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I Meditated for Ten Straight Days with the Breathe App. Here’s What Happened.
Meditation and mindfulness have been growing in popularity recently, although these concepts have been around for a long time. Meditating has been linked to lower stress, improved concentration, increased self-awareness, increased happiness, increased acceptance, slowing the aging process, lowering blood pressure, improving the immune system and improving psychic powers.
OK, I’m joking about the psychic powers! But overall, meditation seems like a really great thing to incorporate into your daily routine and I wanted to try it out! Luckily we live in 2018 and there are apps for that. Unfortunately some of them cost money so I wanted to see what was available for free and I came across the Breathe app. Breathe is available for iOS and Android. It’s free but you can pay to unlock the premium option.
When you first enter the app it asks you to check in about how you are feeling by providing you with a list of a whole bunch of feeling words. You are allowed to pick up to five.
Based on the emotions you select you will get two to three short guided meditations of varying lengths (usually I get ones from two minutes to ten minutes) to choose from. I like the guided meditations they have created. The guides have calming voices. The meditations are usually body scans or breathing exercises or a mix of the two. One time there was a loving kindness meditation which was great!
After you complete a meditation you are able to check in again. I really like the check in and check out feature because it forces you to stop and reflect, which is something I never do unless I’m prompted to. It keeps track of your top three emotions for the month and week. In this way it’s kind of like a mood tracker as well which can lead to more rewarding therapy sessions and/or allows you to gain more insight about yourself.
Breathe also gives you stickers the more you progress. So far I’ve got a sticker for completing my first meditation, meditating for 5 days in a row, listening to 10 minutes of meditation, meditating before 8 am (just to name a few). The app also keeps track of how many days in a row you’ve meditated for, the meditation you do the most and your total time spent meditating ( no big deal- but I’m up to 51 minutes and 23 seconds :). These features kept me motivated because I am a low key overachiever and seeing my progress has pushed me to continue.
I’ve been using the app every day now for ten days. I was skeptical at first since I didn’t pay for the premium version. I was worried it was going to be lame. I do wish that there was more variety in the types of meditations available, but otherwise I really like this app. It’s given me the opportunity to carve some time out of my day to take care of myself. It’s been fun and it’s something I look forward to. Even though it’s only been ten days I have felt relaxed and happier. I’m planning on keeping this up!
If you are on the fence give it a try! It might work for you or it might not, but if you don’t try you won’t know. If it doesn’t work for you there are plenty of other options available, like the Shine app.
Kathryn is a recent MSW graduate currently trying to #adult. She is a former mindyourmind staff and continues to work in the youth & community development sectors. In her spare time, she is a proud plant parent, home chef and avid volunteer.
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