Meditation Apps to help you Start Meditating.
I wanted to start meditating for a long time, but something was just holding me back. Yet, it seemed that everywhere I turned online, the articles that I read were buzzing about the benefits of meditation. I had read countless research articles about the positive impact that meditation can have on your brain. Some articles even attributed higher GRE scores to meditation. I had been following blogs, like Leo Babatua’s Zen Habits, that promoted meditation as an integral practice for a peaceful lifestyle. After a while I became even more enamored by the idea of starting a meditation habit. I knew that his habit might be able to improve my attention, my awareness, my mental health, and my personal outlook, and these were good reasons to get me started. Early into my practice, however, I began realizing that I was not very good at meditating. I began to worry that I was not doing it right, and I became more and more distracted during my meditation sessions. Day after day, the more distracted my session had been the less I wanted to meditate the next day, and soon my habit became undone. Meditating was not as easy as I originally thought.
Getting Some Headspace
Before long, I came across Headspace, a guided meditation service that you can download to your iPhone. Headspace offered a free “Take 10” series of very easy and accessible 10 min sessions. Through these sessions I learned that meditation actually was not that hard. I was just making it hard for myself by putting too many expectations on myself. Headspace showed me that meditation was easy. All I needed to do was be still, breathe, and enjoy the practice.
Once I started meditating again, I still had a problem with maintaining the habit. Because I am one to use apps to solve my problems, I found these apps to help me meditate consistently each day:
There are a ton of meditation apps on the market, but ZenFriend is definitely my favorite. Simply put, ZenFriend is a meditation timer. Its friendly design and compatibility with social networks makes it stand out. No longer is meditation a lonely or solitary experience. With ZenFriend I can share that experience with my friends and fellow meditators on Facebook.
You should not underestimate the value of social accountability and affirmation. This is why Lift has become such a powerful app that changes lives and habits everyday. On Lift you can choose to work on any habit you want, from reading a book everyday to flossing your teeth. Once you choose your habit, Lift will keep you accountable to check-in to that habit everyday and maybe jot down some notes. What’s more, Lift give you the ability to see the check-ins and notes of all the other people in the community working on the same habit. This feature is what gives the app it’s name. In this window you and your fellow Lifters can give each other encouragement as you work together on your goals. I found it much easier to maintain my habit of meditating when I knew other people were watching and encouraging me along the way. Lift Worldwide is free in the App store.
Lotus Bud Mindfulness Bell is another free app that can help your meditation practice. Much mindfulness bell in a monastery, this app uses the chime of a bell at random times during the day to call you back into mindfulness. This app can help you translate the benefits of your meditation practice to your job, to your conversations, and to other ordinary parts of your day. When I started carrying the Lotus Bud app around on my phone, I noticed that I was able to realize all those goals I had set out to accomplish by starting a meditation habit. I had greater clarity of thought. I could focus for longer periods of time, and I had a more positive attitude. I used to mindlessly drudge my way through the rest of the day after lunch, but while using Lotus Bud those unexpected reminders nudged my mind into a refreshing wakefulness.
This is just a small list of the best apps that I have experimented with in the early days of my meditation practice. The best part about meditation, though, is that each of us can practice it differently because each of us are unique. Try these out, but do not let yourself be restrained by just these options. Find what works for you.