Where’s your cell phone currently located? If we are similar, it is probably right next to you, if not in your hand. Our cell phones can be addictive, mostly due to the abundance of applications that make our lives easier. Mobile apps can serve the purpose of helping us interact with friends and family from a distance through social media. They can also increase productivity through timers and habit tracking. A study in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation shows that 74% of smartphone users felt a dependency on their smartphone over a period of time. With this increased dependency, the negative impacts of increased phone usage have been reported on by many health organizations.
Although the increase in smartphone usage can be concerning, many apps can benefit your health. The remainder of this article details my experience with three mobile applications that can be used to decrease anxiety and increase overall wellbeing through meditation.
Three mobile applications I have used to increase mindfulness and decrease anxiety are Calm, Headspace, and Insight Timer. All three apps are available in the App Store for iPhone users and Google Play Store for Android users. Each app has a free version and a premium option for those willing to pay for additional features. Within each app, you can find multi-day courses or instructional offerings, which I found extremely helpful for those who are new to meditation.
The Calm app offers visually appealing meditations, including 7 Days of Calm and The Daily Calm. Calm offers several free resources on its website, including a daily gratitude journal and a Daily Calm calendar, which I absolutely love! Calm offers nature scenes in their app, which makes it easy to get to sleep or to calm down in moments of distress. I took joy in the music and serene sounds provided to facilitate mindfulness further.
Headspace has several offerings, including meditation for kids, work, working out, and different aspects of mental health. As a company, Headspace is working on advancing the field of mindfulness through ongoing, clinically validated research. While using Headspace, I noticed the user experience includes colorful cartoons and a calming narration by the co-founder, Andy Puddicombe. The captivating animated videos and easy to use interface makes Headspace family-friendly. Headspace offers mindfulness prompts and “minis” for every aspect of life.
My favorite of the three apps I tested is the Insight Timer app. Insight Timer offers thousands of meditations for free. In addition, there is an opportunity to donate and support your favorite meditation instructions within the app and to interact with other users by joining different meditation groups. I recently invested in the Premium feature for Insight Timer, which allowed me to enroll in various courses. One course I enrolled in is related to combating negative self-talk and how to remain positive through times of change. This course provides techniques to use at any moment when I’m experiencing anxiety around my self-talk. I’m currently on a journey to enhance my self-image, documented through my blog and YouTube channel, and I’m sure this course will come in handy in doing so.
Based on my experience, each application has different useful features, as you’ve read above. I would highly recommend trying all three of these mobile apps to experience a new take on practicing mindful meditation or trying these apps if you are new to the practice of mindful meditation.
About the Author
Francesca Dantzler is a freelance writer specializing in mental health and wellness. She documents her wellness journey and provides resources via her blog, 15DollarFit. Through her blog and YouTube channel, Francesca enjoys researching and documenting new topics around mental and physical health, One of her favorite quotes is, “My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel—it is, before all, to make you see.”
The opinions and views expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in this article or linked to herein.
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