The practice of mindfulness is the new black. But it’s hardly just another fleeting trend – it’s here to stay and has some seriously amazing benefits. When achieving zen means the reduction of stress and anxiety and an increase in overall happiness and personal wellbeing, it becomes more than trendy. The good news is, you don’t have to be a yogi to achieve it. The following four apps will help you improve your mental health and overall sense of wellbeing in no time at all.
Rain Rain Sleep Sounds
If curling up next to your window to listen to the sound of the rain is one of your rituals to achieve mindfulness, there’s good news: you won’t have to wait until the next time there’s a storm to do so. This app has over 25 free sounds to put your mind at ease. Maybe you have a preference for a specific kind of rain — perhaps the sound of rain in a bustling city, or that of a booming thunderstorm. Or maybe you prefer the crackling of fire or the sounds of the ocean. Rain Rain has a variety of sounds to choose from, and allows you to mix sounds to create your own custom ambiance. Whether you’re after restful sleep or meditation, this is the app for you.
Boasted by its creators as “modern meditation,” the Smiling Mind app sprouted from a non-profit organization that’s mission is to implement meditation techniques in educational and work settings. Smiling Mind is used by more than 18,000 educators and more than 200 organizations globally to improve wellbeing and reduce stress in these environments. So what is it exactly, and how do you use it? When you download the app, you’ll be prompted to complete an introductory session and get a crash course in mindfulness. You may then select the program most suited to your needs from over 15 available, all designed for a specific environment and individual. Whether you’re seeking to manage your stress, improve your communication skills, improve your sports and/or work performance (or all of the above), there’s a program for it on Smiling Mind.
Stop, Breathe & Think
Stop, breathe & think, because amid the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, sometimes it’s necessary. This app allows you to center yourself and truly check in with how you’re feeling physically and emotionally to determine the best course of action. To do this, the app will ask you to describe how you’re feeling physically, and then give you a list of mixed emotions and ask you to pick five that describe how you’re feeling. Once the survey is complete, you’ll receive a list of meditation programs to tackle. The app also provides some education on mindfulness, a variety of programs, and opportunities to track your progress.
Upon first opening this app, before you even sign up, you’ll be asked to take a deep breath. When you’re ready to get started, you’ll receive a list of goals and be asked to prioritize one. From here, you can select up to two free meditation programs to begin, 7 guided mediation programs, practice proper breathing, and even listen to soothing stories to achieve meditation. The going rate to unlock all of the apps benefits is $4.99 per year, making it a total steal.