I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to meditate. Sitting still is not a big problem: I have a nice little wooden meditation bench that is very comfortable with a soft purple cushion so my butt doesn’t get too tired. My main problem is that my mind wanders off constantly.
I have tried concentrating on my breath, covering my left nostril then my right one to focus and still… I go to a far away land that no map can find, where I’m surrounded by purring kittens, and I can’t come back. I have realized that I am not able to focus on my own. The many months I used the Insight Timer app where pretty much useless. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty nice to know that there are people meditating with you at 5:30 AM and the messages you receive from them after finishing a session, make you feel part of a huge community, but it’s difficult to concentrate with a single bell, and the guided meditations are so many that I always have a hard time choosing the right one.
Mention any meditation app and I probably have tried it. The ones with ocean sounds or that align your messed up chakras, but I didn’t stick with them for too long.
Stop, Breathe & Think is another app I have tried and that still lives on my phone. So far, it has been a good help, especially when I am anxious or angry or in a bad mood. It has guided meditations that have helped me calm down when I needed, badly.
Stop, Breathe & Think is very straightforward to use, you practically don’t have to do much but press the white “Begin” button and go through a little check-in. You’ll be asked how you’re feeling mentally, physically and emotionally. This last part allows to add up to five emotions that range from happy to angry. After that, the app calculates your choices and suggests three guided meditations varying in duration and themes.
It also lets you bypass the check in and choose your own meditations, named according to what you’re looking for, ex. “Falling asleep”, “Mindful Breathing”, “Gratitude”, etc. 19 of the 25 included meditations are free, that is a LOT. 3-pack meditations are offered at $0.99, however k.d. Lang’s 5-pack meditation costs $1.99.
You can check your meditation progress and earn stickers with each session, as well as check your emotions for every day of the week. The handmade graphics give the app an overall friendly look.
The other day, after going through another stressful week and reading a few reviews, I downloaded the H*nest Meditation app ($1.99 on iTunes). This app is pretty simple, the design is clean: one simple picture of the sea and four buttons with 2, 5, 10 and 15 minute guided meditations.
What makes H*nest Meditation different from other meditation apps is the NSFW language used: “Take in a deep breath, now breathe out. Just feel the f*cking nonsense float away. Breathe in strength, breathe out bullsh*t.”
To be honest, the first time I listened to it I laughed a couple of times, but it was pretty easy to stay focused on my breath and follow the meditation, even if I wandered off a step or two, I could get back to it quickly. After the meditation was over, I felt calmer and the headache I had, was almost gone.
If you have always tried to meditate, but found it difficult and you’re not deterred by a few f*cks, then you should definitely give this a shot. This is meditation for the rest of us.
“Those b*tches can’t get under your skin”. You’re damn right.
Have a mindful day!