Fast-paced lifestyles, wading through traffic, constant app notifications demanding attention and work pressure lead to stress and anxiety becoming a constant presence in our lives. Once there, it’s hard to eliminate the constant anxiety running through our lives. Unless we do something to get rid of stress, it just increases and takes over our lives. We need help!
People say one of the best ways to reduce stress is to clear our minds and meditate. It’s not easy to get into meditation since we have that constant chatter going on in our heads, which tends to distract us. I tried a few times, unsuccessfully and had to fall back to the help of technology to guide me into it.
I found two apps that really helped me attain a state of relaxation. One of them uses music and the other is a guided meditation app. So get your phones and a pair of good headphones ready to get started.
This was one of the earlier services which I had success with in helping me get rid of anxiety and attain a state of relaxation. They use music – specially crafted tunes to help you get to various states of mind: productive, relaxed or falling asleep. The clips consist of computer-generated tones overlaid on the tracks of rain, temple bells, seaside and other soothing background sounds.
The folks behind the service explain that they use artificial intelligence (AI) that composes music for the goal, tracks what works for you, and adjusts accordingly to your brain profile. So the more you use it, the better it gets.
I started off with their guided meditation feature where a voice guided me to a deep meditative state while listening to some soothing music. I tried their meditation and relaxation clips in various scenarios – a 15-minute break at work during stressful release cycles, on the commute back home and lying down at home in a quiet room. I found this to me most effective in the latter state.
Brain.fm also has a section to help improve focus – this I found works especially well when I was trying to focus in a noisy environment like a Coffee shop or if the kids are running amok while I work from home.
Not all of us are experts in meditation, our inner voices usually end up going all over the place and prevent us from reaching that relaxed state of mind. When my mind is intent on solving that issue I’m facing at work, or making plans on how to how to tackle the weekend or the million other thoughts, it’s hard to reach that meditative state. This second app I use on a regular basis helps in just that.
One thing you can do is to go for a session with a meditation coach to help master the technique. But that requires a lot of time and effort which a lot of us can’t invest in. Headspace helped here by providing bite-sized chunks of guided meditation which helps daily.
When you start off the app, there’s a 10-day trial period where the initial sessions help in guiding you through the simple techniques of meditation. Once you’ve completed the basics, you can take a 1-minute mini session or an Everyday Headspace session which you can set from 3 to 20 minutes depending on how much time you have free. They also have packs for various themes which range from sleep, health, anxiety, happiness and more which you can take up.
This app’s subscription is currently around ₹890 per year or ₹120 monthly, you can try out their service for 10 days and then pay monthly or annually. I for one have found this very useful. More on their website, Android and iOS apps.
These are my go-to apps to get my daily de-stress and relaxation sessions. What do you use? If you have a favourite app that works for you, please share by leaving a comment below.
Cover Image Credit: Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash