Meditation has been a huge part of my life for the past two years. After experiencing panic attacks on the daily, I needed an outlet to help my anxiety. Meditation allowed me to come to terms with my swirling thoughts, calm my mind, and live in the present moment.
We’ve all been there. Lying in bed trying to fall asleep with thoughts racing through your head non stop, crammed together like traffic during rush-hour. As you start thinking through and dismissing one thought, another comes along screaming, “HEY, DON'T FORGET ABOUT ME!” A half-hour goes by, then an hour, and then two. Eventually after 4 painful hours, your mind finally shuts off because you don't have the energy to think anymore. I fell victim to this at least 3 nights a week, every week. And the minute I woke up, thoughts came rushing back as if they never left. I was a prisoner to whatever crossed my mind. I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t freely think, and most importantly I couldn’t relax. This was also the time in my life that I started to experience panic attacks almost everyday. I needed a way to calm my mind, release my thoughts, and be at peace with the world around me.
Meditation was a practice that always interested me. I had heard how it has been used in the treatment of anxiety, depression, chronic pain, PTSD, and insomnia. It wasn’t until I looked deeper into the practice I realized thousands of people around the world meditate everyday to increase their happiness, productivity, and awareness of the world around them. I decided to give it a try. After meditating for only a week I realized meditation was as important in my life as exercise, food, and water. The best part is that it’s a SUPER EASY habit to start. Below I have reviewed some of the best apps for meditation to help you start improving your mindfulness and channel your inner awesomeness. The Mindfulness App The Mindfulness App is a great app for both beginners and experienced meditators. This app has everything from a guided practice, timed sessions, and personalized meditation. There is an option for both a month and a year prescription. This app was also the most cost effective I found that included all of the services I wanted. I would have stopped my search for the perfect meditation app right there, but I wanted something that was more pleasing to the eye and user friendly. The app felt ridged to use and some of it's features were confusing. However, overall I liked the services the app provided, just not the esthetic.
Calm The first experience I had with Calm was a fantastic one. I started a 7-day long meditation experience centered on gratitude. The meditation made me feel all fuzzy inside and I was excited for more but, to my sad surprise I could only listen to the first day before having to sign up for a paid subscription. Turns out there is a 7 day free trial, but it's limited. I looked through all of there options for meditation and I found myself say, "Is that it?" I felt like the app wasn't getting as specific as I wanted it to or in the areas that I personally was interested in. For $59.99 a year, it was still at a lower price, but I wanted more services that it could provide. Calm is very highly rated in both the Apple and Android app stores and I would recommend it for someone who isn't looking for specifics and just wants to improve their overall wellbeing.
Headspace Headspace was the last and my favorite meditation app I tried. I loved it so much that I actually purchased their annual prescription. Headspace is created and guided by Andy Puddicombe a sports science student turned ordained Tibetan monk in the Indian Himalayas. Headspace starts the individual off with 30 days of meditation training (10 of them being free) to ensure proper technique is formed before adding other meditations focused on a variety of subjects including stress, happiness, and productivity. The app allows the user to control the amount of time in meditation and track’s meditation habits in order to help the user achieve their meditation goals. Headspace made meditation so incredibly easy and it has become the first thing I do in the morning. The downside is that this app is on the more expensive side, but in my opinion well worth it for all the specific services it provides.
The important thing is to find the app that works best with you and STICK TO IT! The benefits are indescribable. As always if you have any question feel free to reach out under the Contact tab! Happy meditating! Resources:Meditation: In Depth. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm#hed3About Headspace https://www.headspace.com/Calm https://www.calm.com/The Mindfulness App http://themindfulnessapp.com