In recognition of World Mental Health Day 2018, we want to take some time to draw your attention to mindfulness. We know everyday life can become stressful and get on top of you but it is important to have some down-time every day to focus on yourself. One way to have some meaningful me-time is by using a mindfulness app. So, in this blog we explore 3 of the best mindfulness apps on the market that could fit into even the busiest lifestyles.
What is mindfulness?
So first things first, what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is being able to be present and aware of yourself and your surroundings. Professor Mark Williams says that mindfulness is “knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment”*. He explains how easy it is to “stop noticing the world around us” and to “lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling”*. But through using mindfulness techniques, you can reconnect with these simple every day moments and feelings.
How to be more mindful
Life can turn into a blur and we set ourselves into auto-pilot mode and before you know it weeks have gone by and you haven’t really taken time to appreciate day-to-day life. Try to take notice of the little things in life, such as smells and noises.
A more structured way of being mindful is to meditate.
When we meditate we venture into the workings of our minds: our sensations (air blowing on our skin or a harsh smell wafting into the room), our emotions (love this, hate that, crave this, loathe that) and thoughts (wouldn’t it be weird to see an elephant playing a trumpet)**
If you want more focused exercises and guidance on mindfulness and meditation, you can simply download a mindfulness app.
There are many mindfulness apps on the market, ranging from free to a monthly fee subscription, all with varied techniques. Here we give you the low-down on our 3 favourite apps:
With a range of meditation exercises, Calm covers the basics of mindfulness, such as mindful breathing. With an array of photographs, videos and sounds, Calm allow you to spend time doing nothing but embracing what is right in front of you. Some exercises are as short as 5 minutes meaning even those with the busiest lifestyles can make time for it! With a monthly subscription you can unlock more advanced audio programmes delivered by experts on topics such as sleep, relationships and anxiety.
Through a range of simple, bright animations, Headspace teaches you the basics of mindfulness and meditation. You can tailor each session to yourself and how much time you have, meaning you get a more personalised experience. Through paying a monthly subscription of £9.99, you can receive a further 550 hours of extra content to build on your mindfulness techniques.
If you’re looking for an app more tailored to your daily routine, MindFi might be the app for you. Providing short mindfulness exercises tailored to certain parts of the day, such as commuting or eating, this app can easily fit into any lifestyle. One of MindFi’s principles is to practice meditation with your eyes open, so it becomes an everyday routine that you can undertake anywhere at any point in the day. It also has a “deep work” function, which can help you concentrate at work through listening to calming noises.
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If you see this, just pause for a short breathing exercise. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Breathing in slowly through your nose and feel your stomach expand. Breathing out through your mouth and feel your belly contract. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible. Happy working! 🙂
So what do you say?
Take a break, have some me-time and try it out!
If you need more information on mindfulness or mental health please visit one of the following websites:
*NHS | Mindfulness – Medical and professional information and guidance on mindfulness from the NHS.
** Mindful – A non-profit organisation looking to inspire and guide anyone who wants to explore mindfulness.
Mind – A charity dedicated to raising awareness and providing advice and support for anyone experiencing mental health issues.
Young Minds – A charity focused on helping and fighting for young people’s mental health.