Meditation feels like a distant luxury for most of us. One day I will learn to meditate; one day I will find time to meditate. We know and read enough about the ill-effects of our fast-paced lifestyle. Stress, insomnia, fatigue, mood swings are just some of the symptoms. The result of undue mental stress is broken relationships, lack of peace of mind and even therapy and medical treatment. One way to try to tackle all this – meditation.
Apart from finding the time and space to meditate, the willpower to not give up on day one can be a challenge! It feels like the mind will wander and buzz forever. The hand itches for the phone, pretending to check the timer. The mind buzzes with tasks left to complete, and the mind wanders to conversations past and future. How does one keep it going?
Well, this is the age of apps. There are apps to help with everything and not surprisingly, there are apps to help you with meditation too. Guided or aided meditation may perhaps be the solution to relieve stress. So, check out these amazing meditation apps for yourself and meditate your way to a stress-free life.
Mediation Thy Name Is Calm
The name says it all. To meditate, you need to be calm. Think about all those things that bring calmness and you will certainly think about nature, music, soothing sounds, etc. All these and much more is what you get when you download the Calm app and get going. Calm is very visually appealing too. In the words of Phoebe Buffet – it takes you to your ‘happy place!’ The background visuals and the sound of raindrops or morning chirping of birds help a lot in reducing anxiety.
There are a variety of meditation techniques that you can explore from a beginner to advanced levels, and all this comes free. You can take monthly, yearly or lifetime subscriptions too. Calm also has sleep stories told in such a beautiful way that it puts you to sleep like a baby. It helps you with your productivity, gaining mindfulness, sleeping well as well as managing your emotions. Overall, Calm is a very friendly, reassuring meditation app that you can turn to anywhere, at home, in the office or even when you are commuting. Install Calm and discover the value of meditation and learn to say goodbye to stress and anxiety. It is available on Android as well as iOS, apart from a website that has merchandise too.
Headspace For Meditation
Headspace is a simple app that helps you inculcate the habit of meditation. It claims to have several themed sessions, bite-sized meditations for busy schedules and SOS exercises in case of sudden meltdowns. It feels like it does not have the variety of Calm, but for beginners who are struggling to make meditation a habit, this may be a good place to start. This app is free to download and use on Android and iOS, and there are options for monthly, annual as well as lifetime subscriptions to choose from to unlock the full Headspace meditation experience.
The website has interesting articles and significant research you can tap into. You can even collaborate with them if you are a researcher too. Headspace also does corporate tie-ups and boasts of quite a few big names on their client list.
Meditation Guide – Insight Timer
Available for Android and iOS, Insight Timer is an immensely popular meditation app. The app has guided meditations, music tracks, courses and talks for you to choose from. It provides looping background sounds that aid in meditation. There is also a Timer feature that works silently in the background but tracks all your sessions. The timer allows for many settings to create intervals during meditation. You can even use the personalized preset options. You can track and check your progress through your statistics. The app is not as visual as Calm but has a more diverse range of guided meditations – even spotted a Devi prayer. The diversity stands out in the list of teachers and paths to meditation – Buddhism, Bahá’í Faith, Bhakti movement and so on. It is free to download and use with an upgrade option as well. It also has many groups with live discussion forums. You can even choose to take part in local language discussions. The app supports over 20 languages.
There is no better way to counter everyday stress than refreshing sleep and Calm helps you with that. The sheer variety of choices with an option for almost every situation that you encounter in daily life gives it an edge over others.
Clearly, there are many paths to mindfulness and meditation, and you can try out one or all of these. Surely you will find a match and get started on a more peaceful lifestyle!
Check out the apps and stick to one that suits you the best:
And an update… there’s a new kid on the block: Oak