Engaging in a regular mindfulness practice has the power to bring on a shift in identity and change the story that you tell yourself, helping you to reduce fear and anxiety and create a different story. Perhaps your story has elements of, “I’m not good enough,” “I’ll never get what I want,” “I’m always going to be unhappy,” or some other negative belief that feels instinctual. Mindfulness, present-moment body awareness and compassion can all help you to become less identified with your story and “not sweat the small stuff.”
At a recent training, I heard mindfulness described as the difference between standing in the river versus standing on the shore. You have the choice whether or not to get swept up in the current and go down the river or to observe that river from a safe distance on the edge, without letting it overtake you. But how can you become that mindful observer?
Practice. It’s not easy to step away from that river. But with repetition and a regular mindfulness practice you can train your brain to get to that river’s edge. Good news is that there are some great mindfulness apps for your phone that can help you get started. Here are a few I’ve come across:
The Stop Beathe & Think App lets you select your mood and choose how you are feeling at a particular moment. It then offers up a selection of guided meditations, approximately 10 minutes long, that are suited to your current state of mind.
Calm lets you choose the amount of time for your mindfulness practice – anywhere from 1 to 30 minutes or more. You choose a nature scene from a selection of scenes (i.e. rolling ocean waves, snowflakes falling, etc.) and focus on this image for the duration of the time.
Headspace guides you through 10 minutes of meditation for 10 days, helping to create the habit of mindfulness practice.
My Calm Beat
This app emphasizes your breath and offers various exercises to help you use your breathing as a way to bring on a calmer state of being.
Insight timer offers the option of setting a timer with bells to mark time for your meditation practice. It also has a large selection of guided meditations around specific topics from experts and practitioners around the world.
Transform Your Life
Transform Your Life offers a daily quote for 365 days with a suggestion for an awareness practice to go along with the quote. The quotes can be a gentle reminder and call up greater awareness and compassion.