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12 Free Apps to Improve the Three Most Important Aspects of Your Life

12 Free Apps to Improve the Three Most Important Aspects of Your Life

There’s an app for everything nowadays, from tracking steps to tracking Pokemon. A good app offers some level of added utility to your day-to-day life without intruding in on your real-world responsibilities. When looking to get the most use out of your smartphone, look for apps that can enhance your work, hobbies, and relaxation.

Apps can help you to take charge of three of the most important aspects of your day-to-day life: your family, your health, and your time.

Family

1. Tinder

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    Your relationships start and end with your romantic endeavors, and a host of online dating sites have led to Tinder — the most efficient romance app available. While it may not be as romantic as meeting the love of your life in a chance encounter, it’s fast and fun to meet and chat with potential love interests through Tinder’s intuitive design. Consider similar apps like Hinge or Bumble if you’re looking for a more specific experience.

    2. Family Locator by Life360

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      “It’s nine o’clock in the evening. Do you know where your children are?” A parent’s worst fears can be easily assuaged with Family Locator by Life360, an app that uses GPS tracking to map the locations of registered family members. It’s a simple solution that brings major stress relief. The app’s group chat feature allows family members to communicate quickly and easily.

      3. inBudget

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        inBudget is the only personal finance app on the market that allows users to make public budgets. If your friends went on a great family vacation to San Francisco, they can share their budget to help you recreate the experience. Users can also sync group budgets between family members, simplifying things like bill paying and bookkeeping. Of course, individual users regularly make use of private budgets for everything from household finances to long-term savings.

        4. Khan academy

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          If you’re raising kids, you’re probably concerned about giving them the best possible education and upbringing. Khan Academy offers valuable free lessons to users in important subjects like math and science. Turn idle time into a learning experience by setting Khan Academy up on your family’s iPad or smartphone.

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          Health

          5. Insight Timer

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            Mental health is every bit as important as physical health, and Insight Timer helps to improve your mental health through mindfulness and meditation. Give your mind a chance to relax from the stresses of a busy day at work.

            6. Lifesum

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              While there are dozens of calorie- and fitness-tracking apps on the market, Lifesum stands out by offering feedback and inspirational advice to its users. The biggest challenge for users of fitness apps is to stay on board and consistently enter data; by providing encouragement, Lifesum gives the user a reason to stay on top of their fitness goals.

              7. Strava

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                If you’re the type of person who can’t go to the gym without a buddy, Strava is the app for you. Billing itself as the “social network for athletes,” Strava helps you connect with other fitness enthusiasts to engage in group fitness activities or even do simple exercises together. Strava also offers great utility with its fitness tracking, using GPS technology to follow and catalog your activities.

                8. Sleep Cycle

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                  Sleep is one of the most often-overlooked aspects of a person’s health. The Sleep Cycle app helps users achieve optimal sleeping habits by waking them up at the best possible time each morning. Intelligent graphs and insights help the user to understand their sleeping habits and how to achieve a more restful sleep cycle.

                  Time

                  9. Asana

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                    Most employees dread the prospect of team assignments, recognizing it as the place where efficient work goes to die. Asana helps to combat this problem with useful tools for project tracking and time management. By clearly delineating responsibilities and keeping up with expectations, Asana keeps every on target and eliminates wasted time.

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                    10. Google Keep

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                      If we had the ability to act on our thoughts from the moment they first occurred, the world would be a more efficient place. Google Keep is a simple app for achieving this goal, allowing users to upload notes from any device into a central location. Don’t forget about your most important ideas and responsibilities — let Google keep track of them for you!

                      11. Wattpad

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                        Make the most out of your free time. Wattpad is a popular app for reading enthusiasts as it provides a diverse library of materials that don’t require downloading huge PDFs or connecting to the internet. Liven up your commute or make better use of your downtime with a book, article, or short story.

                        12. IFTTT

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                          Every technological advance offers an opportunity for users to save time and effort. IFTTT is a free app for automating processes from printing and setting alarms to making coffee. Explore the different ways that IFTTT can automate your life and have more time to do the things that you love.

                          Featured photo credit: Mockuuups via mockuuups.com

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                          Alex Bickov

                          Product designer

                          12 Free Apps to Improve The Three Most Important Aspects of Your Life 12 Free Apps to Improve the Three Most Important Aspects of Your Life

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                          Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                          In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                          Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                          Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                          Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                          Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                          The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                          There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                          How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                          According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                          Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                          Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                          The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                          Listen carefully:

                          We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                          The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                          Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                          8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                          There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                          Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                          1. Pray Daily

                          You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                          When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                          Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                          Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                          2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                          A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                          By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                          Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                          If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                          This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                          How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                          3. Smile Often

                          Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                          Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                          Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                          The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                          4. Organize Your Working Desk

                          A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                          When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                          Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                          Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                          5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                          I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                          Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                          What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                          6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                          God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                          I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                          I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                          7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                          You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                          How do you do that? This is my formula:

                          First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                          If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                          If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                          If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                          Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                          8. Go Exercise

                          Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                          The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                          You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                          12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                          The Bottom Line

                          It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                          It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                          Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                          More Resources About Mindfulness

                          Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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