As many of you know, one of the tools I utilize heavily in session is the development of better awareness. I like to look at behavioral patterns, look for successes and like to increase the ability of an individual to be present and see thoughts, emotions and sensations as they occur since these aspects heavily influence our actions.
One of the difficulties I often hear from those trying mindfulness though is in developing a practice. Recently I have published a series of videos on this topic which can be found here: Todd Schmenk, LMHC – Youtube Channel, with specific topics being “Creating a Mindfulness Practice Space” and “2 Simple Ways to Begin a Mindfulness Practice”.
There are also a lot of good applications that you can use on your phone to help in developing a consistent mindfulness practice which can be both motivating as well as supportive. Here they are:
1. Headspace – Officially launched in 2010, this application delivers a large array of techniques, guided meditations, animations, articles and videos available directly to your phone! Several of those I have worked with have reported using this app and enjoying it.
2. Insight Timer – Offers a large online community and support tools which are completely free. I like the application for the “ringing bell” chime when I am sitting and need someone (or something) to “ding” me back to focusing on my breathe, one of the mindfulness practices I utilize often.
3. The Zazen Meditation Timer – This link takes your directly to one of my long time standards in my own practice. Whats good about this application is that you can define Meditations according to your personal liking with varying duration and ending sounds. It also have a preparation time as well as a do not disturb function so that e-mail notification and calls don’t interrupt your practice.
If your looking for other mindfulness applications with different features or want a specific religious overtone, such as a Christian approach to the subject, there are also a few of these available on the play store as well.
Anything that helps in making the challenge of being consistent and getting the most out of such a practice so that the skill becomes something that you do on a daily basis is worth it! Hope you enjoy these suggestions!