Are you practicing mindfulness to help you live in the moment, and to deal with the stresses of day to day life? Learning and cultivating skills of mindfulness—the ability to stay focused on one’s present experience with nonjudgmental awareness—can help us in our teaching and in the classroom.
How does mindfulness do this? By training our minds consciously to become more aware of our inner and outer experience, and learning how to manage our emotions.
I have read a lot about using mindfulness with children in the classroom, but wanted to focus this article on the apps that YOU can use to retrain your brain to have a clearer focus and to be able to take a step back from chaos around you and regroup.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the research-backed stress-reduction program Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), explains how mindfulness lights up parts of our brains that aren’t normally activated when we’re mindlessly running on autopilot.
The Free, the Paid and the Premier
1. The Free
Mindfulness Daily is a complete set of tools designed to support your commitment to practice mindfulness daily. Structured to fit meditation into your daily routine for benefits such as reduced stress/anxiety, better sleep, mange pain and increase performance.
You have full control over reminders and daily routines that break your daily practice into small but highly effective and digestible mindful pauses, lessons and practices.
Daily lessons help to refine and tune your personal path to peace. The Healthkit integrated timer supports building your mindful minutes practice. And the “Lifelog” captures your own journal to discover insights.
A great introduction to integrating mindfulness into a daily routine.
2. The Paid
The central idea in buddhify is that you don’t have to find time for meditation, instead it comes to you. All the meditations are categorized by what you’re doing or how you’re feeling, in a colorful pinwheel. You’ll find guided meditations for Walking, Stress & Difficult Emotion, Work Break, Going to Sleep, Waking Up and many other different categories. Written and voiced by a range of hand-picked teachers, the sessions last from 4 minutes all the way through to 30 minutes.
Unlike Mindfulness Daily, it’s up to you when you meditate and which meditations you want to do. You can recreate the wheel with whichever categories you want. And if you’re not sure where to start with Edit Mode you can try one of the wheels curated by the team such as Tough Times or Mindful Ninja.
3. The Premier
Headspace was launched in 2010, by Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson, who both brought the traditional practice of mindfulness and modern online technologies together and make mindfulness accessible to everyone.
Andy Puddicombe spent 10 years practicing mindfulness meditation in the Eastern region before ordaining as a monk in the Indian Himalayas. When he returned to the UK, he turned his intention to bring mindfulness to common people into action, and Headspace was born.
Downloaded by millions of users, it became a popular guide to mindfulness meditation within your smartphone itself. If you’re starting your mindfulness practice, Headspace is a great way to start.
Andy Puddicombe’s voice is soothing, always calm, and reassuring. The first 10 sessions are free, think of them as basic training, and then there is a subscription fee of $12.99 a month. Train your mind with guided meditations on everything from managing stress and anxiety, to getting a better night’s rest, to relationships. Bring more awareness to daily activities through on-the-go exercises, and use SOS sessions to skillfully manage moments of panic or anxiety. And at night, the sleep experience (which includes sleep sounds and meditations) can help you get the rest you deserve. The Headspace animation library is full of tips and helpful wisdom to keep your practice on track, and you can even add friends to keep each other motivated.