Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Arianna Huffington, Meg Ryan und auch Steve Jobs practice(d) mindfulness. The professor …
As a person who is active in the mobile / digital field and is also the founder of The Dignified Self, an initiative for more mindfulness in the digital age, I am often being asked about apps in the field of mindfulness. Are there apps that can support us to achieve more mindfulness in the Everyday life? Yes of course, there is an app for that!
In this context I must strongly point out though, that there is no app that can MAKE you mindful. It is not a pill that you swallow or app you install. You / yourself have to become the app that needs to develop to become mindful.
Basically your brain is the app that receives a mindfulness update with time, no software can solve this for you.
However, having stated this, I am happy to share a few apps with you. Of course there are tools and apps that can help us on our journey of becoming more mindful. Applications that support its users to become less stressed, more focussed, more productive, more creative, more connected inside and more still are what I call “mobile mindfulness apps”. The mindfulness trend is rising everyday – also in the app stores. More and more meditation apps are listed among the top 20 apps nowadays. Here are some mindfulness apps I find useful.
Mobile Mindfulness Apps:
- Headspace – This application was developed by a monk and is one of the most successful apps in the field of Mindfulness. The meditation start-up recently even raised 30 million US dollars! This should give you an indication of the success. Headspace provides a very good and fast introduction into the world of meditation with its “Take 10 program”. Headspace works primarily with guided meditations. This is not for everyone, but just in the beginning it can be very helpful to find an entry.
Each of the meditation exercises in the free basics course “Take 10” is only 10 minutes. The secret here is less permanent than on regularity. What we do regularly develops into a habit and will eventually become a part of us. The meditations are in English at Headspace and are explained with cute animation videos. The Headspace Youtube Channel provides videos for an introduction as well as background information on the benefits and positive effects of meditation.
- The mindfulness app – this application offers a lot of variety, since you can use free downloads as well as paid offers with further meditations. There are also some of the world’s most famous spiritual teachers providing meditations here, e.g. by Eckhart Tolle, Jon Kabat-Zinn. Meditations of different lengths are available here, from 3 to 30 minutes. It is also possible to choose silent meditations, which begin and end with a sound bowl gong. A reminder function in the app helps to keep the daily routine of meditation. The 5 day practice delivers an introduction to a mindful life. Here is the app for iPhone and Android.
- PAUSE – this paid iOS app of the company Pausable and USTWO is a little different than other mindfulness apps. It focuses on Tai Chi movements applied to colors and shapes. The app has been programmed by the former Nokia employee Peng Cheng, who has developed a personal passion for mindfulness in difficult times of a health burn-out. Here he tells the story of PAUSE. Within the app various circles are shown, as one knows it from a lava lamp. The movements of the colorful lava lamp circles should be followed for a few minutes with the finger on the touch screen. Thus it gives the user an assignment that helps him focus on just that. “Every one of us can move our finger slowly and gently around a smartphone screen but there’s no meaning to it,” he says. “Pause wants to introduce a new type of interaction that’s much more deliberate and fluid than our typical swipes, taps, and pulls.” Cheng told Wired.
- Buddhify – is a paid app from Mindfulness Everywhere. It has also chosen meditation as a focus, especially the integration
of breathing exercises in modern life. It has already won several awards and provides about 80 guided meditations. Contextual choice in everyday life are travel, at home, at work, on the way to bed, etc. See the video here.
The company behind Buddhify has also produced so-called mindfulness cards, which have received a crowdfunding in kickstarter and which I also helped with. These are colorful cards with beautiful, inspiring sayings and mindful messages, which can be placed everywhere in the apartment or during work in meetings.
- Forrest – This is an app that focuses on productivity. in 85 countries it is one of the five most successful productivity apps
at Apple. Forrest helps you keep your smartphone addiction under control by following a task within the app: you plant a tree virtually. If you do not touch your smartphone for the next 30 minutes, your tree will start to grow. This makes it interesting enough for users to actually disregard their smartphone and thus gain some digital detox times, in which they can work without digital distractions.
- 7 Minutes „Seven“ – This app may not be a “classic” mindfulness apps, but it is very useful for physical training and a rise in body awareness. It offers 7-minute interval training for each day. All of that is solved with a playful gamification incentive, because if you do not train for a day, you virtually lose a heart. The app is based on the 7-minute training presented in the NY Times magazine and is intended to remain a motive for sporting activities – without any dependencies such as Internet, fitness equipment premises, or lots of time. Here is the iOS version, and here is the Android version.
There are also great websites to include mindful moments in our lives:
This as a first little overview in the field of mobile mindfulness for today. I hope it gives you an initial introduction to the colorful world of mindfulness applications for the road.
What are your favorite apps for more mindfulness in everyday life? Let us know and share them in the “Dignified Moments” section at The Dignified Self.
But do not forget: Yourself needs to become the app, that shall become mindful! :-)
Title image source: Shutterstock