Our favourite apps for a healthy mind, heart and spirit
The world moves quickly. Technology, family, friends, work, school, it’s easy to find yourself feeling stressed and anxious. Get stuck in the loop of endless busyness and negative thinking too long and it can lead to more serious health issues.
What if by practicing certain, relatively simple skills we could improve our lives? Learn to be more mindful, happy, healthy, better. Well, help is at hand. There are some fabulous free tools out there and we’re sharing a few of our favourites.
How often are you actually present in any given moment? Are you walking down the beach on the last day of a holiday feeling the sand between your toes and the sun on your back or are you mentally packing for the trip home?
Mindfulness meditation trains your attention so you can be present in the moment. Conscious of what else is happening in your mind, just not necessarily acting upon it. It’s been found to helps combat stress, improve focus and increase resilience and can be practiced anytime and anywhere. Just ten minutes a day is said to have a positive impact.
Smiling Mind offers programs for seven year olds right up to adults, but the younger end of the spectrum is what they’re really passionate about. The folks behind these clever web-based wellness programs and mindfulness meditations have a bold vision. They want to see mindfulness meditation on the Australian curriculum by 2020, and there are plenty of schools, and quite a few prominent businesses, on board already.
The focus on children and young people. Parents and educators are already witnessing rising levels of anxiety and mental health issues among young people. Helping them be happier, healthier and more compassionate can only be a good thing.
Another great mindfulness tool for the novice right up the experienced meditator. Choose your level, select the duration of your session, even customise one just for you. The simple, powerful techniques are designed to help manage stress and improve health. There’s even a journal section to log your meditation journey.
At the end of each session you can choose an option to describe what you experienced and be linked through to a video that takes you through why it might have happened, what it means and how you might move forward. Like having a personal meditation teacher on hand 24/7!
Happiness can be elusive. New stuff is a buzz, but that never really lasts. Holidays have to end and looking for it outside of ourselves, even in our friends and family, can be fraught. According to the developers of this bubbly little gem, happiness is a skill. One that can be practiced, honed and improved.
Answer a few questions, spend a few minutes a day doing fun activities and practising simple techniques and you’ll be well on your way to a happier you. You can also read some pretty interesting articles or join the Happify community and share with others on the happy trail.
The idea of training the brain like a muscle. Happify identifies five basic skills that separate happy people from the rest. Focus on one, or all, and getting happier will soon become a healthy habit.
Sometimes you need to speak to a professional about how you're feeling. Epworth Clinic, located in Camberwell, is a new mental health unit that specialises in helping patients to improve their mental wellbeing as soon as possible through focusing on community treatment and skill building. They treat a range of mental health conditions and are fast developing further treatment options as their facilities grow.
If you need immediate care or have thoughts of self harm call Lifeline on 13 11 14 straight away.