Mindfulness Technology Part 2: More Mindfulness Apps for Your Patients

This might strike you as a bit odd at first – to be honest, it did me too – but technology can be your ally when it comes to meditation.

Maybe you remember that I shared a handful of mindfulness apps a short while back – applications that could aid in your patients’ (or your own) mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness and technology
I often get insightful thoughts from a lot of you via e-mail and on our comment boards, and just last week Dawn Baker, a psychologist from Australia, let us know about a couple of helpful apps . . . which got me to thinking that now might be a good time for another update on mindfulness technology.

So I wanted to pass some of these resources along to you. Here are just a few of the interesting apps we’ve come across (and again, I don’t get any commissions for mentioning these to you):

  • Breathe2Relax (iPhone) – this app can help you regulate your stress by focusing on deep breathing. Tutorials are available to explain the process and showcase its positive health effects. Users record their stress levels and then are prompted to engage in a deep breathing exercise.

  • The Mindfulness App (iPhone) – this allows you to choose your meditation and to set reminders at specific intervals. There’s also a statistics section, which allows you to follow the progress of your meditation practice (which ones you’ve done and when).

  • M!indi (iPhone, PC) – this app relies on the principles of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, founded by Steven Hayes, PhD – this week’s guest in the Making Mindfulness Work webinar series) to coach you on approaching your own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Every day, the app will send you messages to help build confidence, awareness, and mental resilience.

  • iTunes also has lots to offer – everything from The Mindfulness App to the various meditation apps offered by Meditation Oasis. You might want to take some time to explore the options.

  • But even with technology, mindfulness is only useful if it’s being practiced and applied. That’s why we’ve created the Making Mindfulness Work series.

    Each week I talk to an expert in the mindfulness field who will show you real-world applications of mindfulness. This week my guest is Steven Hayes, PhD – he’ll share more with us about ACT and why it’s important to help patients connect with all of their emotions, no matter how difficult some of them might be.

    You can watch these webinars free of charge – you just have to sign up.

    Do you have any patients for whom a mindfulness app would encourage their mindfulness practice? Have you ever tried any similar apps yourself? Please leave a comment below.

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14 Comments

  1. Keran, social work clinician says:

    Thanks…

  2. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but,
    I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it
    expand over time.

  3. david laramie says:

    I highly recommend the website DoAsOne.com and their accompanying iPhone app. It coaches people to breath at 5 breaths per minute, which is the rate associated with cardiovascular coherence and increased heart rate variability. I frequently use it and recommend it for both acute and prophylactic stress management. Also very cool is that all users are synchronized, so you are breathing together with other people around the world and making your heart rhythms in sync. Enjoy. Its free and powerful.

  4. Denise Hufer says:

    Thank you Ruth for sharing these links with us. I will pass them on to my clients who are interested in practicing mindfulness but have difficulty doing so without guidance.
    For my work with clients I frequently use the amazing tools – not only on Mindfulness but CBT and DBT- from the following websites that you may also find useful.
    http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk. Click on MP3, Meditation, Relaxation to get really great handouts as well as guided meditations to download.
    Another website that I find very helpful, as it addresses the DBT approaches to Mindfulness, is http://www.dbtselfhelp.com. Click on Instant Mindfulness to access Mindfulness videos that use imagery and music to help self soothe, promote Radical Acceptance etc.
    Thanks again and warm regards
    Denise

  5. I’m a huge proponent of mindfulness but feel the need to point out the other side of the story when it comes to wireless technologies and use of apps. Up to 10% of the population suffers from sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation according to MCS America. Cell phones, iPads, computer WiFi, (even cordless phones, smart meters and baby monitors) emit radiation in the microwave frequency range.

    People who suffer from sensitivity experience symptoms like heart palpitations, ringing in the ears, dizziness and headaches that make mindfulness nearly impossible. Significant cognitive and neurobiological alterations and altered central nervous system function have been shown (Landgrebe et al, 2007, 2008).

    Then there are the thousands of studies showing adverse health effects of radio frequency/microwave frequency radiation on the population in general. These include things like breaches in the blood/brain barrier, compromised immune systems, compromised neurology, DNA breakage, cancer, and behavioral problems (www.Bioinitiative.org, http://www.MagdaHavas.com).

    Please be *mindful* about how you use and advise use of these technologies to your clients.

  6. Jennifer says:

    In these extremely stressful times, mindfulness is more important that ever. We are told that if something is “too good to be true’ it is! If it is free, it must not have any value. It’s important that all of us who practice share our experience with others and encourage them to check out these websites, read the comments and just try it!

  7. Arwen says:

    I work for Personal Neuro Devices, an applied neuroscience firm. We work with EEG and Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI’s) and are primarily interested in the mobile space. We’ve partnered with NeuroSky to use their Mindwave Mobile to provide users with neurofeedback in a variety of situations. Currently we’re developing an app that guides a user through meditation and allows them to track their progress over time as seen through the brainwave patterns they produce. If anyone’s interested in more information check out our website (www.personalneuro.com) or NeuroSky’s (www.neurosky.com).

  8. Ralph says:

    Let’s go for “it.” !

  9. jay says:

    Hi,
    I will run it by the Buddha to hear what he has to say about it!
    It is just a joke!
    And every time we use material aids in meditation, we are entangling ourselves more
    in the material world and we absolutely are the opposite of it: SPIRIT

  10. Lynda says:

    I just downloaded the Mindfulness apps 1 & 2. Fantastic! Thank you so much for this information. I will definitely share it with my clients.

  11. Josefina says:

    Check this website for meditation and mindfulness apps and tech http://www.getsomeheadspace.com/.

    Very useful. You can follow a 10 minutes program everyday , and it has reminders and motivation etc

  12. Suzy says:

    Marty,
    I believe the answer is that any caretaker or human being must find peace and harmony within their own self. We as a mindfulness community can spread the word by our actions……..just do it and believe in its purpose and see how people are catching on in their own time.
    Many people are afraid and skeptical of this practice. It cannot be forced upon someone….only suggested.
    The apps are a gentle way of exposing this tool to anybody that uses current technology……..then the messages encourage us to move within our own minds to connect with our spirit and physical bodies.
    This is just my opinion. Mindfulness practice may be coming back with a new generation.

  13. Dawn Baker says:

    Ruth,

    Terrific, that you have shared M!ndi, especially as it is based on ACT and Stephen Hayes is talking this week!

  14. Marty says:

    Why is their a decline in the meditation practice in America. The big Zen movement of the late sixties and early seventies has long reached an apex and now declined. With all these apps and aids, why is mindfulness, not taught at a middle school level, more wide spread knowledge of the power and benefits of meditation taught from an early age.

    Why are you therapists not bringing a definition of happiness and how to live happy. Neuro science know which parts of the brain lights up, left pre- frontal cortex when we experience joy.

    Were is a place that we patients can voice our opinions and add what we feel is missing.

    urgency, urgency, caring and being invested in your client. Let a client who does not want to take a toon and work with those who do. You will help heal any more people and have a more satisfying practice.

    You are healers, so take that responsibility and bring urgency like it was your mental disorder. Think outside the box and care.

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