The past few years have seen people being drawn to meditation for its health and wellness benefits, as well as for the inner calm it brings to the minds and hearts of individuals who practice the discipline regularly.
For those who are already meditating and those who want to begin, a common dilemma is setting aside time to do it. Life as it is today has become so busy that adding meditation to the daily routine of home, work, kids, spouse and a dog or two seems impossible. Finding a quiet space to focus on your breathing and be still is a challenge in the workplace or at home. This is where apps come in handy.
There are thousands of meditation apps, free and subscription-based, on Apple’s App Store or at Google Play. There are apps for beginners, for regular meditators, for the ones who do it on and off, and for the others who feel burnt out. They come with a variety of features, all aimed towards inspiring you to keep on and not drop out.
Headspace is one of the most popular, for now, because popularity in apps is a fleeting quality. It has categories you can choose from, to focus on, and it tracks your performance. Some users swear their lives depend on it. Calm is a simple app and great for the novice. It has four sections that are easy to do – meditate, breathe, sleep and relax.
For the skeptics, read on to learn more about the benefits of meditation apps.
How apps can help you stick to a regular meditation practice:
1. Apps have calendars that prod you to do your meditation via reminders. They monitor your schedule and progress to keep you motivated to continue. Wherever you are at the moment, the app on your smartphone will notify you that it’s time.
Most apps are only fully functional if you are online, so you’ll need a smartphone and a broadband internet connection. There are various deals to choose from that let you have a phone and internet but for people who already have smartphones and don’t want another one, SIM-only deals are available and you save money by not paying for another phone.
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2. Apps can be used anywhere. You may be in the office or on the subway and you can just put on your headphones and start meditating. With apps, you become consciously oblivious to the external environment but still be mindful. A meditation app does away with the assumption that you have to be in a tranquil mood and a place devoid of noise to meditate effectively. With an app, a smartphone and your headphones, you can tune out the people and the world around you. In the midst of the urban cacophony, apps help keep you focused and calm.
3. Apps can be used alone or with a group. You don’t have to be in a structured group to meditate regularly. If you find it more effective, that’s good. But if you miss a session for one reason or another, you can still meditate alone with your chosen app, at any time and in any circumstance. With apps, you don’t have to forego your daily meditation.
Meditation helps you to develop mindfulness. It cultivates tolerance and enhances creativity. Most importantly, it is a respite from the hectic and bustling world. By retreating from it for a few minutes everyday, you gain inner peace and serenity, preparing you to face the next day with equanimity and calm.