Posted on June 12, 2019 at 4:33 PM by Iowa Weight Loss Specialists
At Iowa Weight Loss Specialists, we are always looking for ways to improve our patients lives. Whether you are a medical weight loss or surgical weight loss patient, we know that everyone has stress in their lives at some point. There are tools to help you become more mindful and help with those stresses of our everyday life.
Iowa Weight Loss Specialists’ behavioral health experts have had the chance to review some free apps that will show you how to take quick and helpful mindfulness breaks. The apps all have different benefits that would suit a wide range of people.
The days spent at work or school tend to leave people restless and stressed. The American culture highly values productivity and efficiency. Because of this, many people go throughout the day without taking breaks which continues to build up stress. Studies have shown that taking breaks actually leads to higher proficiency and accuracy in work. People waive their breaks to catch up on work, but there are easy and quick ways to take a mental break that would not intrude heavily on time.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a tool that helps people become calm and raises awareness of their surroundings in small time intervals. When practicing mindfulness, people are encouraged to use their five senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, and hear) to focus on their thoughts in the present time. Research has found that mindfulness aids people in understanding how their mind works, which leads to better emotional regulation. Additionally, mindfulness has been found to reduce cell damage, boost the immune system, and reduce stress, all of which lead to a longer and healthier life. By spending three to ten minutes to follow a mindfulness program, people can improve problem solving techniques and create a calm headspace to proceed with the day.
Here are some helpful apps that guide our mindfulness moments:
#1: Head Space
Head Space is a useful app to begin on the journey of mindfulness. The app has ten free sessions on the basics of practicing mindfulness. In addition to providing the basics, Head Space also offers a free SOS meditation to calm an individual in a crisis situation. The app also offers sleep meditation for people to fall asleep faster. The fun part of the sleep sessions is that there is control of the ratio of ambient sounds and the voice of the story-teller. More session options can be purchased in the Head Space library.
Since Head Space offers sessions to acquaint people to mindfulness, it is suitable for beginner mindfulness users. The app would best suit people who have three to ten minutes to spare in their busy day to promote calmness.
Aura is a personalized mindfulness service. When the app is first opened, it asks how you are feeling and selects a corresponding session for the feeling. The sessions are approximately three minutes long to guide a quick mindfulness moment individualized around the answer. Longer sessions can be purchased through the app as well as other services such as meditation, life coaching, stories and music.
Aura would suit a person who would like to complete their mindfulness session in a short period of time. The sessions help people target their thoughts based on feelings to create a better headspace in just three minutes.
Calm is a great one-stop-shop for mindfulness. The app offers a variety of guided meditations to promote a better sense of self. Some programs tackle self-esteem, concentration, happiness, stress, and more. Each program is spread throughout the week, and when the daily lesson is completed the next lesson unlocks. For those who already have experience with meditation, this app uniquely offers a timer for a silent meditation. In addition to daily meditation, Calm also offers sleep stories to help individuals fall asleep easier and avoid those racing thoughts at night.
Calm would benefit those who would like to work on specific target areas, such as self-esteem, concentration and more, to create better quality of life. This app would require some more time to be spent working on the meditations since the average length of sessions are ten minutes long.
These apps can be downloaded from the app store on your app device. All of the apps are free for download!
Samantha Rodriguez, MSW Candidate/Clinical Intern
Firestone, L. (n.d.). Benefits of Mindfulness. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/