In this digital age where we are predominantly occupied with our gadgets, it has become increasingly harder for us to make time for ourselves. From arranging dinner plans on Whatsapp to mindlessly scrolling through Instagram (follow us at @lifestyleasiasg if you haven’t already), Singaporeans spend an average of three hours a day looking down on our mobile phones, according to a study from the consultancy Ernst & Young.
It might come across as ironic, but these same phones we are addicted to can also offer the opportunity for us to seek clarity and guidance during a hyper-stimulated day. This is achieved through meditation apps, which offer everything from guided meditations to bedtime stories designed to lull you to sleep. For those who want to be left alone, white noise apps and other forms of meditation like Interactive Meditations (where you use motion) are also available on your mobile devices. Besides helping someone find inner peace or getting one past a mental hurdle, meditation has also been found to be an effective complementary method of reducing the risk of heart disease — this was recently discovered in a study by the American Heart Association.
To help you get past the mid-week slump, here are 5 of the best meditation apps should you need to take a break and find your inner zen.
A pioneer that can be credited for taking meditation apps mainstream, Headspace was founded by Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk. The app offers guided meditation in the form of vibrant animations and soothing narrations, with single meditation sessions available for those short on time. If you experience a meltdown halfway through the day, the ‘SOS’ feature will help you get back on your feet within two minutes.
Available on both iOS and Android. headspace.com
If you ever find yourself needing to amp up your productivity, Tide is your go-to app. Using the Pomodoro technique that breaks down your work into intervals, choose from a series of white noise backgrounds to shut out the world around you and focus on your task at hand.
Available on both iOS and Android. tide.moreless.io
Good design is key to making users feel more at peace, and the guys behind Sway know just the right elements for that, as they are also the ones who created the popular mobile game, Monument Valley. This app conducts interactive meditation sessions through slow, continuous movement to help you gain focus. These can be done anywhere, whether you’re sitting at your desk or lying in bed.
Available on iOS. pauseable.com/sway
If you have trouble sleeping or just staying focused, Calm will literally calm you down. Sleep stories for both adults and kids are narrated by the likes of Stephen Fry and Tamara Levitt, head of content at Calm. If you need to relax, there are breathing exercises for you to compose yourself.
Available on both iOS and Android. calm.com
If you’re breaking out in sweat just 15 minutes before your big meeting with a client, fire up Timeless for a quick meditating session. There are options ranging from eight minutes to 32 minutes, and you can track your progress to see how much time you have spent meditating. There is also a Community tab to see fellow meditators who have managed to find some zen.
Available on iOS. timeless-meditation.us