Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Mindfulness & Staying Present


I was always one who was hesitant on where to begin and with what, when it came to finally tackling my anxiety disorder. With the thousand thoughts swirling around my noggin constantly fighting to make sense, adding another task seemed more dangerous than anything. One day while browsing & testing various techniques, I came across a meditation that took small effort in little time...

Mindfulness..."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, used as a therapeutic technique".

The main goal of mindfulness is to bring your focus to the present, so that it can calm down the minds racing thoughts that include past and present anxieties. Over time, it helps your brain to process things in a more organized manner, allowing past/future thoughts to pass through more efficiently so you can better focus on the now. I have tried many apps dedicated to this practice and here are 2 of my favorites! The first, you can get a free 10-day trial pack then pay (variety of packages) after that. The second is completely free.

Headspace (Android/IPhone/computer; free 1 mnth trial then $7.99/month)
Yes, this one is slightly pricey, but it's efficacy is INSANELY good. I was lucky enough to find this one in it's earliest years when it was still free, and it was the first mindfulness app to really get me into the practice (which was huge due to my overall reluctance). They compare their program to a "gym membership for the mind".
Headspace app icon* Available on most devices

* Guided & non-guided tutorials from 2 min- 1 hour

* Different series collections including topics such as health, relationships, & performace.

* "SOS" videos for quick instant help during bad times.

* Can track your progress & stats

* More days in a row you meditate, the more rewards you get!

Smiling Mind (Android/IPhone/computer; free)
Designed with young people in mind, this app was developed by a team of psychologists with expertise in adolescant therapy
Smiling Mind app icon* Treats stress, resilience, anxiety, depression, and other physical & mental illnesses

* Highly regarded by Harvard, UCLA, and Oxford

* Not-for-profit initiative aimed at providing a sense of clarity, calm, and contentment.
Let me know if you have tried these apps, or have any suggestions for other Mindfullness apps that have worked for you!!

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