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Relax With As Little As 5 Minutes With These Meditation Apps

Relax With As Little As 5 Minutes With These Meditation Apps

Sometimes, you just need a break. With these meditation apps, a relaxing moment of peace is just a click away. Here are the top five meditation apps that make meditation so simple and easy that you can get started in as little as five minutes.

Meditation Timer

Meditation Timer is one of the most flexible free meditation apps available. While simple to use, it can also be customized in more ways than other meditation apps, making it the best app for those who know the framework they want for their meditation. Customization options include customizable background images, audio, preparation time length, and meditation length. It also includes features for using interval chimes, which are a great way to help you re-focus during a meditation when you don’t want a fully guided session. Chime sounds can also be customized, as can the end and rest chimes.

*Secret feature: You can change the background image by quickly turning your phone upside down and right-side up again. It will not work if you turn the phone over too slowly.

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    Calm

    Calm incorporates background music into its meditation and offers a variety of background images. The free “7 Days of Calm” guided meditation is a great free beginners meditation program. One unique feature is the guided breathing imagery, where the breathing circle contracts and expands to guide your breaths.

    Item to note: One downside to Calm is that the moment you open the app, it immediately starts playing background sounds, even if you have your phone on silent mode. So, don’t open this app anywhere that hearing birds chirping in the trees wouldn’t be appropriate.

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      10% Happier

      With a slogan like “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics,” you know that 10% Happier doesn’t take itself too seriously. On the other hand, with images of men in suits and ties, this is the best app to be caught using while at the office. This app was developed by ABC News anchor Dan Harris, in partnership with Change Collective, as part of his personal mission to make mindfulness and meditation approachable and understandable. The app provides an in-depth free 7-day introduction to meditation that includes video lessons and guided meditations, as well as pre-recorded guided meditations with Joseph Goldstein, a renowned meditation teacher. The only downside to this app is that guided meditations start at 10 minutes long.

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      If you have a little more time, this app will help you learn about the mindfulness principles that are the foundation of meditation practice. Paid options with this app are very professional and include coaching and training to use meditative practice to positively impact your life. Paid sessions include thoughtful topics such as “The Blame Game,” “Understanding Strong Emotions,” and “Raising an Issue Without Starting a Fight.”

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        Headspace

        Headspace has a game-like feel for those who learn best through challenges and achieving accomplishments. A variety of “singles” (individual meditations) with cool names like “SOS” and “On-The-Go,” as well as meditations grouped by themes like Health and Relationships, are available. Unfortunately, most require upgrading to a paid version of the app.

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          Centering Prayer

          For faith-based individuals, the Centering Prayer app may be a compelling option that aligns with their spirituality. Centering Prayer a contemplative prayer style taught by the Contemplative Institute and is a great option that incorporates both periods of silence and time to contemplate scriptural verses or other inspiring quotes and passages.

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            All five of these meditation apps have great features. Some provide a simple interface, others provide in-depth learning and guided meditation. For beginners, taking advantage of free introductory programs such as those offered by 10% Happer may be a great starting point, while Meditation Timer offers a free, flexible way to meditate on a daily basis in time intervals of as little as 5 minutes.

            Still not convinced? Here are 10 Reasons You Should Meditate Every Day.

            Featured photo credit: Nickolai Kashirin via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on November 18, 2020

            I’m Feeling Bored: 10 Ways to Conquer Boredom (and Busyness)

            I’m Feeling Bored: 10 Ways to Conquer Boredom (and Busyness)

            If you’re saying “I’m feeling bored,” it’s important to realize that boredom and feeling too busy are the same problem. Some people claim I’m being too ambitious trying to strike down chronic boredom and busyness at the same time. I’d argue that the only way to take them out is simultaneously.

            The problem stems from how you manage your attention. Both boredom and busyness stem from feeling there is a lack of quality in how you focus your attention.

            Boredom is feeling that there are too few high-quality ways to spend attention. Busyness is forced boredom. This means that you feel there are high quality ways to spend attention, but your attention is being stolen from you before you can use it.

            I’m Feeling Bored: It’s in Your Mind

            Feelings of boredom and busyness are subjective. You can’t look out in the world and claim it is busy or boring. To say these feelings are subjective is obvious, but that misses a key point. The real problem is quality.

            Being engaged, neither busy or bored, happens when your attention is focused on high-quality activities.

            You can probably remember times when you were completely engaged. This could have been working on a project you were passionate about, spending time with your family, sky diving or vacationing under the sun. Why were you engaged in these moments and not in others?

            A likely reason was because those experiences had a higher quality. They allowed you to enter into an immersive flow state, in which your entire consciousness was devoted to the activity.[1]

            In the best cases your entire reality revolves around what you are doing. You’ll understand what I mean if you’ve read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (which, I must admit, inspired most of these ideas).

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            Improving the Quality of Your Activities

            So how do you improve quality in your experiences when you’re saying “I’m feeling bored”? I believe there are two major ways you can do it: externally and internally. If you are chronically busy (and actively disliking the busyness) or bored, then you’ll need to tackle external and internal factors that contribute to these negative feelings.

            Here are some ways to consider improving quality in your experiences:

            Externally

            1. Plan Ahead

            Schedule your life to ensure there aren’t huge gaps or work overflows later. This can mean scheduling high-quality experiences if you find yourself frequently bored. It can also mean dividing large projects if you find yourself chronically busy.

            • Plan weekend activities for next month now. This not only gives you something to look forward to, but it also forces you to stay productive instead of just busy.
            • Map out what is placing demands on your time. Can you consolidate all your “busy work” (such as responding to emails) into one block of time instead of allowing it to cause constant interruptions in your day?

            2. Win-Win

            If you must perform an activity you think has low quality, you’re going to feel bored. Find ways to reorganize your life so that jobs, chores, and duties can become interesting, high-quality experiences.

            Turn mind-numbing chores into opportunities for growth and learning. For example, listen to an audio book or lecture on the commute to work or while you’re cleaning your house.

            3. Prioritize

            If you don’t manage time, you’ll never have enough of it. There are always more things to do than you have time for. Get your values straight so that the highest priorities are handled first and your life doesn’t get overtaken by the unimportant.

            Set a vision for your life, and determine how everything you do either contributes or detracts from that vision. Chances are, the things that don’t align with your vision are some of the same things that bore you. After you identify low-priority activities, you can try to make them more meaningful, or you can find ways to eliminate them.

            4. Put Quality of Experience First

            It is easy to get caught up in external goals that don’t fulfill their promises. Focus on goals that will give you a greater quality, not just a bigger paycheck or more status to brag about.

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            Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals that align with your life’s vision.[2]

            5. Escape the Motions

            Habits are a part of your life, but don’t let them become the only thing. Break out of your patterns if they aren’t giving you what you need. Instead of staying in, go out and meet new people on a Friday night. Just do something to get away from doing the same old thing.

            Schedule times to break from your routines. I thrive on having a routine most days, but I also give myself opportunities to break from sameness.

            Say “yes” to trying something new. Nothing spices up your day like trying something new.

            Internally

            Most of the ways to improve your quality of experience and conquer boredom are internal. Remember, it’s not just what you do, but also how you do it.

            1. Build an Inner World

            I’m not suggesting you create a complete rift between yourself and reality when you find yourself thinking “I’m feeling bored,” but also realize that if you can’t find quality in your immediate surroundings, you can find it within yourself.

            Solving internal problems, reviewing knowledge, coming up with new ideas, creating stories, or even planning for the future are all areas you can explore in the mind without any external stimuli.

            Use “boring” moments as opportunities to brainstorm. It’s a lot easier to cope with a humdrum reality if you’re able to use the time to explore possibilities within your mind.

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            If you’re really at a loss, you can imagine a story about 2-3 of the people and objects in your vicinity. This is a great way to exercise your creativity and sharpen your observation skills.

            2. Seek Quality in the Now

            Try starting small with some simple questions. What are you doing right now? What can you find that has value for you? Seeking quality right now allows you to find it even if your environment is bare or overloaded.

            Activities like waiting in line can be turned into moments of self-reflection or times to remind yourself of your vision.

            3. Don’t Resist

            Busyness and boredom could also be described as symptoms of resisting what is. Fully accepting whatever situation you are in and making the most of it is one way to conquer feeling bored.

            Resistance is something that can’t be done half-way. Either completely push away and seek quality elsewhere, or accept your surroundings and find it here.

            4. Unchain Yourself

            A lot of mental unease is caused because you feel forced to do something. You have to go to work, study for your test, do this or that. Realize that you don’t have to do anything, just accept different results. Freedom is in your mind.

            Weigh whether the activity causing your discomfort is essential or expendable. For example, paying your bills is non-negotiable, but you can opt to live a more modest lifestyle or actively search for a job you enjoy.

            Use a mantra to remind yourself of your freedom. “I am free” and “I have the power to change my circumstances” can reinforce the notion that you have choices.

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            5. Stop

            Boredom and feeling overloaded are both patterns. They are mental spirals you run on yourself that loop back on each other. If you just interrupt yourself for a few minutes and think more deeply about the problem, you can often come up with a good answer independent of these suggestions.

            Meditate your way out of boredom. Sometimes boredom and busyness are caused by feeling disconnected from what you are doing. Use meditation to ground yourself in the present.

            You can learn how to meditate here.

            Take up a gratitude practice. Whenever you’re feeling too bored or too busy, stop to think about all the things that are going well. Being able to simply say, “I got out of bed this morning,” and “I have food to eat,” help you take stock of your blessings.

            The Bottom Line

            As boredom and busyness arise from the same source, the same strategies can be used to tackle them and find a sweet spot of a balanced mindset. Find high-quality activities when you start saying “I’m feeling bored,” and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can turn things around.

            More Tips on Tackling Boredom

            Featured photo credit: Siddharth Bhogra via unsplash.com

            Reference

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