Mindfulness Apps: Download Living in the Moment
Gone are the days in which handheld devices simply played the singular role of a phone. Today, cell phones can be used to manage our bank accounts, schedule meetings, and even make lunch orders. It’s not an exaggeration to say there is an app for everything, even an app for something abstract like mindfulness.
If you take a peek on the top health and fitness app charts, you’ll see apps like Calm and Headspace. These apps are mindfulness apps, in other words they are technology applications that focus on teaching users to be more mindful.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness describes an awareness of the present moment and is often referred to in terms of meditation and therapy. It demands management of external factors as well as the ability to self-reflect. An article in The Harvard Gazette describes mindfulness as a place where our mind is at rest, which is much different from the constant drifting and analysis our minds typically execute.
Why is mindfulness important?
Stress Management. The world moves so fast it can be hard to keep up. Stressors pile up and try as we may, we cannot plan for everything (2020 is proof of that). With mindfulness, we can reroute our thinking, control stress, and enjoy the moment more.
Rest. By taking time to be mindful, we are taking time out our of our day to slow down, unplug from what we are doing and tune in to ourselves. Therefore, practicing mindfulness is a form of self-care that can allow us to take some much-needed rest, so we can better tackle whatever life throws at us after.
Mental Health Check. It is easy to check in on our friends but often we forget to check in with ourselves. The good news is, mindfulness can help with that. Being more mindful helps us check in and recognize the emotions we are feeling and what we need to do to properly deal with those emotions. We can be more present and live in the moment rather than let our lives pass us by.
Promotes Good Habits. By taking the time to check in with ourselves, we may become more aware of other habits we could incorporate for our well-being. Using the different tools provided in these apps, we can find tips on how to work on the areas of our lives that are disrupting our headspace. Examples include tips for better sleep, exercise ideas, and intuitive eating.
The benefits of being more mindful are undeniable. In order to reap them, we must take time out of the daily hustle and bustle to focus and self-reflect, which can be difficult to do! Therefore, mindfulness requires practice.
Here’s where mindfulness apps come in.
While the apps may not meditate or reflect for you, they can help supply you with the tools you need to center yourself and incorporate more mindfulness into your routine. Mindfulness apps include different tips, meditations and exercises for various areas of life that users may want to target in order to find balance within themselves. These areas include stress management, physical health, sleep health, emotional regulation, and meditation among other options.
As a whole, mindfulness apps have similar goals and with so many options, you are sure to find one that best fits your personal needs. There are a bunch of free mindfulness apps you can choose from and ones you can subscribe to with monthly, annual, or even lifetime memberships. Mindfulness apps are user-friendly and conveniently accessible on the devices we use daily. You can tune in to your mindfulness app while taking a lunch break, commuting on the train or bus, or taking 10 minutes for yourself at the start or end of the day. With content added regularly, you'll never run out of mindfulness material.
In the spirit of mindfulness, there is no time like the present.
You do not need to have experience with mindfulness before using a mindfulness app - it will help you learn how to become more mindful in a way that works best for you. So what are you waiting for? Download a mindfulness app today and put yourself first. Your mind and body will thank you for it!
Written by: Autumn Bartlett, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern
Foundation for a Mindful Society
The Harvard Gazette
The Mental Health Foundation
The Journal of American College Health