As meditation reaches all-time high, here are five apps to help you relax

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(ABC4 News) — With announcements that the United States is coming into its worst week for coronavirus cases and deaths, it is no surprise that meditation is trending on Google.

ABC4 compiled a list of meditation apps for everyone from the mindfulness expert to those interested in trying the practice for the first time.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health defines meditation as a “… mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being.”

Though there are different types of meditation, most include the following elements, according to NCCIH:

  • A quiet place with few distractions
  • A comfortable posture (such as sitting, standing, or walking)
  • A focus of attention on something (breathing, words, or object)
  • An open attitude (allowing distractions to come and go)

While all of these apps have free content, you may need a subscription to get full access to the full services.

Insight Timer: This free app has thousands of guided meditations on a variety of different subjects such as learning to meditate, coping with anxiety, and improving your sleep. This app seems to have it all- from talks and interviews from meditation experts to guided meditation and even music and timers if you prefer meditating on your own. It allows you to track your progress and make your own decisions about how you prefer to meditate and for how long.

Calm: With several awards under its belt, Calm offers guided meditations, relaxing music, stories to help you fall asleep, masterclasses on meditation, and even nature sounds and scenes so you can relax wherever you are in whatever you are doing. You can create an account to save your progress and learn stretches to increase relaxation. This app is free but has some locked content that requires a subscription.

Headspace: This app is good for beginners who may feel intimidated, confused, or silly about meditating. Headspace teaches the basics of what meditation is and techniques of how to do it. But the app isn’t just for beginners and teaches how to meditate while doing everyday activities like exercising and cooking.

Aura: This is the perfect app for those who are busy and may not have an hour or even half an hour to meditate. The app provides three-minute meditations, and allows you to track your moods and keep a gratitude journal. It also includes life coaching and meditation sounds.

Smiling Mind: This app offers specific programs for different age groups in order to focus on the experiences of each stage of life. In addition, it offers programs for schools and workplaces. Like several of the other apps, it offers options for formal meditation (sitting down with eyes closed) or how to meditate while doing daily tasks.

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