Those of you who read the stuff that I sometimes write (lately it has been quite often) will know that I have became interested in mindfulness and buddhism and all this kind of eastern philosophy thing (well i have always been interested in this but only lately i really got to read it and somehow i also discovered mindfulness).
And since I am often on the go bringing books is hard because they take a lot of space and tend to be heavy and although i really like them i often do not have enough space to carry them with me. And so my smartphone really comes in handy, because i can dowload many apps and those that i can not fit in my smartphone I can fit in my tablet.
And being interested in mindfulness I have noticed that there really are many apps focused on mindfulness and meditation and also buddhism – at times it feels like dark sea where you do not know what awaits you after downloading an app, sometimes it is a wonderland where you wonder if it will actually help or how the app actually works and sometimes it is like clean lagune where you can easily pick your app from the shallow waters because the rating is good or it is editor’s pick or because you were able to researchit online and even found its website.
I think that with the amount of stress and pressure we put in our bodies, we have realised that if we take care of our bodies – or fitness of our bodies – and visage and go to gym and want to look and be healthy it would also be good to try and do something for our mind. And so we have picked up meditation and midfulness in hope that it will help. But mindfulness experts and buddhists especially will tell you that all this takes time and you have to learn the techniques and practice them if you really want it to work.
But we live a quick paced stressful lives and we want everything to be quick and we want it now, without having to wait and practice because we think we do not have time for this. And so there has been a boom of these apps focused on mindfulness and buddhism.
Now you will think me a hypocrit since I download these apps but also criticise them or us as society. I do not criticise the apps, sure some are good and some not and some are even shady and it is steadily becoming a big business but generaly I have nothing against them, like I said I am often on the go and sometimes even for days or nights and bringing books is sometimes just impossible because i know i would not have time to read.
This problem of not having enough space in bag is solved by app in small phone and problem with time is solved by 5-10mins long guided meditation in app. What I am saying is that we should not want to have everything solved so quickly and we should not expect mirracles from an app or our smartphone because even thought these apps help – they have helped me relax and calm many times – they can not solve your problem. Sometimes you need a proper therapist to listen to you and ask the right questions. Therapists are not there to judge you but to ask you questions and guide you towards the solution or truth behind your emotions and dreams.
Sometimes even the fact that you say something out loud helps you to see the problem more clearly or realise it – it is like saying your thoughts out loud or listing things you want to take on trip out loud.
So I am not criticising the apps since i am using them as well and i have even tried many in an attempt to find a few that would fit my need and desires and be easy to use.
Among my favorites so far are Headspace, 7 cups, wildflower and calm and since you can donwload I think I do not have to say what their feautures are but I think I can say that I like to swutch between them from time to time since some offere guided meditations or different packs ( often paied) and some offer even unguided meditation ( for those of you who know that they are doing.. which I still do not..) and some have the possibility to chat with listener or find a therapist in your neighbourhood and some offer extra material you can read to introduce the mental health issues or they may have a sort of introduction to what mindfulness actually is. But having a possibility to switch the apps is actually good since sometimes one app does not have the thing I want at the moment (see hypocrite here using the apps :D) or at times the right voice to sooth me (yes I am this type of girl who needs a certain voice to guide me through :D)
Like i said above while i think there is nothing wrong with the apps and us using them i think wrong is expecting too much in too short a time – especially if you expect miracles. And sometimes the best thing to do is to try talk to someone and if you are to talk to therapist talk to bunch of your friends and if you feel embarrased to talk about your troubles with your friends talk to therapist (think of them as unbiased outsider who will not judge you but only listen and sometimes attempt to ask the right questions). There is no shame in talking about it with someone, we often think that our problems are meaningless and too small to even talk about them or we are just ashamed to talk about them but that is not true everyone has troubles we do not know about but because no one talks about it and some people are just far away for us to even see or some are just good in hiding it we have no idea that we are not really alone…