Mindfulness & meditation are great ways for improving focus, calming your sympathetic nervous system, and preparing your mind and body for more intense trauma work. Thanks to technology, there are now so many options available so that you can work on your meditation practice from the comfort of your own home.
Here are our top 5 meditation apps that we recommend to clients:
Headspace is a great app that helps with decreasing stress, improving sleep and increase your awareness. What we love about headspace most is that, because of coronavirus and how it's affecting New Yorkers, they are offering free meditations for all residents of New York.
Calm offers a variety of meditation, including a series of meditations for gratitude, happiness, sleep, etc. The guided meditations are also a little easier on the ears then some of the other ones out there, meaning the voices might not annoy you as much!
3. Stop, Breathe, Think
This is a great option for kids! One of the aspects of it that we love the most is the emotional daily check-in. It helps kids (and adults, too) self-reflect on how you're really feeling. More often than not, we ignore what we're feeling and focus on what's happening outside of us. This app helps increase your awareness of your own true emotions and then provides meditations based on those feelings. Think of it as customized meditations for your current mood!
MUSE is an app that you can use on its own for meditations. BUT it's known for its EEG devices that work alongside the app to give you realtime feedback on your current meditation practice. Based on the principles of neurofeedback. Muse uses advanced signal processing to interpret your mental activity to help guide you. When your mind is calm and settled, you hear peaceful weather. If your mind is super active & busy, or your attention shifts, you’ll hear stormy weather that cues you to bring your attention back to your breath.
It's a seriously cool device that's like having a personal trainer for your brain. Every time your mind wanders and you bring it back, it's like doing a muscle pump. But in this instance, it's your attention muscle that you're strengthening.
This is an app that focuses specifically on diaphragmatic breathing and paced breathing as a way to help you feel calm. It's a little wacky how it works, but it's really cool if you try it. It's based on biofeedback. After you download the app, you place your device (usually iPhone or other smart device) on your belly. Then you focus on breathing into your belly when you breathe in, and pulling your belly button into your spine as you breathe out. As you do so, in a paced, calm manner, classical music will start to play. This is way to positively reinforce you so that you know you're beginning to breathe in a way that will help feel calmer.
Need more help on feeling calmer and improving your focus? Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment or learn more about how we can help!
Peaceful Living Mental Health Counseling, PLLC, is a wellness and counseling center in Scarsdale, NY.
Our therapists specialize in the most evidenced-based treatments for children and parents, teens and adults and first responders. Our services include therapy for: anxiety, trauma, behavioral disorders, improving relationships and eating disorders.