Vicki McLeod

Untrending: Apps in the mindfulness field

Quest for calmness is a growing one.

Meditation is a means of transforming the mind through techniques to develop deep concentration, positivity, clarity, and calmness.

There are many meditation practices and traditions, and most offer a means of understanding the habits and patterns of the mind and cultivating new, more focused states of being.

In our fast-paced world, the quest for calmness is a growing one and the technology sector and app developers have been quick to respond with a plethora of mindfulness and meditation apps in the marketplace.

Apps are available with both free and paid platforms. Basic free features usually include a limited free trial or mini-lessons accompanied by your choice of a soothing soundscape, such as rain falling, a crackling fire, or a gentle stream.

READ ALSO: Learn about the joy of missing out.

Accompanying images are often nature-based.

Users can select the kinds of issues they are concerned with, such as stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, and so on and select corresponding meditation or mindfulness exercises.

Subscribers have access to a much wider range of services and customization and most apps offer personal analysis via mood check-ins and progress-trackers.

Based on your profile, the app will recommend choices and you can adjust your sessions accordingly.

Some offer badges and rewards for progress, others enable you to connect with other users, and many provide access to teachers and thought leaders in the mindfulness field.

Over the years, I’ve experimented with various mindfulness apps. But I’ve found adapting to them a challenge.

One of the sources of modern stress is the smartphone itself, the very device used to access the service.

Many people, myself included, are trying to reduce or manage time spent on devices, so there is a certain irony to using apps to decrease phone dependence and increase mindful awareness.

Personally, I find this difficult to get around, although using the apps as a tool to learn about meditation and mindfulness and to develop a sound practice can certainly be valuable.

Offline, I find attending meditation classes and in-person talks to be most beneficial and I’d recommend the meditation series at the Fraser Valley Kadampa Meditation Centre as a good place to begin the journey to a calm mind and a peaceful heart.

• vickimcleod.com.

Just Posted

New pool systems being checked out as renos near completion

Maple Ridge Leisure Centre pools open some time next year

Former Maple Ridge mayor new Chamber president

Al Hogarth takes over from Ken Holland

Caddy Shack, one of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs, baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Bill 41 a ‘step toward reconciliation’: MLA

Katzie will get meaningful consultation, says Chief George

Freshco opens in Maple Ridge on Thursday

Free eggs for first 500 customers

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Chilliwack mom gives back to neonatal unit with Christmas stocking drive

Ashley Durance is paying it forward to other families and their babies following daughter’s NICU stay

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Most Read