Can Mindfulness Apps Help You Meditate?
We all know about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. And while you can sit in a corner of your home and meditate, now we even have apps that can help us do so. Can Mindfulness & meditation Apps help you meditate?
Meditation apps like Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer, Mindfulness App, Breethe, Omvana and others offer guided meditation. You can choose from options like Anxiety, Self-Care, Inner Peace or even Sleep. There is a separate Music category that comes packed with music to focus, relieve stress or gently guide you to sleep. Some apps also offer nature soundscapes and sleep stories. There are guided breathing exercises as well and some of them have a week-long practice that you can follow to stay on track. In most cases, they can be downloaded for free on the app store and play store and come with in-app purchase options.
Do they really work?
Despite the irony of using our smartphones to get into a calmer state of mind, Meditation and Mindfulness apps can be useful for those who find it difficult to meditate on their own. The initial guidance might be helpful and as you progress you can select lesser guidance options. Some of these apps also offer timers with chimes if you wish to meditate without the guidance but keep track of the progress. What we like is that they provide options for various types of meditation and mindfulness activities and could work well for someone new to the practice. Geeta Narang was introduced to Insight Timer by her daughter. Now the 62-year-old retired bank employee says she is “hooked on” to it. “I listen to a lot of discourses and do some chanting every evening. It helps to calm my mind when it is racing and to end my day on a sobering note.”
Pro tip: Turn off the notifications if you do not wish to be reminded that it’s time to meditate every morning and evening!
What does the research say?
Research has been done on Headspace, which showed decreased depression and increased positive emotions after use for 10 days. The Lancaster University, UK, also did a study, which shows that most guided meditation apps recommend meditating daily for at least 10 minutes, sitting in a comfortable position. However, there is limited support for monitoring the intrinsic meditation processes or for measuring the effectiveness of the training.
Whatever the drawbacks may be, there is something for everyone in the Mindfulness Apps. And people are subscribing. Calm has 40 million downloads worldwide, with one new user joining every second. The app also has over one million paid subscribers. Headspace was started by Buddhist monk turned entrepreneur Andy Puddicombe and had more than one million subscribers in 2018. Give your phone a new usage. Download a mindfulness app now.
Can’t stay still and practice meditation? Try Zentangle, the art of meditative doodling