When was the last time you really took notice of what you were doing and brought yourself back to the present moment? Life presents with us a myriad of distractions- including relationships, social media, our phones. Add disordered eating into the mixture and suddenly our mind can become very noisy!
Mindfulness is simply a way to pay attention to what is going on right now in the body, mind and all around us; to be present. By quietening the mind, we create clarity and space to allow better choices and decisions. Aside from the benefits of using mindfulness as a tool for recovery, mindfulness is a key component of any strategy to improve wellness. Mindfulness is associated with increased health giving behaviour, including reducing stress and worry and improving our relationship with food.
There are a plethora of resources available to help you practice mindfulness. Here are five of our favourite mindfulness Apps. Do you have any mindfulness Apps that you have found helpful?
Actcompanion is an App developed in conjunction with the ACT self-help book, The Happiness Trap. This provides opportunities to develop and practice skills to be present, open up and do what matters through dozens of simple and powerful interactive ACT exercises and tools. These include simple diffusion and acceptance techniques, easy values-clarification and goal setting tools, powerful “observing self” and self compassion exercises. You can put your skills to the test with the ACTometer. Your clinician can also link into your account so the App can be used to compliment the work you are undertaking in therapy.
Reachout Breathe App is designed to slow your heart rate- which has been demonstrated in research to increase feelings of calmness in your body. Using simple visuals, Breathe helps you to control your breath and measures your heart rate in real-time using the camera in your phone. This lets you address the onset of physical symptoms of stress, like shortness of breath, increased heart rate and tightening of the chest. Breathe enables you to customise settings to suit you- for example, to set up your preferred breathing time and measure your baseline heart rate using your iPhone and is particularly useful to help you cope with the onset of panic or anxiety.
Smiling Mind provides a program that is particularly targeted towards young people.
Headspace UK is also developed with a particular target of young people. It provides “personal training for the mind” via unlimited access to hundreds of hours of content and enables you to download sessions you can use offline. You can pick session from their various collections, based on various criteria such as your mood or session length. You can buddy up with friends and also track your progress as you better learn to become mindful.
Buddhify has over 80 guided meditations custom made for wherever you are and what ever you are doing- work, home, commuting, sleeping and so forth. Meditations are timed and range between five and 30 minutes. You can rate your relaxation level and keep stats on your progress.
What tools, including Apps, have you found most helpful to build your mindfulness?
Finally, Love Body Yoga offers an opportunity to practice mindfulness through our mindfulness and yoga courses. These face to face courses are held at Yoga Sivana Mosman over six Wednesday evenings. Yoga for Recovery is commencing on 4th May. More information is available Here.