More and more people are turning to meditation now. The days when this practice seemed to be reserved for Zen masters are over. There are books that will guide you and also apps that will help you achieve your inner peace. When going through burnout and/or facing numerous stress factors, it can be a real challenge to calm down and find peace of mind, which is the one thing we need to get through this. In this article I would like to discuss the top 5 meditation apps to help you relax.
My Little Background Story on Meditation
I was first introduced to meditation when I went through burnout. It had never occurred to me that it could help me, and I had never meditated in my life. Somehow, I also believed that it would be hard for me to concentrate, but in the end it is only as hard as you make it for yourself.
The psychologist I was seeing at that time (2016 -2017) recommended meditation. Additionally, Gabrielle Bernstein’s book (which I mentioned in my previous article “How to Deal with a Burnout: Symptoms and Solutions) reminded me of its importance and it also introduced me to several meditation practices which proved to be extremely beneficial.
Had I first been skeptical, now I am a meditation enthusiast. It works, and you do not need to be a pro to do this.
Things to Avoid When You Meditate
Before I share the apps with you, I would like to include some advice, in case meditation is new to you. If you want to go straight to the info about the apps, feel free to skip this chapter 🙂
1. Don’t Fight Your Thoughts
It is expected to have a clear mind when meditating, which is a feat that isn’t easily achieved. If you sit in your quiet spot, your mind is a whirlwind of thoughts, and you are unable to calm this inner traffic, then please do not fight it. Don’t resist this train of thoughts and don’t try to force it out of your mind at once.
Let your thoughts in and out, just like your breath. Accept those thoughts, and focus on your breathing, in and out. Eventually your thoughts will wander away in the distance, becoming quieter.
If this seems difficult to do, do not worry. Take your time and focus on your breathing.
2. Don’t Expect Miracles
Expect nothing. Some people may want quick and miraculous results at once, but that is not how it works, certainly not when you are going through burnout. Healing takes time.
If you have never meditated before, you cannot expect instant results, and it is not advisable to initiate any form of meditation while “wanting” things or “having to achieve a meditation goal right away”.
Although your life will not undergo immediate dramatic changes, you will notice that meditation brings you a feeling of calm and peace. After meditation, perhaps nothing will seem different, but eventually you may experience better sleep and less stress.
As with anything, be consistent.
I have not always been consistent with meditation, a flaw that I want to remedy soon.
Apps for Meditation
Pause is Editor’s Choice at the App Store. It was created by a partnership between Peng Cheng and The Danish mental wellness company PauseAble.
For many years, Cheng dealt with incredible stress and anxiety, and he wanted to find a way to overcome this. He began practicing tai chi. In time, he saw an opportunity to integrate the slow, continuous tai chi movements into a phone app, and thus the partnership with PauseAble began.
Pause offers a free and also a Premium membership. The free option can go on indefinitely, so there is no pressure to get the Premium.
Headspace is another excellent app. You can download it for free, and there is also a Premium version.
It has hundreds of organized sessions to help handle stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, and low concentration. What I like about this app is that it has mini meditations for busy days. So, however loaded your days are with work and activities, you can still find a few minutes to unwind.
According to Apple apps, 86% of people who use Happify reported feeling better and happier after only two months.
Some features are offered free, but in order to enjoy all features, this app has a cost of $14.95us a month, which is not much. Happify has been mentioned in Forbes, New York Times, and the New Yorker, to name just a few.
This app can help to break old, destructive habits and make new ones. It offers tools to help you take control of your feelings and thoughts, using techniques that have been developed by scientists and experts.
Happify is a great app to help improve mental wellness and find inner happiness.
This app’s purpose is to help you deal with stress, anxiety, and depression. Pacifica is a very extensive program that is designed to provide the help that many people who suffer mental health issues do not receive.
Let’s face it, most people who suffer burnout, anxiety, depression, or any other condition do not seek professional help. Although burnout is technically not a mental health illness, it is still a mental health issue.
Based on research in cognitive behavioral therapy, Pacifica offers the following:
- Digital psychology implementations
- Thoughts analysis
- Mindfulness meditation
- Guided paths of psycho-education and activities
- Relaxation and mindfulness audio tools
- Mood and health tracking
- Peer support community
- Health behavior tracking
Honestly, if I had known about this app four years ago, I would have downloaded it at once. Is it free? Yes, the Pacifica software is free.
In 2019, Pacifica was acquired by Sanvello Health, Inc. This is why the link I provide here takes you to the Sanvello home page.
Omvana is a meditation app for performance and flow states. In this app you can use meditations for any situation, such as stress, focus, and others. It features a long list of meditations from world-class instructors; and the beauty of Omvana is that meditation for all levels is offered, including mini sessions for busy people.
You can also customize your tracks by mixing guided meditations with your favorite ambient tracks.
Customer reviews are all excellent, giving this company a full five stars, and Omvana has also been featured in Forbes, BBC, CBS, Entrepreneur, Yahoo News, Healthline, the Guardian, the New York Times, and Mindful.
This is another great app that can only be highly recommended.
Last but not least, Buddhify is the perfect meditation app that was created to fit into a busy lifestyle, which applies to most of us, doesn’t it? 😉 The meditations are designed to be done “on the go”, so you do not need to find a quiet spot at home, but you can do this anywhere and anytime. Seeing how incredibly busy some of our lives are, I think that this app is the perfect complement.
Just like Omvana and Happify, Buddhify has also been recommended by the Guardian, New York Times, the Business Insider, Lifehacker, Glamour, and more. Buzzfeed even named it the best meditation app to ease anxiety.
What I especially like about Buddhify is that it comes from a family business, headed by a husband and wife team. The company is self-funded, which allows them to focus more on their customers instead of pleasing investors. I think that this is what makes Buddhify pretty unique.
This app is not free. However, the monthly fee is low, making it affordable for many. A yearly membership is also offered. The page showed a yearly cost of $30 us, which is an excellent price. Monthly rates are between $2.99 for Android (on the Google Play Store) and $4.99 ¡OS App Store.
I want to be more consistent with meditation again, and so I will definitely be downloading one of these apps. I am thinking of either Buddhify, Omvana, or Happify. Something to ponder today 😉
Which ones caught your attention? If you are looking for guided meditation to help you through burnout or other issues such as anxiety, depression, or stress, then please download one of these apps and implement them into your daily routine. It will make a world of difference.
Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if you know of any other great meditation apps.
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