In the midst of finals and the last week of classes, I wanted to take a moment to recommend some of my favorite phone apps. It’s easy to neglect mental health in times of enhanced stress. However, as assignments and commitments pile up, I find that prioritizing my own wellbeing allows for greater productivity, grace, and ease. These three phone apps prove essential to navigating anxiety, and I hope they help you celebrate moments of joy this finals season!
Muse is a brain sensing device that tracks neural activity through EEG sensors. When paired with the muse meditation app, this device records brainwaves to help you visualize stress levels. The app invites users to mediate to the backdrop of various soundscapes such as the rainforest or the beach. When the sensors detect calm brainwaves, the soundscape reflects relaxed sounds such as gentle tides and chirping birds. Conversely, when the sensors detect active brainwaves, the soundscape reflects more intense sounds like thunder and pouring rain. Over time, these aural fluctuations train the brain to operate in a more relaxed state, allowing users to work towards greater control over their moods and thoughts.
Even if you do not invest in the muse device, the app can still be a great meditative tool! In addition to the soundscapes, the muse app offers different meditation courses centered around topics such as sleep, stress, resilience, happiness, and self-care. Through committing to a regular meditative practice, studies show that you can cultivate a meaningful and well-rounded life. Long-term benefits of meditation include reduced levels of anxiety and depression, greater self-awareness, enhanced memory and cognition, improved sleep, and increased kindness towards others.
Insight Timer offers users access to top-notch mindfulness and meditative services from experts across the globe. In addition to a pre-recorded library containing over 90,000 meditations, Insight Timer schedules live sessions to help you engage with teachers and other users on a more intimate level. During the three years I’ve been on Insight Timer, I’ve attended yoga classes, mindfulness courses, manifestation sessions, and more. This app has guided me through some of the best and worst moments of my adult life, and I believe it exists as an invaluable tool for nurturing self-love.
The best part? It’s free! Live classes operate under an optional donation-based system to help boost the app’s content and accessibility. Furthermore, through Insight Timer’s abundant offerings, you can focus on topics that are most meaningful to you and which honor your personal journey. Whether you aim to protect your energy, navigate trauma, or practice love and kindness, Insight Timer will provide guidance and community.
Some Teachers I Recommend on Insight Timer
- Chibs Okereke. Chibs specializes in preventing burnout and encouraging mindfulness-based stress reduction. I recently attended one of his mindfulness classes centered on the art of non-striving. As someone who regularly pushes myself to the point of exhaustion, this class encouraged me to cultivate feelings of ease and kindness. If you identify as a perfectionist, I strongly recommend attending one of Chibs’ classes to help identify and rewire toxic work patterns.
- Tamika Caston-Miller. Based out of Houston, Tamika teaches restorative yoga classes that focus on honoring the body and uplifting yoga’s roots. Restorative forms of yoga, including Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra, encourage reflection and relaxation, allowing space for love and acceptance. I stumbled across one of Tamika’s classes during Texas’ winter storm. She held the class in spite of a power outage at her home, and her Restorative Yoga session provided me with hope and encouragement. Tamika is a true gift to the Insight Timer community; I cannot recommend her classes enough.
- Karolina Blaszkiewicz. Karolina advocates for healing bodily trauma and releasing limiting beliefs. Her sessions draw on sensory experiences to help center you to your body, inviting power and confidence. Karolina additionally hosts manifestation sessions for attracting love and abundance through abandoning judgment. Engaging with Karolina encourages me to express gratitude while trusting my instincts; I recommend her classes for developing healthy boundaries and reclaiming autonomy!
3. I am
I downloaded “I am” a few months ago to receive words of love and encouragement. This app generates affirmations centered around topics of your choosing and allows you to schedule notifications. I set my app to send self-care affirmations ten times a day, between the hours of 9 AM and 10 PM. Other topics you can choose from include happiness, gratitude, and hard times; after you select your desired subject, “I am” will send phrases to address your needs and offer reassurance. I use the free version of the app, which has helped me find strength and forgiveness between moments of stress and frustration. However, if you crave more personalized affirmations, you can subscribe to the premium version which grants access to topics such as body positivity, personal growth, and relationships. No matter which version of the app you choose, “I am” will offer daily pick-me-ups to keep you going!
Some Affirmations I’ve Received Through “I am”
♥I am forever connected to the limitless energy of the Universe.
♥I have a beautiful heart and soul.
♥Negative self-talk has no place in my life.
♥I am a magnet to love.
♥I am in control of how I react to others.
♥I am on a journey, ever growing and developing.
♥I am grateful for dreams that turned into reality.
♥I am very excited about the improvements I am making in my life.
♥I deserve a life full of love.
♥I let go of toxic relationships.
♥ When anxious thoughts come to me, I acknowledge them, then let them float on by.
♥As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the callings of my soul.