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Category: Yoga & Meditation

The Five Best Meditation app in 2020.

We are fully surrounded by technology and devices. So some people find meditation app useful for themself. As life gets increasingly busy with more distractions content for our time, it’s never been more important to be mindful of what’s going on inside and outside our bodies. Mindfulness is living in the moment and being aware of our thoughts and feelings as they happen.
When we practice this, it can positively change the way we observe ourselves and our lives.

Tuning into your body’s thoughts and emotions not only helps you become more aware of the signs of stress, but it also gives you the opportunity to deal with them. Of course, some stress is good for you but too much can cause serious issues including heart disease, stroke, asthma, diabetes, and some types of cancer. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) also recommends mindfulness as a way to prevent depression in those who’ve had 3 or more bouts of depression in the past.

Meditation earphone

Here we are describing our five top picked Meditation app.

All these apps are available on Android and IOS.

1. CALM


Described by a user as “a truly life-changing app”, Calm is the perfect meditation app for beginners (there’s a seven-day beginner’s program to get you started) but also includes programs for more advanced users.

The short, guided meditation sessions cover the basics of mindfulness. And there’s also a library of soothing nature sounds and scenes to use at your leisure. One great feature if you’re looking to improve your sleeping patterns is the ‘Sleep Stories’. Bedtime stories for adults ‘guaranteed to lull you to sleep’.

2. HEADSPACE

Designed to help you train your mind and body for a healthier, happier life and get the most out of your day. Headspace can be used anywhere. This app’s free version provides meditations and exercises led by Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe. That will teach you the essence of meditation and mindfulness.

Named an ‘Independent Best Buy’ and featured on The Ellen Show and The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. A recent Headspace user review states: “After a couple of days with guided meditations I could really notice a difference in my way of handling stressful moments.”

3. AURA

If you’re looking for a personalized meditation and mindfulness experience, Aura may be the best app for you. Described as a ‘new kind of mindfulness app’, Aura learns about you by asking questions. You then get a daily three-minute mindfulness meditation based on your answers.

Compatible with the Apple Watch and loved by Apple (#1 New Apps We Love), Aura is designed to help you control your stress and thoughts better to reduce stress and increase positivity. A recent user review said: “It helps me take a step back from my busy schedule and to calm my nerves.”

4. STOP, BREATHE & THINK

One more best app offering a personalized meditation and mindfulness experience is Stop, Breathe & Think. According to Reviews, this app has ‘stand out’ systemization tools that deliver meditations based on your current emotions and feelings.

A recent study explained a 22% low in users feeling anxious after just 10 short sessions. The 2017 Webby People’s Voice Award winner app for Best Health App. A current app user described Stop, Breathe & Think like a “great app to begin a new meditation practice or strengthen an existing one.”

5. INSIGHT TIMER


Described by the Independent as “a social network for the people who does meditation”. Insight Timer allows you to share and discuss your mindfulness experience with like-minded people around the globe. Community groups include Beginners, Transcendental Meditation, and far more. Plus there’s a packed library of guided meditations led by the world’s top mindfulness experts and meditation teachers.

Winner of TIME magazine’s Apps of the Year, a recent user had this to say: “Fantastic app! Helped me get back on track with meditation. Huge variety of meditations, talks & support.”

Read also {6 Best tips for calmness, Health, and Mindfulness.}

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Is Any Wrong Way of Breathing in Meditation?

Mindfulness meditation is a fantastic way to create awareness of our surroundings and find a sense of peace within ourselves. Often, those who are at the very beginning of their mindfulness meditation practice, people get distracted thinking about their Breathing in Meditation too much. People wonder if they should breathe as they usually would or if they need to breathe in a specific way.

Is Any Wrong Way of Breathing in Meditation?

Meditation experts emphasize the importance of Breathing in Meditation naturally. If your breathing is shallow, let it be; if it’s deep, allow it to be deep. You can also start your meditation by taking deep breaths that will enable you to relax throughout the process.

Way of Breathing in Meditation: The Preparation Process


Before you start your meditation session, it’s best to find a spot away from distractions. Inform your family and friends that you need some time alone for meditation. It’s also essential to find a natural position such as sitting on a chair, cushion, or bench. Your back should always be straight to allow natural breathing.

Meditating Girl
Breathing in Meditaion

Getting in the right mindset to meditate is simple. If you’re a beginner experiencing difficulty with Breathing in Meditation, we advise you to consult an expert. They will recommend the right tools and training when it comes down to meditation. They will suggest the right tools, which support focus while promoting calmness and relaxation.

Additionally, in this age of information, there are numerous resources from the internet that can guide beginner’s meditation sessions until they can do it on their own. They can get materials from YouTube channels and articles from various expert blogs.

Breathing Should Be Natural.


You may choose to keep your eyes open or closed; go with your preference.

It might be easier to concentrate with your eyes closed, but keeping them open is a better strategy in the long run. Keeping your eyes open during meditation means half-open because your gaze will be directed towards a certain point in front of you. Settle your gaze on an imaginary spot, this works better because meditation is about accepting everything as it is – your sight and sound included.

The downside of keeping your eyes closed is that it can create an artificial state, like a dream, while you should be concentrating on the present. Experts recommend that beginners close their eyes at first to find focus and reduce distractions, then open them to boost the understanding of the mind.

Once you settled, you can use an initial deep breathing technique to relax. Take a deep breath through your nose for three seconds and hold it for two. Then, exhale for four seconds through your mouth. Repeat this a couple of times until you feel relaxed then transition to more natural breathing.

Breathe through your nose, unless your nasal passage is blocked, but keep your mouth closed or slightly open. During the entire meditation session, allow your body, breath, and mind to remain as they are.

Concentrate on the Present


Mindfulness means paying close attention to what is happening at the moment. It’s discovering the beauty of the present moment rather than worrying about the future or the past.

Stones and bamboo
Stones and bamboo

Thoughts about the future and the past often lead to the culmination of stress, anxiety, and depression. They can also lead to distracting thoughts about everyday activities, so you often find yourself fantasizing about what will happen later today or tomorrow. Concentrating on the present through meditation helps develop a sense of contentment and lasting happiness.

Breathing in Meditation requires paying attention to your inhalation and exhalation. At that moment, notice the sensations as air flows through your body and as your belly moves up and down. If your mind gets distracted from breathing, bring it back gently and firmly. Practicing mindful breathing, for even 15 minutes each day, can improve the quality of your life.

Conclusion


Meditation is an art that can be learned with time. It’s beneficial in reducing stress levels and improving the quality of life. Give it a go and see how all areas of your life will gradually improve.

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6 Best tips for calmness, Health, and Mindfulness.

It’s mid of 2020, and these are unprecedented times. In the time-frame of a few short months, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been characterized by the World Health Organization as a pandemic, which is a global outbreak of disease. The outbreak has harmed communities, closed schools, and slowed economic activity in many countries. On a less visible level, the rapid spread of COVID-19 has led to a global state of anxiety and panic. As a world lockdown is beginning to take hold, it’s more important than ever for us to practice mindfulness meditation for managing calmness and our anxiety.

This virus not only takes physical health on those affected, but it also mentally and emotionally affects most of us, who must now navigate the stress of uncertainty. So what can we do? In addition to washing our hands regularly, refraining from touching our faces, and socially distancing ourselves from others (especially those who are sick), we have the power to significantly mitigate our own risk of illness by reducing our stress and anxiety.

Woman wearing mask
Woman wearing mask

Below are six tips for calmness and anxiety that you can immediately adopt to protect your overall health. Following these healthy habits will aid you in keeping your immune system strong and healthy, which, in turn, will help to combat anxiety along with your vulnerability to disease or illness.

Here are 6 tips for Calmness, Health and Mindfulness.

1. Breathe

When we are stressed or fearful or hear bad news, we often gasp — inhaling sharply and then holding our breath. These breathing patterns can activate the sympathetic nervous system, often referred to as the “fight or flight response.” Have you ever heard the advice to “just breathe” when you’re stressed? Although a well-known solution, it’s true. Deep breathing is one of the best grounding techniques for anxiety. Slow, deep breaths engage the abdominal muscles and diaphragm instead of the muscles in your upper chest and neck. As such, deep breathing can bring you back from the emotional brink in even the worst situations.

Deep diaphragmatic breathing supports the parasympathetic nervous system and activates the “relaxation response,” which reduces stress and its negative effects on the mind and body. As a result, you gain greater resilience in the face of adversity, and your mind can become less cluttered and frantic. Here’s how to do it:

Deep diaphragmatic breathing technique
Find a quiet suitable and comfortable place to sit or lie down. If you’re sitting in a chair, bend your knees and relax your head, neck and shoulders. If you’re lying down, place a small pillow under your head and bend your knees.

Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly, just below your rib cage. Inhale slowly through your nose to a silent count of three so that your abdomen moves out against the hand on your belly. The air going into your nose should move downward and you should feel your stomach rise. Also, the hand on your chest should remain as still as possible. Be sure to hold your breath for a count of three and then exhale through slightly pursed lips to a final count of three. The hand on your chest should remain still throughout this process.

When you inhale, your diaphragm contracts and moves downward, which allows your lungs to expand. When you exhale, your diaphragm muscles relax and move upwards, which drives air out of your lungs through your breath.

Try this technique for three to five minutes several times per day. It should help you to manage anxiety and to maintain a state of relative calm.

2. Move

Moving is one of the most important grounding techniques for anxiety. You’re homebound for the foreseeable future. One of the things NOT to do is just sit. Too much sitting or lying down throughout the day can lead to chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and even some cancers. Further, too much sitting is correlated with a negative effect on mental health.

Woman riding cycle
Woman riding cycle

The simple solution is to keep moving your body throughout the day. The body movement is known to decrease overall levels of tension, stabilize and elevate mood, improve sleep and enhance self-esteem.

What can you do when you’re homebound? Here are a few examples:

Take a walk
Ride a bike
Do simple yoga poses
Clean your home
Work in the garden
The bottom line: keep moving.

3. Eat healthy and well

The government recommends having a two-week supply of food on hand in the face of the pandemic. Many of us are already stocking up on groceries to the extent that store shelves are barren in some regions. But stocking up doesn’t mean that you should buy an abundance of canned soup, rice and beans, alcohol, chips, and cookies.

Your ‘coronavirus kitchen’ does not need to be unhealthy! Nor do you need to subsist on snack bars and soft drinks. Consider purchasing:

Whole grains such as barley, quinoa, and amaranth
Shelf-stable non-dairy milk such as oat milk, soy milk or almond milk
Frozen vegetables
Nuts and nut butter
Frozen fruits (these make great smoothies)
Frozen fish, chicken breasts and lean beef
Canned tuna or sardines
Foods that support a healthy gut flora
Don’t forget to frequently wash your hands, especially when preparing food, and to keep your kitchen clean. Also, be sure to wash any lingering dishes, empty the sink, clear the counters, and wipe everything down often.

4. Get Hydrated

Drink plenty of water, at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day, which equals about two liters. Hydration helps alleviate possible symptoms of dehydration. Healthy hydration levels help maintain the integrity of the mucous membranes of your nose and mouth, which can support you in fighting infection. Keep in mind that soft drinks with a lot of sugar like sodas or sports drinks aren’t good choices for combating dehydration, as they are not designed for rehydration. Other rehydration drinks you may want to consider include Pedialyte, Gatorade and coconut water.

5. Get Enough Sleep

Another one of the grounding techniques for anxiety is sleep. Adults typically need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep weakens your immune system.

Ways to facilitate restful sleep include:

Going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning (including on weekends)
Making sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature
Removing electronic devices, such as computers and smart phones, from the bedroom
Remaining physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night
Don’t eat a large meal prior to going to bed

6. Shift your mindset

Remember, you’re not in this alone. It’s important now to shift your mindset from “I” to “We”. Think about how your actions may impact others. Stay home when you are sick. And if you’re not sick, keep a “social distance” from others, especially those who might have been exposed to or are infected with the coronavirus.

A happy Family
A happy Family

Consider your family, neighbors and friends – check in with them frequently by text or by phone, keeping up with their needs and health status. What about those who may be out of work now? Can you donate supplies or money to support those who are less fortunate than you? Are your local restaurants closed except for takeout? Help to keep them in business by ordering a meal and/or purchasing a gift card for future use.

Takeaways


Sometimes, you just have to adapt to a new normal. So stay informed and don’t panic. Take care of yourself. Support others. Stay connected. Distance yourself from others physically but not emotionally. Hopefully, these grounding techniques for managing anxiety will help. However, regardless of which steps you choose, make an active effort to stay positive; you will get past this difficult time, and thrive.

Read some of our suggested articles for you.

How to stop worrying about future after this pandemic?

The Mental Exercises for Emotional Fitness.

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What is mindfulness meaning?

One of the most common questions we get is, What is the mindfulness meaning? and Whether or not they should “start doing mindfulness.”

Lady doing meditation
Lady doing meditation

Usually, they have gone through any article about how mindfulness can help reduce stress or relieve anxiety or a friend has started meditating and says it will change their life.

But they’re a little uneasy about it. Often because any type of meditation sounds just a little too new-age or “out there.”

And while everyone is curious to know mindfulness meaning. No one is to be able to give an answer to the simple question of, yeah, but what is mindfulness meaning?

Still, they’ve desired the idea that this mindfulness thing could somehow become a valuable “coping skill”. Or the thing that finally helps them turn a corner in whatever particular self-improvement project they’re working on.

What is mindfulness meaning (and what it is not)?


There are as many definitions for mindfulness as there are people claiming that it will change your life.

While I don’t consider myself a proficient, I have studied quite a bit about it and do my own practice daily. Consequently, I’ve come up with a pretty good working definition:

Mindfulness meaning is the mental habit of paying attention without any thought in mind.

That sounds cryptic. Let’s unpack it a little.

Mindfulness is a mental habit

The first thing to recognize about mindfulness meaning is that it is a mental habit. This means it has got to do with what’s inside your head, not what you do physically or your environment.

  • You can be just as mindful in your car on your way home from work. As you can sit cross-legged on a peaceful mountain top in Tibet.
  • You can be mindful when things are loud and chaotic or quiet and serene.
  • You can be mindful when you’re doing deep breathing in a yoga studio or when you’re out of breath on the treadmill.


Mindfulness is the simplest idea as a habit. Something you will do deliberately but with enough practice could also become relatively automatic, at least in some situations.

Think of driving a car:

When you first learned how to do it, it took a lot of focus and deliberate practice. And while at times you still need to be very deliberate with your driving, you can also drive to and from the grocery store and carry on a conversation without much attempt because the function of driving has become a habit.

Mindfulness meaning is paying attention without thinking


Suppose your power walks out in the evening as you’re watching TV. You feel that you may need to flip the breakers, which are outside on the back of the house, so you grab a flashlight and head outside.

In order to success, get the power back on you need to do two relatively distinct things:

  • You have to turn on your flashlight onto the breaker box so you can notice it.
  • You need to open the breaker box, spot which breaker got tripped, and then flip it.

Put more generally, you have to see before you can do.

This difference between seeing and doing is parallel to the difference between paying attention and thinking.

Attention is what we select to notice on or see with our mind. The image that many cognitive scientists use for attention is a spotlight. It’s what selects and maintains the small piece of experience that our minds can potentially take in.

Thinking, on the other hand, is mental work. It’s opening the breaker box, reading the labels, and flipping the right breaker. It includes things like comparing, analyzing, evaluating, predicting, imagining, judging, problem-solving, etc. All these different kinds of thinking are a kind of mental work that allow us to do and produce things with our minds.

All squares are called rectangles but not all rectangles are called squares.

The main point to remember is while all thinking requires attention, attention doesn’t require thinking.

You can walk around outside at night with your flashlight, pointing various objects and areas without doing anything to them—the flashlight simply allows you to see them.

Similarly, we can use our minds to observe and notice to things without mentally doing anything—analyzing, predicting, comparing, etc…

Here’s a practical example: Take out a piece of paper and write down the following:

32 x 28 = ?

Now, set a timer on your phone or note the time on a clock and just look at what your wrote down for 60 seconds. Don’t do multiplication and find the answer, just look at the numbers and symbols.

That’s mindfulness meaning. It’s paying attention without thinking.

Lapsing into thought


Of course, if you are like me, even in that short exercise you probably “lapsed” into some thinking.

Maybe you thought, This is dumb or Has it been a minute yet? Or might be your phone rang and you looked over, saw that it was your relative calling, and decided to let it go to without answer.

In any case, it’s surprisingly hard to just pay attention without thinking of anything.

Because we spend so much of our time thinking in one form or another, our mindsgo crazy a little when we decide to just pay attention. Like a angry toddler, it starts yelling at us with all kinds of shiny, exciting, or even scary thoughts.

And it’s really very difficult not to shift back into thinking mode when this happens.

What’s wrong with thinking mode?


There’s nothing inherently wrong with thinking and zip inherently right with listening. Both can be right or wrong in different situations.

Think of the gears in a car.

It would be silly to say that 5th gear is inherently better than or more right than 2nd gear. If you’re cruising down a lonely highway at 50 kph on a beautiful summer day, 5th gear is great!

But if you’re driving from the grocery store to the post office through a school zone on a Tuesday afternoon during a snowstorm, 5th gear is probably not such a great idea—2nd or 1st might be better.

Just like no gear in a car is inherently better or worse than any other, the two primary gears of the mind—paying attention and thinking—are not better or worse than each other.

Instead, one could also be more or less helpful than the other counting on the things.

How is attention without thinking helpful?


To stick with the car analogy, while it’s fun to go fast, driving in 5th gear at high speeds burns through gas faster and makes it harder to react safely if something unexpected happens.

On the other hand, driving at slower speeds doesn’t take as much fuel and makes it easier to adapt to new circumstances on the road—although, admittedly, it’s often less fun.

In other words, while thinking is powerful, and even fun mental gear, it has its costs in terms of energy depletion and adaptabilty.

The first one is quite clear if we spend all of our time in mental high gear, it gets exhausting. When we’re constantly planning, analyzing, comparing, weighing costs and benefits, and on guard for potential problems, and the like. We can become chronically stressed or anxious.

How would you feel if you were driving through a small residential neighborhood but could only drive at 50 kmph in 5th gear? It’d be pretty terrifying and exhausting!

And by keeping ourselves regualarly in thinking mode wholeday, we are often keeping ourselves more stressed and anxious than we need to be.

The second reason observation without thinking is useful is that not able to emerge of thinking mode also makes us less flexible and adaptable.

While 95% of the time our mental ability to problem-solve is a good thing, what if you’re trying to problem-solve something that can’t be solved?

This is the situation we find ourselves in when we’re chronically anxious.

Even we all see intellectually that there’s nothing really dangerous present or that there’s nothing we can do about something that’s worrisome, we continue to act mentally as if there is. We worry, obsess, ruminate, and keep thinking.

In other words, worry—and the anxiety that it produces—is a direct result of not being able to downshift out of thinking mode and into just paying attention mode.

When we’re fixated on flipping the breaker even though we’ve done it 10 times and nothing’s improved, we can’t get ourselves unstuck. We can not let it go or change our attention to something more productive.

In short, progressing the habit of paying attention without thinking helps us to lessen overall stress and be more mentally flexible.

Mindfulness vs Mindfulness Meditation


Just like it would be nice. If anyone could sit down at a piano and start playing Beethoven, it would be nice if—having understood the importance of mindfulness—we could just be more mindful throughout our lives.
But in fact, neither mindfulness nor playing the piano work that way.

Both take practice. And a bit like becoming an accomplished and fluent pianist requires practicing scales and learning to read music, becoming more mindful takes some deliberate practice also.

Mindfulness Meditation is just a formal practice for learning the way to concentrate without thinking. While it had been originally formulated as an area of varied Eastern religious and spiritual practices, latest sorts of Mindfulness Meditation don’t have any spiritual component. They’re simply attention training exercises.

Arguably the foremost basic Mindfulness Meditation exercise involves listening to your breath. That’s it.

Seriously, you only sit down (or get up, it doesn’t matter) and concentrate on how it feels to breathe without thinking about anything.

And once you do inevitably get distracted and pulled into thinking mode. You calmly re-direct your attention back to how it feels to breathe. Many of us set a timer for 10 or 20 minutes or another interval, but you don’t need to.

That’s really it. As a lot of physical exercises. Most of the people constitute the trap of creating things more complicated than they have to be—fancy shoes, the proper gym, kettlebells vs dumbbells, etc.

When it involves Mindfulness Meditation. You don’t get to attend a fancy class or buy a mat to take a seat on and weird incense to burn. You only practice listening without thinking.

Like exercise, the thought is simple but putting it into practice is harder. this is often why many of us wish to join classes, hire a teacher or instructor to start and stay motivated.

Will mindfulness change my life?


Absolutely. If you practiced Mindfulness Meditation a day and committed yourself to measure more mindfully throughout your days. I even have little doubt that it might be profoundly transformative.

You’d probably be more relaxed, thoughtful, emotionally balanced, and compassionate. You’d worry less, feel less stressed, be more resilient to depression, and doubtless lower your vital sign a couple of ticks. You would possibly even improve your system .

But here’s the thing:

There are many things. That might change our lives for superior that we all know about and aren’t great about putting into practice.

Who among us wouldn’t have a far better life if we consistently:

  • Exercised every day
  • Only ate healthy foods in moderation
  • Made enough time for asleep
  • Exercised kindness and compassion in all of our interactions with other people
  • Read a book per week instead of watching movies or web series
  • Communicated assertively
  • Wrote a gratitude journal every morning
  • Volunteered more often to help those in need
  • Saved more instead of purchasing articles, we don’t require


I think the better question is, why is it hard for us to do what we already know we should do. Whether that’s eating healthily, being kind, or practice mindfulness?

Mindfulness is full of benefits and conceptually not that difficult to wrap our head around.

But like most hard things, understanding is the easy part; it’s the practice that gets us.

Read also some of our suggested articles for you.

The Mental Exercises for Emotional Fitness

Emotional fitness: An ultimate guide.

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What is the impact of Meditation on our Life?

As we admire for a healthy body. By eating and exercising we can make our organs healthy but our mental health rely on a different aspect of our life. Anxiety or Stress is the most common part of our daily life. The impact of Meditation on our life is non-explainable. Here are some meditation benefits mentioned.


A modern fad

Meditation is used pretty commonly nowadays as being one of my hobbies. I remember I was in the final year of my graduation when I came across this city, A girl had put meditation as a hobby in her job resume. I was fascinated.

What meditation is not?

Quite often, meditation is considered as an act of sitting quietly in some unique posture and trying to keep oneself away from speaking or opening the eyes. While it’s a good start, yet it’s not even close to meditation.


Meditation is something else

Though I should dare say ‘that’s meditation’ because this sentence itself is totally opposite to the very definitions. Meditation is a state, which makes you forget your existence, just as you do in a deep sleep state.

It’s indescribable

In actual sense, meditation is synonymous with the nature of our own Self.

Not everybody reaches that state

Without any doubt, the state of meditation is not easily achievable. People spend years to practice and to taste a second of that state. In almost all countries, meditation is recognized as an elevated activity done purely for the soul.

Impact on our mind

We will now talk about some general benefits that even the practice to achieve the state of meditation imparts to our minds.

More focus

Meditation is believed to tend to better focus in life.

Less anxiety

The practice of meditation has a calming effect on our mind, which directly leads to less anxiety in day-to-day life.

Better creativity

Our own soul is the source of all creativity. When we are trying to tune to it, it is quite obvious that it will lead to better creativity.

Better memory

It’s believed and observed in certain experiments too that meditation leads to better memory.

Lesser stress

As the mind cools down while one engages in meditation practice, the stress is lowered.

Overall better performance

Meditation is believed to improve the overall personality of a person with better control and better focus.

Spiritual benefits

Without doubt, the mind is looking for the original source of happiness, if we look into the spiritual aspect of meditation.

Reaching the goal

The goal is to reach the very essence of our own being. If we are able to reach even a bit closer to it, it would be a worthwhile practice.

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