Calm,” where you can learn the basics of mindfulness meditation in a free introductory program. You can also select background and sounds, set a timer and relax, or choose from over 50 guided meditations for a variety of goals from sleeping to focusing.
The Mindfulness App $2.99
This app will give you an overview of why meditation is such a powerful tool and features guided sessions by a number of leaders in the field. It is easy to use and you can choose from guided or silent meditations.
Buddhify teaches meditation while on the go. Select your location (traveling, walking, gym or home) and what type of meditation you want to do and the app then plays an audio-guided meditation specifically for that situation. It also includes a simple self-assessment system where you can rate your happiness and mental experience whenever you want.
Simply Being $1.99
Simply Being is one of the most popular meditation apps that caters to both beginners and advanced practitioners. It addresses every individual feature that you might need, ranging from sounds and music to guided sessions with configurable time limits.
Neuroscientists have produced scans that prove that meditation can actually change the size of key regions of our brains, improving memory and making us more compassionate, productive and resilient under stress. These changes impact every aspect of our lives, including how we interact in and out of the workplace.
If you chose to investigate these programs, it’s important to understand that early meditation may appear simple, but it is not easy, so be patient with yourself. Additionally, there are different forms of meditation, so have fun exploring, as one size does not fit all. If you want to delve in deeper, find a qualified meditation practitioner. Please check out the list of apps and let me know which ones are your favorites.
Linda Janasz, Ph.D., is a researcher, mindfulness practitioner, transformational coach, keynote speaker and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200). She developed a six-week Mindfulness, Meditation and Movement (MMM) Training program that has helped thousands of individuals in and out of the workplace. For more information, visit mindmedmove.com.