I tend to obsess. I’ve lived with anxiety for as long as I can remember. Sleepless nights spent WebMD-ing what it meant that I was sleepless. Worrying about all of it: emails, tumors, rotting teeth, life choices, time, the universe, my internal organs, my internal clock, the pain in my knees.
What is that pain? Is it the cartilage wearing away? Should I start saving up for fake knees? What if I don’t get a good doctor referral and I end up getting gangrene due to shoddy surgery? I should get a second opinion. Did I say “thank you” to the cashier at grocery store?
I think we can all relate. There’s a lot going on. Always. Whether it’s school, work, rent payments, figuring out career paths and goals, understanding what a 401k really is, relationships statuses, the bag of dirty laundry you have to find time to wash, it’s a stressful time.
And you know what stress does? It frays your telomeres (kinda like getting split ends, but instead of hair strands it’s your DNA), causing accelerating aging, and potentially putting you in a state of continuous pressure. UGH. No thanks.
But it totally doesn’t have to be this way, dolls! Let me tell you about the three apps that helped me stop stressing and get my meditation game right.
The Future Is Lookin’ Bright: Omvana, The 6 Phase Meditation
Situations It’s Good For: Mid-life, mid-quarter, mid-year crises and Mondays. What am I doing with my life? What do I even want to do? Everything every day is the same and that’s all it’s ever going to be. When you find yourself wanting to bang your head on your desk, and having fantasies of going full Office Space and smashing printers in an open field.
How It Works: This is a guided meditation all about gratitude and visualization. It’s 20:55 minutes, and takes you through a series of six exercises, a short relaxation exercise, gratitude exercises, and then visualization exercises.
This not only aids in reinforcing that there are positive things in your world (that great, hot cup of morning coffee), but there are more positive things to come (coffee tomorrow!), and takes you through a visual organization of your day and future (great coffee FOREVER!). Essentially, organizing a positive and achievable To-Do List calmly.
This meditation is good to do in the morning after you wake up, on the commute to work, or at the very end of the day on your commute home.
Price: Free for iOS
The Full Body Chill Out: Omvana, The Centering Exercise
Situations It’s Good For: When you’re about to WebMD what that pain in your tooth means and go down a spiraling mental path of dread and disease. (Do not ever WedMD.) Or when you’re in the bathtub after a great workout and need a full body relax.
How It Works: This guided mediation walks you through a step-by-step full-body relaxation meditation. It's 31:34 minutes, making it great for listening to in the evenings in the bath or for calming down right before going to sleep, because otherwise, who has the time? It focuses on relaxing you physically and then through guided visual imagery to relax mentally, allowing for complete mind/body calmness.
Price: Free for iOS
The Clutch Save: At Ease, Guided Breathing
Situations It’s Good For: Quick reminder to breathe and just be, the Post-It note of meditations rather than the legal pad. You can do this one early in the morning when you first wake up to start your day.
How It Works: This app is a full-service anxiety center, but I primarily focus on guided breathing meditations. There are three mindful meditations that center on enjoying and following your breath, and each one is only 9 to 12 minutes, perfect for when you're in a pinch. These meditations are about following your breathing and recognizing your thoughts and surroundings, but not obsessing--just bringing attention to your breathing.
Price: Free for iOS
As a former self-described stress junkie, take it from me being cool and calm is a way better feeling. Since adding meditation to my daily routine, I have better skin, as well as increased productivity, confidence, and creativity.
Are you with me, dahlings? Let’s all chill out, huh? So, tell me, do you meditate? Do you use apps to do it?