mobile-apps

5 Apps You Need to Reduce Stress & Relax Now

Quickly reducing stress and relaxing just got easier with these five apps that help you to stop, live in the moment, and be more mindful now.

Hectic, busy, crowded—these words are often used to describe Singapore and life on our little island. We are constantly pressured to complete many things or schedule back-to-back appointments or shuttle quickly from one place to another, in the span of 16 waking hours. In our quest for more money, more status, and more of everything, it is very easy to get swept up in a whirlwind of daily activities.

Stop, and Live

It may seem like a simple instruction, but many find it extremely difficult to make it a daily habit to pause their thoughts about the past or future, and to just live in the moment. The act of stopping to live in the moment is known to immediately calm you down while at the same time improving your mood. While certain individuals practice simple mindful routines daily, others make it a point to start and end their day with a mindful activity such as yoga or meditation.

Tech Help

Want to start being more mindful but know that you may slip back into old habits? Good news: tech savvy Singaporeans can get support from mobile apps that encourage the habit of daily mindfulness. So whip out your mobile phones or tablets now, and download these apps immediately!

For mindful newbies, Top Priority is a great way to get started. When you open the app, you are greeted with a solid coloured background and nothing else. All you have to do is type in one thing you would like to do to practice mindfulness, and set a time to achieve it. Upon completing your task, your little accomplishment is celebrated with virtual fireworks on screen. To develop a recurring mindful habit, you can also select a repeat mode.

Unique point: A no-frills app that focuses on one thing at a time––not at all overwhelming for beginners of mindfulness.

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Calm focuses on developing the mindful methods that are most suited for you, depending on what you are looking to improve in your life. The first time you use the app, you can select up to three things you would like to change in your life, and subsequently work on improving these three aspects. There are also many different pre-installed mindful programmes to try, options to set mindful reminders, and the ability to change the background interface to different calming scenes accompanied by relaxing ambient sounds.

Unique point: Allows you to curate your personalised profile and track your mindful journey through an in-app calendar.

Co-founded by meditation and mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe, Headspace is an app that provides 10-minute meditation sessions. The first 10 are free, and you do not have to complete them within consecutive days. Described as a gym membership for the mind, the app is also used by celebrities like Emma Watson, Jared Leto and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Unique point: Short guided meditation sessions that you can listen to anytime and anywhere.

Stop, Breathe & Think is a cute, illustration-driven app that uses a simple 3-step concept to attain mindfulness in daily life. There is an extensive quick pick list of meditations to select from––ranging from breathing exercises to learning how to fall asleep better.

Unique point: Tailored programmes following two specific kinds of meditation, Active Thinking and Resting the Mind.

Bloom aims to be a source of everyday inspiration for its users, via audio and visual reminders called Blooms. There are helpful, practical Blooms such as a prompt to drink a glass of water, or feel-good Blooms such as a slideshow of holiday photos with uplifting music. Blooms can also be shared with people around you.

Unique point: You can customise your own Blooms by uploading your own photos and songs to match.

All apps are available on iTunes and Google Play, except for Top Priority and Bloom available only on iTunes.

With these apps readily available on iTunes and Google Play, there is no reason to not practice a more mindful way of living. Over time, you will reap the benefits of both an improved emotional and physical wellbeing.

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About Rachel Chia

Rachel Chia is always on the lookout for new ways to incorporate fitness into everyday living. Once a couch potato who did not know the difference between fab and flab, she now runs and hits the gym weekly in a bid to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The closet performer also counts singing and hip hop dancing as some of her favourite hobbies, but her ultimate soft spot goes to cats and eating. Not at the same time.

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