Mental Health Awareness Week
Next week, from May 14th – May 20th marks Mental Health Awareness Week, a week dedicated to discussion and acknowledgment of the vast and varied array of mental health struggles that two thirds of us will face in our lifetimes.The focus of this month’s Mental Health Awareness Week is stress.
Stress can come in many different forms, ranging from Acute, the most common type of stress, Episodic Acute, which is frequent acute stress, to Chronic, which becomes a constant and consumptive stress. Whilst these more severe stress levels need to be properly addressed, through either significant lifestyle changes or medical assistance, acute stress can be managed by smaller lifestyle changes, such as practising meditation.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation has of course existed for many thousands of years, however it’s popularity has rapidly increased in the west over the last decade or so. This is often attributed to an increase in our pace of life, with people working longer hours, in busier cities, with more and more technology. Providing respite and escape from this mile-a-minute modern world, the benefits of meditation include:
- Reduced stress
- Improved concentration
- Slowed ageing
- Improved cardiovascular and immune health
- Increased happiness
New to meditation? Worried that you simply might be doing it wrong? If you’re wanting to get started with meditation this Mental Health Awareness Week, why not try one of these 3 apps, which can guide you through your journey to mindfulness.
3 Best Meditation Apps
With 10 free trial sessions, Headspace is great for those dipping their toes into the water of meditation. The narrator will guide you through bite size meditations and the cute accompanying animations help users to gain a visual understanding of the process. With great additional features like the personalised progress page, rewards and buddy systems, it engages you in ways beyond just meditation itself.
Whether you’ve got no time to spare, or a little longer to reflect, Calm offers guided meditations that suit you. Ranging from 3 minute to 25 minute sessions, you can also practise breathing exercises, listen to sleep stories and drift off to a range of soothing sounds. Want to incorporate meditation into your daily routine? You can do that too, with their 10 minute ‘Daily Calm’ programme.
10% Happier describes itself as a “step by step guide to meditation from a sceptical newsman” and aims to introduce meditation to the more reserved masses. With a library of video lessons and guided meditations, the app works with “a cadre of the smartest, coolest, funniest meditation teachers and scientists in the world”, so you know the advice and guidance you’re getting is well informed.