One of the greatest ways to reduce stress and improve mental health is by implementing mindfulness meditation into your normal routine. It is evidence-based and used in many different models of therapy. I’m always using mindfulness in my practice, and teaching clients how to pay attention to their body’s and mind. Being present with yourself is everything. But, if you’re not an experienced meditator, it is probably difficult to get started. Luckily these days we have Apps! However if you’re anything like me, scrolling through and trying to find the right one is anxiety producing in itself. So I downloaded nine mindfulness meditation apps. I went through them for you, and created a short list that I think are the best three, especially for beginners.
1. Stop Breathe & Think – This is my favorite. When you first open the app, you will see an orange, white, green, and blue screen. Each has a different option listed: How are you, Learn to meditate, Explore activities, and My progress. I clicked on How are you? From there you are taken through steps 1 – 5. First it asks you to “Stop, Breathe & Think.” You are instructed to take a deep breath and think about how your mind and body feel. Second, you choose from a list, “Great, Good, Meh, Poor, or Rough.” You then check in mentally, and add emotions from a list. The final step has options for different meditations to choose from. They are all meditations I would use with clients which is probably why I favored this app the most.
2. Headspace – Headspace is cool because when you first login, as a beginner you get to watch this little video that teaches you how to meditate. It goes over all of the instructions, and teaches you to ignore judgmental thoughts about yourself, and to focus on the present. As you get better, the meditations become a bit more challenging. They are also short, between 3 and 10 minutes. You can easily fit one meditation in every day.
3. Insight Timer – This immediately gives you the option to choose what kind of meditation you would like. The first screen lets you pick from a list of “movement” meditations, “chanting & mantras” and “nature” mediations. You can also choose to “explore” and there you will find meditations that will help you sleep, deal with anxiety, and relax. This is something that I might do if I immediately know what I need in that moment.
Good Luck Meditating!