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Contrary to popular opinion, you can meditate without a yoga mat, religious guidance, a peaceful personal space, incense candles, and any other apparatus. If you’re new to mindfulness meditation, however, some external tools can help.

Stop, Breathe & Think is one such cross-platform (Web, Android and iOS), free app that can put your mind in a better place for 2015 How To Build One Brain-Boosting Habit In 2015 How To Build One Brain-Boosting Habit In 2015 In 2015, give your brain a boost. It's easier than you think and takes only a few minutes of your life each day — something you can easily turn into a habit. Read More .

What Is Mindfulness Meditation?

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Mindfulness meditation is all about developing better self-awareness through tuning into your mind and your surroundings. Essentially, you are training your focus to concentrate on one thing at a time, and slowly get rid of all the stimuli that are coming your way all the time. Over time, your mind learns to dissociate from a barrage of external factors.

This practice has been shown to have tremendous benefits. You probably already know that meditation helps de-stress you and builds your compassion, but there are lesser known advantages too. For example, mindfulness meditation is recommended by psychologists to successfully recover from a relapse in your resolution.

The one thing you concentrate on can be anything, from simply concentrating on your breath to even mindfully surfing the Web to build your 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 . It can be a difficult concept to master initially, so having a guide helps. That’s where Stop, Breathe & Think (SBT) comes in.

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How Stop, Breathe & Think Teaches Meditation

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SBT starts by telling you to dim your screen for 10 seconds and really take stock of yourself. Then, you tell the app how you are feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally — all of these are choices from a list. Based on your current state, SBT will recommend a few meditations.

Each meditation lists the name, the number of minutes it runs for, and a brief description. There are also a few paid meditation guides, ranging from $1 to $3 — you might want to spend on these eventually, but as a beginner, don’t bother. The built-in free guides are good enough.

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SBT tracks your progress, charting the number of minutes, the emotions you commonly meditate on, and so on. It also has a range of stickers that you earn over time. It’s yet another way to gamify your good habits Points For Everything: How I Tried to Win At Life With Gamification Points For Everything: How I Tried to Win At Life With Gamification My brain is stupid. It thinks I can get done tomorrow what I need to do today, and that I can do this afternoon what I need to do this morning. It puts everything off.... Read More , which has been a successful method for many people.

How Stop, Breathe & Think Helps Advanced Meditation Practitioners

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Whether you’re new to meditation or already practice it, SBT has something for you.

If you have been meditating for some time, SBT doesn’t make you jump through the hoops of identifying which type of guide you need. You can quickly scroll through the full list of meditations and choose.

Advanced users can also opt for a silent, self-timed meditation so that you get a gong to prompt when to start and stop, instead of an annoying alarm. Still, it would have been nice to have a few sound-based options in this, like the free nature sounds you can download to meditate 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 .

Stop, Breathe & Think vs. Other Meditation Apps

I’ve been a big fan of Buddhify for some time, and there are several other tools and resources to aid 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 . I do think SBT has an edge though. Why?

  1. It’s completely free. You can buy additional guides, but they really aren’t necessary.
  2. It’s cross-platform. You don’t have to have your phone with you, you can just open a browser. Plus, because it’s free, you don’t have to buy it twice, once for your Android phone and again for your iPad.
  3. It’s designed well. Don’t underestimate the power of good design to keep you coming back for more. SBT proves it in spades, just like Buddhify did before it.

Get Stop, Breathe & Think

All the benefits of meditation are just a click away. You can get the app for mobile or use the website now:

Visit: Stop, Breathe & Think web app

Download: Stop, Breathe & Think for Android

Download: Stop, Breathe & Think for iPhone and iPad

Meditation: Useful or Rubbish?

As Andy Puddicombe shows you, it doesn’t take a big part of your day.

Has meditation actually helped you? Do you believe it really provides a mental boost or is it hokum and gullible people are falling for it? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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