Can we find Mindfulness in Tech?

My iPhone can be a huge mindless distraction at times and a huge help in others. I’m sure this is the case for most of us these days. I’ve been thinking of ways to make my iPhone work more FOR me than against me lately… so that I’m feeling more of the true usefulness it can offer, rather than the tempting diversions. I’ve come across a few great apps that promote mindfulness and healthy living (beyond your basic Nike & Health fitness apps) and am very happy to share them with you! 

Daily Water: This was just so relevant for me right now I had to download it. It can remind you to drink water / hydrate yourself at different times of day and towards a goal of 8 glasses per day (or however many you want) on average. I set it to remind me 3x a day to drink water - and find that’s more than enough notifications in one day to keep water in my mind  - and mouth. If you have trouble with hydration, I recommend using an app like this for a few weeks to get yourself in the habit of drinking more, then you can delete it! 

Headspace: This is a wonderful mindfulness meditation app for beginners. The free app gives you 10 meditation sessions (they call it the Take 10) that are based in mindfulness of the body and the environment around you. The guide has a nice, relaxed, British accent and his voice is very natural and personable to me. Once you complete your first session, the next one is unlocked for you for the next day - the idea is that starting with 1 meditation, 1x a day, for 10 days will help establish a habit of creating more “headspace” in your life. 

Stop, Breathe & Think / Calm: These are 2 other meditation based apps that I like. Stop, Breathe & Think uses lots of infographics like Headspace but has some nice guided meditations on different topics that may apply to your emotional/mental state - like one on Great Compassion, Gratitude, or Being Present. The guide tends to talk a lot through these sessions - so if you find that a bit much, you can simply use their self-meditation timer that has a lovely gong sound to begin and end your session for the more seasoned user. Calm also has a self-meditation timer, timed guided sessions of any length you may want - 2, 5, 10, 20 minutes - and some nice visual relaxation scenes if you are using it on a laptop or computer. It’s a great break from long hours of computer work! 

Moment: Like I said, the iPhone can provide many distractions and mind-numbing habits. If you find you are checking your phone gratuitously for emails, social media, news, photos, games etc on a chronic basis - consider an app like Moment that will let you know just how many times you checked your phone & how much time you are spending on your device in a given day. Some days will be more than others, but you can start to be more mindful, perhaps, of exactly what you did on your phone and whether it was helping you or hurting you (or others around you). They even have a family plan to monitor the kids phone usage if you feel it’s getting out of control. Their message is “Put down your phone and get back to your life.” Sometimes, I couldn’t agree more! 

As far as apps go, there is a thing as TOO MUCH information - even when it’s trying to be useful or make life more efficient- that can add more stress than benefit to your life. :) So download with care and delete when unnecessary. Oh, the conundrum of technology!