I cannot say enough about how great it is to see meditation and mindfulness apps surface during the last decade. With everyone having smart phones, its now easier than ever for people to gain some clarity during their busy lives.
Not only do I use these apps personally but they are incredibly useful during counselling sessions. A lot of children I see have heard of meditation or mindfulness but think of it as something that adults try to persuade them to do as an alternative to acting out, getting angry or feeling depressed. I don’t think this is a very good sell.
Emily wrote last week about connecting body and mind with the girls on our August Expedition and these apps are great ways to help this process. During any given session, whether its in the bush or in my counselling suite in Adelaide, I offer these apps on the iPad or iPhone to clients for them to try.
Just yesterday I was working with a 17-year-old boy on some anger management strategies and I offered a quick meditation for him to try. We spoke about how it can be helpful to practice with guided meditations before practicing mindful breathing on our own. He enjoyed his 8 minute meditation before we drank green tea and talked about how he felt calmer and more relaxed. It changed the entire second half of our session into a relaxed experience with less blaming of others and more insight into our own personal feelings. Here are the apps we use:
1) Headspace – This is my personal favourite. Not to be confused with Australia’s national mental health service, this app, created by meditation teacher Andy Puddicombe, gives 10 free meditations lasting 10 minutes each. These are incredibly practical and great for beginners. There is no need for previous experience. I love it. There are great videos in the app that teach us how just 10 minutes of mindfulness can help us think more clearly and de-stress. Definitely worth it!
2) Smiling Mind – One of my younger clients taught me about Smiling Mind. I offered him a Headspace meditation and he asked if I had hear of Smiling Mind before. I downloaded it immediately. This app provides more interactive meditations such as guided imagery, quick check-ins and many mindfulness experiences. This app provides mindfulness meditations for all ages divided up between children, adolescents and adults. This app would be great in schools and has been very useful with my younger clients that may benefit from more mindfulness experiences.
3) Stop, Breathe & Think – This is the newest to my collection and I’ve loved it. My favourite part is the feelings check-in. If I am unsure of which of their many meditations I should try then I complete a quick survey telling the app which feelings I am currently experiencing. As a “feelings professional” I like that there are many feelings to choose from, not just happy, sad or tired. It's quite comprehensive. The app then gives me a list of meditations that may be good for me at this time. Today I completed a 6 minute meditation focused on gratitude and wellbeing and I’m feeling refreshed and tuned in.
Whether or not you’re an experienced meditator or a beginner, these apps can help bring some freshness to your day. They’re free and worth it. Let me know how you do! Likewise, if you’d like to come to our Adelaide counselling office and talk about brining more mindfulness into your life you can schedule that here or email me. I'd love to hear from you.
Do you have a favourite app that I should know about? Send it to me!