A few days ago I wrote about my meditation practice and how it keeps me grounded and in the present moment. I should have re-read my post over the last couple of days because I have definitely NOT been in the moment. I have been struggling with something which has been making me feel a little bit like I am losing all my sanity. But today, after re-engaging in some mindfulness and gratitude practices, I am beginning to calm that monkey mind of mine.
As promised, I would like to share some of my favourite meditation apps and programs with you, as well as some other practices I use or have used.
Apple watch “breathe” app
I love my apple watch breathe app. It literally reminds me to breathe. Four or five times each day, my watch will vibrate and tell me that a minute of mindful breathing is beneficial. But then it goes a step further and walks me through a full minute of mindful breathing. I have found that being reminded to do something as simple as breathing can help me turn my thinking around pretty consistently.
The Calm app has been named one of the most useful meditation apps available. It is free and had a lot of great content including guided meditations. This is not one of my favourites, but I know many people who love it and swear it has helped them to be more consistent in their meditation practice.
When I began meditating, I used the Headspace app. It has a free 10-day introductory program which introduces the learner to meditation, mindfulness, observing thoughts, breathing techniques etc.
When I am looking for a good guided meditation, I look no further than this app. It contains a library of hundreds of guided meditations for all occasions and all time preferences. Also, when I don’t want the structure of a guided meditation, but I also don’t have time to get caught up in an hour long mental vacation, it has a handy timer, background music if I want it, and inspiring talks on all topics from sleep to forgiveness to dealing with addiction to being grateful for small moments. This app is also free.
There are many more meditations programs and applications out there. Have you tried any that you particularly find helpful?
Even more helpful to me is just having time in silence to get present, to consider the wonder of my life and to calm my thoughts.
How I Incorporate Meditation into my Day
There are three main ways I have integrated meditation into my day. I try to have some dedicated meditation time each morning, often with a guided practice, to help me start my day in a positive mindset. Throughout the day I have a few mindful moments with my breathe app and during lunch (when I find time to take a break) I often will walk and then take five minutes to sit silently and be grateful for the wonderful blessings in my life. If I have a particularly difficult day, and I am leaning toward the past or future, my practice may centre more on getting grounded in the moment and living in the present. It is easy to find reasons not to include meditation in my day. I am pretty busy. But the excuses are empty when I consider the benefits to my well-being, my productivity and my mindset when I do take the three or five or twenty minutes each day to quiet my mind, calm my breathing and focus on the present and the gratitude I feel.
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