One of the most effective ways to reduce stress is mindfulness. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, depression, or anxiety. Mindfulness is an easy tool for managing stress and emotional regulation because it can be used anytime and brings immediate results. The definition of mindfulness according to the Oxford Dictionary is, “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.” To be mindful we have to choose to be an observer of our own life as it is laid out in the present time while temporarily deferring any judgement of bad or good. There are several great apps available that can easily help you become more mindful and here are several of them.
Calm – One of the most recommended apps for mediation and relaxation starts with the 7 Days of Calm. These are seven guided sessions that are about 10 minutes each in which you can select from an array of background scenery and sounds. The 7 Days of Calm are free but to unlock other guided meditations you need to buy a subscription.
Headspace – Another popular app delivers directed 10 minute sessions in a relaxed style and includes some short animated concepts to teach you the basics. One fun feature is the buddy system, which allows you and a friend to support each other through the journey and gives you a personalized progress page. It comes with 10 free sessions but similar to Calm, in order to access other mediations, you need to buy a subscription.
Meditation Studio – This app has a small 3.99 fee to buy but this allows unlimited access to over 200 mediation collections on specific areas of your life with the ability to choose from 25 of the top teachers. It also allows you to track your progress, schedule sessions, and stay focused on your practice.
Other easy ways to more mindfulness include walking while observing the details of your environment; repeating a word or a short positive affirmation; or learning a simple breathing exercise. Whatever way you choose, mindfulness trains you to be aware of your body, mind, and thoughts more easily. Mindfulness replaces distortion and denial with observation and acceptance, which leads to wisdom and better decisions for ourselves.
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