When the whole world seems to be in turmoil, how do you deal with stress and anxiety? Try these meditation and relaxation apps to build a positive mindset and stay mentally healthy.
The entire planet is trying to stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. But apart from the virus itself, the changes and upheavals in lifestyle can take a heavy toll on mental health.
Time and again, meditation has proven to be the best practice to relieve stress and reduce anxiety. Apart from mindfulness meditation for beginners, there are other techniques like self-reflection and mind training to counter those negative thoughts. And you can get it all for free with these apps.
1. 1 Giant Mind (Android, iOS): 12-Day Guide, 30-Day Challenge
1 Giant Mind is a fantastic app for beginners to learn about meditation. Meditation teacher and author Jonni Pollard simplifies how to do it and has answers for common questions and obstacles that stop you.
The app asks you to start with the 12-step “learn meditation” course. It doesn’t matter if you’ve meditated before this, this step can’t be skipped. With one step every day, Pollard guides you to understand his take on meditation, which is all about making it as effortless as possible and relinquishing control.
He touches upon common topics like a mantra, breathing, and so on, but there’s a bit extra. After each session, the app asks what broke your concentration. Select one of the common reasons and you’ll get a short clip from Pollard on how to beat that obstacle.
This is one of the small ways 1 Giant Mind goes beyond a regular meditation app.
After finishing the 12-step introductory course, try the 30-day meditation challenge. It’s an excellent course to build the habit of meditating regularly. The app also includes a mood tracker after every session, as well as a journal.
If you simply want to start a quick session, use the meditation timer to select a guidance coach, background music, and duration.
2. Medito (Android, iOS): Free-Forever, No Strings Meditation App
The Medito Foundation believes meditation can transform lives by reducing anxiety and stress, and improving general well-being. That’s why they made Medito, a free-forever app with meditation guides for both beginners and experienced practitioners.
Most newcomers should first go through the introduction, beginner, and intermediate courses, which tell you the basics of meditation and mindfulness. Select between two voices (Will or Steve) and go through the guided courses step by step.
It’s a pleasant guided audio course to understand what you can expect to feel through different packs.
Once you know the basics, choose a pack based on your meditation type. Medito offers guided audio meditations for sleep, stress and anxiety, breathing exercises, loving kindness, body scan, mantra, and a daily meditation where you can change the length. The also comes with a built-in meditation timer if you don’t want an audio guide.
3. The Wim Hof Method (Web): Meditation Technique and Immunity Boost
The Wim Hof Method is one of the most popular meditation techniques across the world. It’s one of the most referenced methods when it comes to the mind over matter” aspect of meditation. While the full course takes a long time, you can get started with the three-part free mini-course by Wim Hof himself.
In the three Vimeo videos, the first class focuses on breathing. In a short discourse followed by a guided meditation, Hof teaches the importance of breathing and how it affects energy, stress, and your immune system.
The second video is where the Wim Hof method sets itself apart, where you have to embrace the cold. It’s all about improving your cold tolerance through cold showers and other methods, which Hof claims burns fat and releases “feel good” chemicals in your brain.
The third part is about putting the learnings of the first two into action. Keep in mind that this is a beginner-level introduction to the Wim Hof Method. You’ll soon master these aspects and want to upgrade.
The website offers longer paid courses, discounted currently as the coronavirus pandemic grips the globe.
4. GG Life (Android, iOS): Retrain Your Brain for Positivity
Anxiety, self-doubt, and other negative thoughts can suppress one into inaction. Over time, we subconsciously train our brain to believe the worst and imbibe depressing thoughts. The GG Life app wants to retrain your brain to think better thoughts about yourself and the world.
The app’s quick training system will show you how it works. It displays short messages with both good and bad outcomes. When you see a positive thought, drag it towards yourself and accept it in your head. Flick negative thoughts away, both on screen and in your mind. The entire thing takes just three minutes.
The app and theory is backed by clinical psychologist Guy Doron and several studies across the world.
Through repeated practice, GG Life trains you to think more positively. The app tackles several different issues like self-esteem, confidence, body image, anxiety and health, moods, parenting, sexuality, and trauma. The app tracks your progress, issues daily reminders to use it, and makes it feel like a game to level-up yourself.
5. Cactus (Android, iOS): Self Reflection to Build Resilience
Productivity experts recommend journaling and daily gratitude as some of the best practices for mental health. But you need a reminder, right? Cactus is that unobtrusive prompt to take a look at your thoughts, feelings, and attitude at different intervals.
Every day, you’ll see two questions. One questions your motivation for using Cactus, while at the same time reminding you why you wanted this in the first place.
The other is a query about one of the principles of positivity: kindness, gratitude, energy, calmness, and so on. Answer the question truthfully and go back to your day.
This act of daily self-reflection is the whole ball game. Cactus makes you pause and think about values that you gloss over during the routine of life. Do it for a day and it won’t have much effect, but build a habit over time, and your mindset changes.
It’s a proven technique with a scientific basis, which will help you build a healthier attitude and mind.
Having Trouble Sleeping?
These meditation and relaxation techniques help in getting through the day without feeling bogged down. Make sure you pick the right app for your needs and practice it regularly, it’s the best way to stay mentally fit.
But at the end of the day, you might still have trouble unwinding, and especially sleeping. If you have a lot on your mind that keeps you tossing and turning, check out the best apps for relaxing and sleeping. There’s nothing like a good night’s rest to boost mental health.
Read the full article: 5 Meditation and Relaxation Apps to Beat Stress and Anxiety