Who wouldn’t want to be less anxious and stressed? Who wouldn’t want to enjoy calm and inner peace? You might have heard about the benefits of meditation. As a reminder, this article
Meditation helps with:
Having fallen out of meditation practice over and over again, I know that sometimes you can’t keep up with meditation on your own, no matter how good it is for you. That is definitely not a personal failing. Life can get in the way. It helps to have a community of other people to discuss meditation with. But even without that, I found that meditation videos and apps can be extremely helpful meditation guides.
There are a wide variety of meditation apps available. This article on
One of my first experiences with a meditation app was with Insight Timer. Insight Timer has certain aspects that are free and some paid programming as well. Though it’s been a few years since I’ve used the platform, I appreciated that there was some free content. As I was beginning on my meditation journey, having the free Insight Timer app seemed risk-free and less intimidating for me.
Looking at the Insight Timer website now, I see the company still has a commitment to providing helpful and free content. I was able to listen to an hour-long talk about mindfulness by Lama Rod Owens without even signing up.
The next meditation app I tried was Headspace in 2019 before the beginning of the Pandemic. Headspace has quirky branding and a unique message. I found it very educational. I learned more about deep breathing techniques through the app. Some of these breathing techniques really helped my sleep if I did them consistently at bedtime.
This was also an app that introduced me to sleep stories which are short ASMR stories you can listen to as you are falling asleep. These were also great for my bedtime routine. I did find that the app had some slowness and technical issues when I was using it, but I enjoyed using the app immensely for the most part. The company has special sales plans for
Most recently, I have tried the Calm app. I have tried the app for about 2 weeks so far and I have explored the daily content as well as sleep music and stories. I have not noticed any technical issues so far with the phone app or the website, which was reassuring. There are several daily lessons in mindfulness and mindful movement from teachers like Jay Shetty, Tamara Levitt, and Jeff Warren. Also, the numerous sleep stories are narrated by many celebrities like PINK and Matthew McConaughey.
I allowed the app to send me reminder notifications, and the app reminds me to write down things I am grateful for. It also sends me messages to remind me to be more mindful during the day. These have actually been really helpful for me to take a minute to breathe and remember to practice gratitude. The app allows you to turn off the notifications or adjust the frequency so you don't feel overwhelmed by them.
Strangely enough, during the Pandemic, I did not turn to any meditation apps to feel less stressed. I found Youtube to be the most accessible for me at the time. I found myself scrolling through my Youtube feed a lot for entertainment and stress relief. I found some channels that were helpful for meditation music and meditation ideas. Using these as a starting point, I encourage you to explore the internet for other resources!
Taking care of ourselves should not be the last thing on our minds. I know it's easy to put your mental health priorities behind others in your life. Poor mental health can affect everything else though. Having access to a meditation app might help.
With the Calm app notifications, I have been getting some meditation and meditative thought on most days recently and that has been a welcome change in my life. There are numerous other resources even beyond the ones I have highlighted.
Find the one that’s right for you. You are worth it.