Stress and anxiety can lead to many problems that negatively impact your physical health. Short-term consequences of anxiety may include shortness of breath or a high heart rate. Long-term consequences can be much more severe and may involve chest pain, high blood pressure, and even heart disease. To keep stress and anxiety under control, think about using meditation as a tool you could use anywhere.
What Is Meditation?
You can practice meditation in many ways. Some people assume meditation means sitting with crossed legs in a lotus position. While this is one way of meditating, it is not the only way.
Meditation can be done virtually anywhere. By focusing on your breath, you can be calm. You also feel relaxed and at peace while in a room with many people.
You can do it without any guidance. But for many beginners and even those who have been meditating for years, guided meditation could help clear intrusive thoughts.
Guided meditation can include a voice or a story to help you concentrate. It can also focus solely on the sounds of nature. The waves of the ocean, rain forests at night, and animal noises are all popular ways of concentrating the mind through guided relaxation.
Tuning out the world around us can be difficult without help. Meditation apps give you instant access to guided meditation without having to find a physical class or instructor.
Meditation is an effective way to slow down the body and relax. When done regularly, it could help manage chronic stress and other ailments, like tension headache, and sleep problems.
Here are five free meditation apps you could try.
Different people feel at peace with different stimulation. The app, Aura, is designed to understand how you would best receive a meditation practice that fits your personality. By asking questions, the app can tailor a three-minute meditation based on how you have responded.
You can use Aura with an Apple Watch to help you acknowledge and understand your thought process. Because these meditations are timed in three-minute increments, they can be used when taking a break at work, on public transportation, or even in the bathroom. This is the perfect meditation app for those who need instant access to something that can calm them down in a hurry.
2. Insight Timer
Meditation can be a practice that is independent from all other people. Many people who use free meditation apps do so by themselves. Insight Timer is rare in its style because it promotes a community atmosphere for those who want it.
This app allows you to discuss the meditation experience with other people from anywhere in the world. There are beginners groups, as well as some that discuss transcendental meditation. When connecting with other people about peace and mindfulness, it can be especially relaxing to know that others from all over the globe share the same dedication and goal. This meditation app is available for Android and iOS.
3. Smiling Mind
Smiling Mind offers a wide range of mindfulness meditations. Unlike some of the other meditation apps, this particular app is organized by a slightly different structure. There are meditations for the workplace, relationships, sleep, and beginner foundations.
A typical meditation lasts approximately five to fifteen minutes, which is especially helpful for breaking up a day. Because it is longer than just a couple minutes but shorter than a half-hour, it can encourage a thorough relaxation without having to schedule-in a specific time. This app is available on many platforms, including the web, Android, and iOS.
4. UCLA Mindful App
This app was developed out of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at the University of California. There are dozens of meditations to choose from. As an added bonus, they offer meditations in Spanish as well as English.
Each meditation session ranges from three to twenty minutes, depending on why you’re tuning in. They have meditations for painful emotions, generating kindness, and overall relaxation.
For those who are new to meditation, the UCLA Mindful App has a section for beginners that explains what mindfulness is. It also tell you how to best choose a meditation for you. You would also have the opportunity to explore postures and meditation techniques.
For a meditation service that is based around the science of mindfulness, this is the one to try. It can be used on both Android and iOS.
5. 10% Happier
Not everybody uses meditation for the same purpose. This app is for those who may be skeptical about mindfulness or the spiritual aspect that can sometimes follow meditation. 10% Happier also has a guide that is familiar with panic attacks. From a mental health perspective, 10% Happier is primarily focused on relaxation and how to move past panic and anxiety.
Meditation can help heal anxiety and panic episodes for many individuals. Although it is free and does not require any equipment, this skill is most beneficial when you practice it regularly. Since mindfulness meditation does not require a class structure, these apps can make a huge difference in everyday living.