The Best Meditation Apps
For much of my life I suffered from crippling anxiety. It prevented me from progress and generally interacting with the world in a normal way. The number one practice that has helped me curb the anxiety (which I very rarely experience these days) is meditation.
Truthfully, it wasn't a quick fix. I didn't just decide to meditate and magically feel better. It took me 10 years in yoga classes to be able to sit still and breathe. From there, I was able to explore a deeper mindfulness practice (don't worry, it won't necessarily take you that long). These days friends tell me about their anxiety and because of my personal experience, I always recommend meditation. Most of the time they say, "yeah, I've tried," but often they get hung up on not getting it right the first time or not being able to quiet their mind perfectly, or not being able to sit for the recommended 20 minutes. My response? Try it anyway and keep at it. Like anything worth doing, meditation isn't easy, it's a practice. It takes time and it requires patience, development and growth. A regular practice can also change your life.
Thankfully, with the current popularity of meditation, there are several free or very cheap resources that can help you get started:
Headspace - A simple-to-use app that not only offers guided meditations, but also explains the process and benefits along the way. It will guide you through the progression from novice to more experienced meditator.
Neuromore - Truth be told the technology behind this app (neurofeedback) is a bit over my head, but it works! Neuromore's app offers sound experiences that correlate to the brain waves of certain states and help you get there faster. Their app has helped to elevate my meditation practice.
Chopra Center - These are my favorite guided meditations. I love that they're topic focused.
Local events: there are several meditation groups and centers, such as The Path in New York City and Modern Om in Miami making their way into the mainstream. For me, sitting for long periods can feel easier in a group setting.
What are your favorite tools for meditation? Tell me in the comments below.