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The online life is one filled with anxiety and stress. Research shows that taking even just a few minutes to clear your head can help reduce that, which is why mindfulness meditation is growing in a world full of digital distractions.

A number of apps teach you how to clear your head: we’ve talked about how mindful web surfing can help you focus How The Simplicity Of Mindful Web Surfing Can Help You Focus How The Simplicity Of Mindful Web Surfing Can Help You Focus You can be more mindful of your browsing to stay focused, reduce stress, and be a lot more purposeful with your time online. With practice, you can strengthen your "mindfulness muscles". Read More , and pointed out apps that help you practice mindfulness 6 Buddhism Apps for Greater Peace of Mind 6 Buddhism Apps for Greater Peace of Mind Find balance in the midst of life’s chaos. Take advantage of transit time, lunch breaks and other instances of downtime to create your own meditation space. Read More . And there was Stop Breathe & Think, which is a great way to learn meditation Learn Meditation On Any Device & Don't Spend A Dime Learn Meditation On Any Device & Don't Spend A Dime Contrary to popular opinion, you can meditate without a yoga mat, religious guidance, a peaceful personal space, incense candles, and any other apparatus. Here's a simple tool to help you begin. Read More .

Today we’re looking at five more apps that can help you focus for a while, so you can stop worrying about notifications and digital clutter. Clear your head.

Pixel Thoughts (Web): Put Your Problems into Context

Let’s start with something basic, that requires no previous experience with meditation to be effective. Pixel Thoughts is a site that lets you type whatever is bothering you right now – work, family, anything. The site tells you to breathe in and breathe out, before putting the problem into a universal context.

pixelthoughts-meditation-simple

It’s a short exercise that anyone with a spare minute can quickly run, but it’s helpful because. Basically: the universe is incomprehensibly huge, and given enough time our problems won’t matter at all. Life will go on. Life always goes on. Or, to put it in the words of philosopher Ilya Bryzgalov:

It’s a nice realization, but maybe even more important is taking a minute to think about it.

Headspace (Web, Android, iOS): Virtual Meditation Planner

Pixel Thoughts is more of an introduction to meditation than an actual course in it, so if you want to dive in a little deeper check out Headspace. This site offers a crash course on clearing your mind, with a free 10-day program that teaches you the basics.

Once you get through Take 10 you’ll need to subscribe for more exercises; prices range from $13 a month to $420 for a lifetime subscription. Even if you don’t intend to subscribe, the free Take 10 process is worth checking out as an introduction to mindfulness meditation.

Satorio (Web, Free): Raise Money for Charity by Meditating

Once you know how to clear your mind, all you really need is a timer – this lets you focus on meditating instead of thinking about time. Satorio is a web app timer with a difference: every minute you meditate, means 10 grains of rice are donated to a starving person somewhere in the world.

satorio

It’s a small amount, sure, but if enough people use this site enough the total rice could add up to quite a bit. If all you want is a timer, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be this one.

Meditation Made Simple (iOS, Free): Tips for Focus on Your iPhone

If you prefer iPhone apps to web ones, Meditation Made Simple is worth looking into. Like Headspace, this app is tailored toward beginners: it looks to teach you the basics of clearing your mind. Meant as a supplement for a book by Russell Simmons, this free app is useful whether you’re read the title or not.

meditation-made-simple

It’s not an incredibly in-depth app, but it’s another place to start if you’re interested in meditation.

Calm (Android, iOS, Web): Guided Meditations with Nature Sounds

Sometimes you just need a timer; sometimes you want a guided meditation. Calm is a simple web and phone app that offers both, along with relaxing nature sounds and videos. You can even change the background and music, if you like.

calm-android-meditation

With meditations of 2, 5, 10, 15, and 20 minutes you can find a few minutes to focus every day. The free service is great, and comes with an introduction to meditation and a couple of standard lessons, but like some of the apps here, it is also attached to a subscription for advanced features: $10 a month or $40 a year.

What Did We Miss?

I’m sure there are other great tools out there, so I’m looking for readers to help fill me in. What great meditation timers and tools have we overlooked? Let’s chat in the comments below.

I’ll get us started. We’ve talked about tools that make it easy to get started with meditation Meditation Made Easy: Tools & Resources To Aid Your Well-Being Meditation Made Easy: Tools & Resources To Aid Your Well-Being If you have come to the conclusion that meditation is a method to calm your mind and achieve well-being worth trying, then we can help you with resources and tools. Read More , and other sources of free nature sounds to sleep or meditate to Free Music & Nature Sounds To Relax, Sleep, Meditate, Study & Concentrate [Sound Sunday] Free Music & Nature Sounds To Relax, Sleep, Meditate, Study & Concentrate [Sound Sunday] Discover a vast collection of free ambient, electronic, drone soundscapes, plus nature sounds, ASMR, and singing bowls. Many hours of free music downloads are hidden in this edition of Sound Sunday. Come inside and listen. Read More . We’ve also outlined calming apps that help you clear you mind 10 Calming Apps to Destress & Clear Your Mind 10 Calming Apps to Destress & Clear Your Mind You are not alone if you have you ever felt stuck in your thoughts? Like you're trudging and not able to make any headway. Calming, thought-organizing apps can rescue the mind. Read More . Let’s see what else we can come up with, okay?

  1. Tony C
    December 20, 2015 at 2:55 am

    I used Headspace for quite a while, but went to calm.com a few months ago. I like the way it tracks sessions, giving me a bit of incentive to not miss a day. It also allows you to enter sessions done with other sources, such as other teachers, so those sessions are also on the tracking. There is also a history so that you can see the sessions you have done over time.

    @Don-I would definitely not take that report too seriously. Evidence in clinical studies is overwhelmingly to the contrary. Meditation may not cure depression, but the evidence certainly does not show any causal link, i.e. you were not depressed before you started but you are now.

  2. Don Gateley
    December 19, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    I'm not taking it too seriously but I read a report recently on research showing that there seems to be a causal link between mindful meditation and depression. Go figure.

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