If you’ve never meditated before, starting the practice can be pretty overwhelming. As simple as the practice sounds — sit quietly and breathe — it’s almost never that easy. The worst thing would be to think that because you’re not “getting it right,” you should give up on trying meditation.
It’s often the failure to realize that the sounds and voices in your head are supposed to happen that leads people to think they’re getting meditation “wrong.” But the point, when you first start meditating, is to get in touch with the voices and thoughts that are already rolling in the background without you noticing. They’re not starting because you’re quieting down — you’re just noticing them for the first time.
This is why people often take advantage of teachers when they first start the practice of meditation. The good news is that in a world of technology, your smartphone can be a great teacher. There’s a plethora of apps and they’re available to you on demand.
Here are five meditation apps that can help you get organized and settled in your meditation practice.
5 Meditation Apps You May Not Know About
One of the best known beginner apps, Headspace will walk you through your daily practice and help by giving you clearly guidelines of what to focus on. With periods of instruction and silence, you’ll get just enough interaction with the app to give you practice in settling in and sitting with your thoughts. Available for both iPhone and Android.
With meditations for many different aspects of your life, Omvana has offerings that range from 3 to 60 minutes along with a customizable music mixer and Apple Health Kit integration. With a large collection of meditations, you can choose meditations for stress, focus, sleep, mindfulness, and personal growth. Available for both iPhone and Android.
3. i-Qi Clock and Meditation Timer
If you’re comfortable in starting with less guidance or already established in your meditation practice, the i-Qi timer gives you a wide variety of realistic gongs, bells, and sounds to set up and create your own customized meditation timers. The bonus is that it is also an alarm clock with the same sets of peaceful wake-up tones. Available for iPhone and iWatch.
4. The Mindfulness App
Offering both guided and silent sitting options, the Mindfulness App allows you to choose from a range of times as well as customize your own set of meditation times. One great feature of this app is its reminder function, sending you notifications to keep you on track as well as mindfulness messages you can set to be sent to you throughout the day. Available for both iPhone and Android.
5. Stop, Breathe & Think
A friendly, simple tool to guide people of all ages and backgrounds through meditations for mindfulness, SBT gives you a “Practice…to create space between your thoughts, emotions and reactions.” With a modern, cheerful interface, it’s a great app to use to introduce kids to meditation as well. Available for both iPhone and Android.