The Best Meditation Apps for Stress and Anxiety Reduction

meditation apps for stress and anxiety
Many of us who live with chronic illness know the importance of finding ways to deal like meditation apps for stress and anxiety. Let’s face it, being sick or in pain is enough to cause stress. When you add in common chronic illness symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, or nausea things can quickly add up.
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When you have underlying mental health issues like PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, or depression things get even harrier. For me, it turned into an uncomfortable cycle. My pain and sickness would trigger my bipolar disorder.
Then the physical symptoms of depression and anxiety would trigger a pain flare. And so on and so on and so on. It felt neverending.
I have taken several steps to try to better my experience with chronic illness and stress. I avoid triggers such as caffeine, chocolate, and sugar as much as possible. I do my best to get a good night’s sleep and drink as much plain water as possible. I microdose medical cannabis a few times per day. I also do a daily meditation to help release the stress of the day.
It’s not an easy task to start using meditation apps for stress and anxiety reduction because it does take a little time to figure out meditation if you are new to it. Once you give it a chance, though, you will definitely see the benefits of adding meditation to your life.
Meditation is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. It’s also fantastic for helping to focus your thoughts and live your best life.

Related: Getting Grounded as a Mom with Mental Illness ( Tips on Dealing with Anxiety and Stress) 

meditation for stress and anxiety

The Benefits of Meditation for Stress Relief

Stress can be a dangerous thing. Most of us have a tendency to ignore it and let it build up. After a while, it starts to be undeniable. Your shoulders ache. Suddenly you can’t concentrate as well as usual. By the time things get this bad though it’s going to take something drastic to fix it.
A better way to deal with stress and anxiety is to take a gradual approach. By handling the daily stressors in our life the same day they happen we can avoid letting them build up. Just a few minutes a day using a meditation app for stress and anxiety can be all it takes to make a huge difference.
Meditation is a great way to give the brain a break from having to, well, do brain stuff. You know the drill. Worrying about what the kids are going to eat. Trying to remember an email that needs to be answered. Coming up with new ideas for home decorating.
No matter what stressors feature in your life your brain is always trying to solve some kind of problem. It’s just in our nature as humans. This is even more true in today’s society where everyone is expected to focus on efficiency and productivity.
Meditation is also a great way to let the muscles that carry us around all day relax. By relaxing the body during meditation we can begin to combat muscle strains, painful posture, and much more. Just 20 minutes of using your favorite meditation apps for stress and anxiety each day is enough to make a huge difference in the pain you feel from built-up stress.

Related: Did You Know? Five Odd Symptoms Caused by Fibromyalgia

types of meditation

Types of Meditation

Deciding how to start a meditation practice can seem like a daunting task at first. It doesn’t have to be that way though. There are many different types of meditation that you can use to find the one that works the best for you.

Learning how to meditate isn’t something that you have to master on the first try to truly enjoy it. It will take a while before you feel that you’ve got a hang on it. I found this to be especially true with my ADHD playing a factor.

It’s important to remember that your goal when meditating is not to have a completely blank slate. There will be thoughts that pass through your mind, especially in the beginning. That’s ok! The key is to let those thoughts pass right on by without giving too much attention to them.

Guided Meditation

Guided meditation is a great way to get started with meditation. You can ease your way into things by using techniques such as visualization. It’s also a great way to escape from the stress of the day and find your own happy place.

There are many different guided meditations that you can choose from. Some focus on helping you manifest your dreams. Others take you on a mental walk on a beach, or in a beautiful garden.
There are also guided meditations that focus just on your breathing and body relaxation. Ultimately, only you will know what you want to get out of guided meditation.

Unguided Meditation

There are many different types of unguided meditation that you can use. Some people prefer to use nature sounds or plain white noise. Others use sound bath meditation with chanting, bells, singing bowls, or other tools often used in zen meditation.

Music is a great tool for meditation when used properly. A favorite meditation type of mine makes use of binaural beats. This “music” uses different tones to directly affect a person’s brain waves. There are types for sleep, for focus, and even for increasing positivity.

zen

The Best Apps to Help with Anxiety

Lotus

Headspace – If you are a complete beginner to meditation then Headspace just may be the app for you. They do have a subscription fee. However, they offer a trial period to determine if the app is something that you will benefit from. The app breaks meditation up into 10-minute segments making it accessible and easy for anyone. It also offers a guided meditation approach which is nice for someone just starting out.

Lotus

Calm – This is another app that offers a subscription service. However, Calm is more for mindfulness and relaxation. It is currently rated as the #1 app for mindfulness, meditation, and clarity. They offer two types of meditations through the app including guided meditations and sleep stories. The Calm website is pretty awesome too!

Lotus

Meditation Studio – This app offers a lower-priced option for guided meditations. Meditation Studio currently sells for a one time fee of $3.99 which opens up all content on the app with no subscription fee. This makes it a good option for those unable or not interested in going with a subscription service.

There are tons of guided meditations available on the app which range from beginner to intermediate focus level. The website also offers a great FAQ for those just starting out on meditation.

Lotus

Omvana – This app is more or less your one-stop shop for meditation. It offers all levels and types of meditation that you could possibly want. I believe that it is my personal favorite.

Meditation times range from 3 to 60 minutes which offers a wide variety of choices to match your personal style and goals. It is a paid service, but I personally find the cost to be worth the value due to the wide range of leaders and styles available through this app. The convenience level available here alone makes it very valuable.

Lotus

Happify – This isn’t exactly a “meditation app” but rather a really interesting approach to stress relief and relaxation. It uses several different techniques to help promote a more positive outlook and banish negativity from your life.

I really think this one is interesting so while it isn’t really the same thing as the others, it’s still totally worth checking out! There’s a whole science behind it that you can read more about on their website. It’s really pretty cool.

Lotus

Relax Melodies Oriental Meditation – Finally, if you are looking for more of a D.I.Y. method or if you are just looking for something peaceful to relax to there is this app. I have been using this app for years and it remains one of my favorite “relaxing” apps. You can choose from a large variety of melodies or nature sounds, or mix them together to make your own aural scenes.

Related: Colorable Mandalas for Stress Relief on a Rough Day 

making meditation work for you

Making Meditation Work for You

As you can see there is a wide variety of meditation apps for stress and anxiety to choose from. You want to really take the time to try a few of them out. Try a guided meditation and the next day do an unguided meditation. Experiment with different nature sounds like birds or waterfalls.

The last thing you want to do is overthink it, though. If you are stressing yourself out because meditation isn’t working for you then you’re not benefitting from it. If nature sounds seem to distract you then try singing bowls. If you need something to keep your mind from wandering go with a guided meditation.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t find yourself levitating with zen after your first try. Most people will do terrible at it the first few times but then it gets easier. Then you start to see the results as your body isn’t holding tension or negative emotions. In about a month or so, if you keep up with it you’ll be wondering why you didn’t start sooner.

Related: Mindfulness, Meditation, and the Pagan Lifestyle 

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The best meditation apps for iPhone and Android to help deal with anxiety and stress #anxiety #mentalhealth #chronicillness #mindful #meditation #stressreduction

The best meditation apps for iPhone and Android to help deal with anxiety and stress #anxiety #mentalhealth #chronicillness #mindful #meditation #stressreduction

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19 thoughts on “The Best Meditation Apps for Stress and Anxiety Reduction

  1. I need to make time in my day for meditation. These apps make doing this easier. I think I would use Headspace since I would be a newbie to meditating, and the segments are broken up into 10-minute blocks.

  2. I have found the most helpful for me with my chronic back pain is mindfulness meditation. I know that not every technique will work for every person, but if you haven’t tried it I would definitely give it shot. Just make sure to start short and work your way up to 30 min or so.
    Renee recently posted…Do You Love Bread?My Profile

    1. Yes! I love mindfulness meditation. I have been doing it for several years now and found that it helps in so many areas of my life.

  3. I want to try more things like yoga and meditation this year – I know i love yoga to help me exercise and relax too! Love the sound of headspace and happify so will need to check out those apps x

    1. I love yoga, and need to get back into doing it more. I have heard that it is great for helping with pain as well. Both of those apps are great, I’m sure you would enjoy either. 🙂

  4. I have not tried any of these apps. I haven’t really used meditation as a calming/relaxation technique either. If I need to feel more relaxed or eliminate stress, I tend to turn to exercise. Sometimes I might read a book or do some type of arts and crafts activity.
    Kelly recently posted…Cyndi Pilcher – Author InterviewMy Profile

    1. Those are all great ideas for relaxation and stress relief! Everyone has to find what works for them! I definitely do a lot of crafts for that as well when I am able to! I need to start reading more since I have a bad habit of buying books and forgetting them LOL

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