With the month of May dedicated to mental health awareness, it is important to utilize all the resources that are beneficial to your well-being. Practicing mindfulness and meditation can be a quick and easy way to decompress at any point throughout the day.
It is hard to pinpoint exactly who created the concept of meditation, but there are two widely accepted schools of thought. It is believed that one of the origins of meditation came about in India. Around 1500 BCE, the practice of Dhyāna or Jhāna emerged. Either term is referred to as the training of the mind, which can be translated to connotate meditation.
The other emergence began in China. During the 3rd and 6th centuries from an ancient philosopher named Laozi. He wrote of many practices used to soothe and protect the mind from stress that provided a foundation for meditation to become a sustained practice.
Meditating comes with an abundance of benefits, including:
- Builds skills to manage stress
- Increases self-awareness
- Ability to focus on the present easier
- Reduces negative emotions
- Increases patience and creativity
- Lowers resting heart rate
- Lowers resting blood pressure
- Improves sleep quality
- Increases memory
- Improves self-esteem
Today, there are a variety of apps that help guide users through meditation or allow them to get into the habit of meditating daily. Here are just a few of the options!
- Headspace: provides a well-encompassed view of wellness. Headspace supports many features, such as meditation, sleep, stress, and mindfulness.
- Calm: features sleep stories, meditations, and masterclasses to improve sleep and relaxation.
- Insight Timer: uses guided meditations and talks with experts to help reduce anxiety and calm the mind.
- Aura: features the world’s largest sleep library with a variety of coaches. There are many different categories to choose from and tailored to all age groups.
- Breethe: uses meditation to help users reach goals through meditation, therapy and music.
- The Mindfulness App: provides easy-to-follow coursework to help users better understand how to use different parts of their brain through meditation techniques.
- Smiling Mind: provides mindfulness to all ages by helping to “train your brain.”
- Simple Habit: focuses on better sleep and relaxation and only takes 5 minutes a day!
- 10 Percent Happier: keeps users on track by providing challenges and mindfulness tools.
All apps are available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.