This is not a new app, so it’s possible you already know it if you have ever entered the paradox world of turning to your smartphone in search of mindfulness. The truth is, if you have never meditated before, or if you have never done so without guidance or quickly falling asleep, a good app might offer the insight you need.
As I have written before, I’ve been practicing meditation on and off, sadly, always failing to make it a habit. I’ve come to the conclusion that the biggest challenge to make meditation an everyday habit is giving yourself the permission to slow down. The Stop, breathe & think app does that for you.
How it works
This app reminds you to check-in and meditate during the day and eases you into the best meditation for your current disposition. You literally click in “Begin” and are asked to close your eyes, take a deep breath and think about how your mind and body feel for 10 seconds. I repeat: 10 seconds; that’s all it takes for you to get back in tune with yourself.
The app – cleverly and charmingly illustrated – proceeds to ask how you’re feeling mentally and physically. Than it allows you to add emotions on top of that, which means it allows you to give names to your feelings and select the best emotions – grateful, happy, and proud – and the worst ones – frustrated, judgemental, and angry – in one go. Because, truth be told, we really are that complicated!
After your check in Stop, breathe & think offers a few meditations customized for your current state of mind. You will find 3 minutes mediations and 15 minutes mediations. Breathing exercises and visualization exercises. It’s your choice! It also works with you on targeted wellness areas like falling asleep faster, improving focus, and alleviating anxiety. And the team behind the app relied on clinical research in addition to Indian and Tibetan meditation tradition to design their meditation tracks.
Or… you can skip all that and just choose your favourite meditation from the list or activate the mediation timer and just do your thing for as long as you think suits you.
Some of the meditations are in-app purchases, but it comes with several free ones that should satisfy most people. I know they satisfy me and I’ve been using it for over 2 years!
The emotional check in. Really: don’t skip it! There is something extremely powerful in naming your feelings. Are you really sad or are you feeling guilty about something? Are you excited or are you actually worried? Are you just happy or are you feeling strong and grateful? You have no idea how powerful this simple exercise is. For me, it truly feels like I’m experiencing what everyone calls mindfulness. After that check in I might not even need a long meditation because I gathered my thoughts, organized them and labelled the feelings they provoked me. And already I’m feeling more grounded and calm.
Mindful walk. A 4 minutes track that allows you to get into a mindful state while walking around. I’ve been walking my dog every day, at least 2 times a day, for the last year and a half, around the same square in the neighbourhood I’ve been living in for 4 years. It was only when I experienced the mindful walk meditation that I noticed the smell of popcorn in the air when you pass by the cinema. And it smells AMAZING. Just saying.
Ready to give this app a try? Download the app, dim the screen and think about yourself for 10 seconds, answer the questions and try the shortest meditation suggested. Share your progress on the comments section and on MW’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
BONUS: For 10 meditation benefits click here.