From it’s beginnings as an obscure Buddhist practice that originated 2600 years ago, mindfulness meditation is gaining traction as a legitimate and important technique for mental health and wellbeing. Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress and worry, improve working memory, increase focus, reduce emotional reactivity and even increase immune function.
Meditation isn’t about achieving monk-like zen, but being mindful and present in the moment, whatever we’re doing, and developing kindness for ourselves and others.
The benefits of mindfulness meditation increase with consistent practice; these apps can help you squeeze in a bit of meditation everyday.
Buddhify has over 80 different meditations accessed by a fun wheel interface. Simply choose what you’re doing (waiting around, feeling stressed, going to sleep) and Buddhify will offer you a choice of meditations to help you develop calm and compassion, whatever the circumstance.
I use this one with my kids. Smiling Mind is a not-for-profit organization working to make mindfulness meditation accessible for all ages. Featuring a range of meditation exercises and visualisations, the content is fun and age appropriate for young people learning to be more mindful. Another bonus – its completely free!
As with all things, the key to success is finding the thing that resonates with you. Buddhify’s non-linear structure allows me to dip in to meditation wherever I’m at. If you’re looking for a more formal approach, Headspace offers meditation packs that you purchase and progress through one at a time. The introductory pack is free. Calm is another monthly subscription program with free introductory sessions, music and nature sounds.