Learn about five of the best science-backed apps to help you become more mindful, and help with focus and resilience.
Here’s five apps that take different approaches to mindfulness training, from journalling and breathwork, to learning and meditations. All backed by science, of course.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to mindfulness. But that’s actually a really good thing. Mostly because you can find a mindfulness practice in almost anything—eating your lunch, having a shower, taking a walk—all it needs from you is to be there, present. It’s the ‘being present’ part that’s tough. After a lengthy pandemic, working from home, and a wider lurking pressure to keep us always ‘on’ and reachable 24/7, it’s no surprise that a lot of us need a bit of help.
5 mindfulness apps to try out
Journal in your pocket
This clever app uses questions and interactive elements to create the same effects as a daily journal.
Entirely customisable, you can turn off and on features to suit your taste - for example, for you the motivational quotes might be a bit much. Or you have the option to do guided check ins or voice notes to freeform your thoughts sometimes. For those new to journalling, it’s a great way to dip a toe in. It doesn’t take much time at all, is quite fun (if a little simple/cute), and it gives you a subconscious nudge to start noticing things and being present during the day. Which, really, is what mindfulness is all about.
Move, Connect, Reflect
The MEUS features lots of opportunities to move your body and mind, with over a million combinations of unique five-minute sessions built around their method of moving, connecting and reflecting. Each unique practice is fully guided by experts of multiple disciplines creating new ways to move, connect & reflect. This method is really achievable as you can always find 5 minutes! It's designed for men in mind but is definitely not just for men.
Remember to breathe
Breathwrk is a science-backed platform that reaches loads of different breathing techniques. Using touch, sound and graphics, it guides you through simple breathing exercises. Each designed to lower your stress response, reset, sleep better, or wake up energised.
It will send you customisable reminders during the day to take a minute or two to breathe, at times that suit you. Which sounds weird, but they come in really handy as reminders to just focus on it. And knowing that they’re so short makes it easier to actually do them.
It’s easy to use, well-designed and a great tool to have at your fingertips to help you become a better breather.
Make yours a healthy mind
Developed by neuroscientist Dr. Richard J. Davidson, the Healthy Mind app is less of a traditional meditation app, and more a mental care program designed to help you become more focused, calm, compassionate and resilient through meditation training.
Developed after decades of research from the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Healthy Minds Program distils all that proven scientific data into easy-to-use practices. With an array of podcasts and seated and active meditations from 5-30 minutes, you’ll be able to learn the skills to maintain a healthy mind, with the science to back it up.
Meditation for athletes
Designed especially for athletes, this app provides personalised mental training programs to help you build your confidence, improve your mindset and ultimately help your performance.
Unusually, you start off by contacting the team at Undaunted Athlete to explain what your goals are, or what you’re having trouble working through. Then, they provide you with a tailored regime to help you get there. The recommended research-backed content you’ll be given is in the form of a daily 2–5-minute learning piece, followed by a meditation.
As with all mindfulness practices, the best thing you can do is be consistent. It takes about a month to form a new habit, so if you feel like it’s not sticking at first—persevere. You never know how you might feel in a month’s time.
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