Six Apps To Help You Relax
As an IT professional, you encounter stressful situations throughout the day: deployment, five different Slack threads, budget meeting, daily scrum, personnel review, etc.
Along with Signature Recruiting’s 10 practical ways to handles stress, now there are several new apps that combine the latest online tools with the ancient practice of meditation to help workers manage inevitable stressors.
Meditation is believed to reduce anxiety, focus attention, improve sleep and relax the mind, and the apps provide audio and visuals that instruct, or guide, listeners through a meditation exercise.
They let listeners create or chose sessions with different time lengths (from one minute to unlimited), purpose (for example, a narrated meditation that “guides” the listener to feel gratitude or be more mindful), and even voices. Most include a timer for silent meditation and track your time spent meditating. Some even show who simultaneously is meditating in your area.
Here are six apps that will help you find and use precious moments of quiet. All are available on iOS and Android, and they offer both free and subscription services.
The app Calm lives up to its name. Considered one of the most visually appealing and easy-to-use meditation apps, Calm offers pleasing imagery and sounds, such as a mountain forest or beach at sunset, as the backgrounds for a variety of sessions. Among its offerings to subscribers are sleep stories that lull adults to a restful night and an “emergency” meditation for a highly stressful situation.
If you want to develop a meditation habit, check out Headspace. Its features are designed for people new to meditation and seek a regular meditation practice. Headspace also stands out for a cheerful and encouraging personality that runs throughout the visuals and audio.
Stop, Breathe and Think appeals to listeners who want to understand the science behind mindfulness. Information about the neuroscience of meditation and the impact of stress on a brain are integrated into its features. But Stop, Breathe and Think is more than meditation with a science lesson: listeners earn fun stickers as they progress and reach milestones.
While some apps are like boutiques selling a certain brand or item, Omvavna is The Hudson Bay. Omvana offers thousands of different meditation programs, though a majority are available only to subscribers. This app works best for people who are disciplined in putting together their meditation practice over time or want to try a variety of different techniques, narrators and philosophies.
Working online? Feeling sick? Eating? Buddhify 2 has the meditation program for you. Unlike mindfulness apps built around the listener’s emotions, Buddhify 2 tailors its offerings to activities common to wired and over-scheduled urbanites. So, users select their current activity, such as walking or feeling sick, and a meditation program is suggested. Buddhify 2 is a good app for people who want to find time for meditation in a typical, busy day.
If there is a classic meditation app, Insight is it. More than two million users have downloaded the app known for its ease and simplicity. Its primary feature is a non-guided, super-easy meditation at different lengths with interval sounds (bells or wood blocks) scheduled by listeners. Insight also has an extensive library of 5000 free guided meditations narrated by 1150 different teachers.
What other mindfulness apps do you use, and how has meditation benefited your job performance? Let us know!