Fess up. Do you ever you find yourself mindlessly clicking from one thing to another, wishing you had more self-discipline or focus?
Guess what — practicing meditation will give you just that: the ability to direct your attention.
So it’s no surprise meditation is no longer considered some woo-woo weirdness, but rather an essential survival technique for the information age.
Getting started is easier than ever before — you no longer need to choose between going it alone or finding a teacher. Yes, there’s an app for this.
Here are some of my favorite free meditation apps for my iPhone that you might want to check out for yourself.
This beautifully simple app asks you how you are feeling, and then proscribes short guided meditation exercises just for your state of being. Though originally designed to teach teenagers how to meditate, adults of all ages will find it’s never too late to start your own practice.
I first downloaded this app in 2010 for the Tibetan singing bowls meditation timer. Since then the app has blossomed into so much more than a simple timer, including featured guided meditations, meditation groups you can connect with via the app, and even a map of those meditating around the world.
Ever since I lived on Vancouver Island, I’ve loved the sound of rain to go to sleep. Calm has a lovely collection of looped nature sounds that can bring you, well, calm, just by listening. There are also guided meditations for different stress-relieving objectives (like focus, sleep, happiness or gratitude). If you like what you experience, you can also upgrade to the subscription program for $3.99/month.
Out of all the meditation apps I’ve tried, Headspace has the best “getting started” guide. The first 10 lessons are free and offer a wealth of training for beginners (or anyone who wants a refresher course, or just likes listening to someone with a soothing English accent). Even if the $7.99 a month for an ongoing subscription is outside of your price range, you won’t be disappointed you installed the app for its basic lessons.
Omvana has been called “the iTunes of guided meditations” for good reason. If you are looking for a particular type of meditation, Omvana is your go-to search app. The only downside? The app is quite large, so if space is at a premium on your device, you might need to give Omvana a time-out.