Written by Katie McGuinness • Published 27th November 2018 • 3 minute read

Needy push notifications, never-ending emails you don’t remember subscribing to, and the always alluring call of our social media apps’ infinite feeds. It’s easy to see why an increasing number of us are switching off our phones and embracing the ‘digital detox’, but what if our phones could help us be more mindful, instead of just overloading us with notifications?

Mindfulness, a practice which focuses on clearing your thoughts and becoming acutely aware of your surroundings, has been rising in popularity for a number of years. But in a world where we are constantly overloaded with information, your phone might be the last place you’d expect to go to switch off – but apps which guide users through mindfulness exercises can be helpful for users who are unfamiliar with the concept of doing ‘nothing’. Whether you’re a mindfulness expert or a complete beginner, here’s five apps to try…

MindFi

MindFi is specifically designed to fit into your normal daily routine, helping you to have a ‘mindful meal, break or commute’. The app encourages you to be mindful, anywhere, anytime, and stay focused during the daily hustle and bustle of life. In addition to their three-minute and ten-minute exercises, their unique ‘deep work’ timer mode helps users to stay focused for up to two hours at a time. You can even grow your own digital bonsai in tandem with your personal meditation practice.

 Buddhify

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With a unique user interface, Buddhify is designed to ‘bring mediation to you’. Each one of their guided meditations is categorised by what you’re doing or how you’re feeling, with exercises designed for things like work breaks, walking or waking up. The app also offers you the choice to share mindfulness activities with your friends using the app’s Give function. This thoughtful additional allows Buddhify users to send a targeted mediation to someone in their life who could really use it.

 Smiling Mind

Smiling Mind, which was created by an Australian not-for-profit organisation, is a completely free app intended to make mindfulness ‘an accessible tool for all’. The simple-to-use app includes mindfulness exercises for adults as well as guided activities for with parents to lead their children through. With activities for 7 – 9-year olds and up, this app is perfect for parents who want to help their children be more conscious and mindful.

 Aura

Founded in 2017, Aura combines mindfulness with AI to create personalised three-minute meditations. Aura’s short but sweet bursts of mindfulness are designed to help reduce stress and anxiety. The exercises are delivered by one of 30 mindfulness teachers and therapists and are personalised for individual users. The app also encourages you to track and understand their mood patterns and express gratitude as a habit through daily reflections.

 Stop, Breathe and Think

Stop, Breathe and Think encourages you to do exactly that; stop what you’re doing, practice mindful breathing, and broaden your perspective. The app prompts users to check in with themselves physically, mentally and emotionally, and curates themed audio tracks to accompany sessions that are between two and 15 minutes in length. All of the guided exercises are designed to help you tune into how you feel.

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