We’ve all seen meditation apps that promise everything from improved sleeping habits to stress relief. I’m setting out to see how they deliver, and after tackling the Calm app, I’m ready to try a new one. This past week, I used the Stop, Breathe & Think app every evening after work and before dinner, sitting on my couch in the living room with candles lit and — full disclosure — a glass of wine poured. Scroll on to get the 411 on what Breathe is actually like.
To start, Breathe has a clean, minimalist interface that’s incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. There aren’t too many options, and the options they do offer are straightforward and common sense. I appreciate this simplicity while I’m trying to get my zen on.
I looked through the “Learn How to Meditate” section, which tells you how to practice mindfulness, what meditation can do for you mentally, how meditation works physically and what you can expect as you learn how to meditate. It’s a comprehensive guide that lays out the basics in easy-to-understand language. As for the targeted mediation choices themselves, there are many, and they are wildly varied. You can go with a traditional body scan or try something more cosmic like the Commonality of Suffering.
From The Commonality of Suffering meditation, Breathe tells you, “think of how sensitive and fragile you feel [when you are suffering]… remember that other people experience [these feelings] too. Suffering is experienced by everyone. If we are able to recognize the commonality of suffering, we can recognize a genuine empathy and connection with other people.” Are you already feeling more grounded?
While you can choose whichever targeted meditation you’d like, I always go for the “How Are You?” option, where you choose the top five emotions you’re currently experiencing (from joyful and fulfilled to disgusted and powerless). Then the app suggests three meditations that would be particularly beneficial to your current emotional state. Not only does the customization make me feel like the meditation is really going to work for me in particular right now, but it also forces me to check in with myself mentally and examine how my day made me feel.
I also like that the in-app purchases are a one-time, a la carte fee, rather than a general monthly subscription rate. After using this for a week, I would say Breathe is like the app version of your high school best friend’s mom — the one who always had incense burning, drank oolong tea, had a peace frog sticker on the back of her Subaru Outback and said things like “whatever will be, will be.” It’s all good vibes, positive energy and peaceful auras, making it a seriously awesome meditation app. I’ve tried quite a few and I have to say, this one may be my favorite of all.
Do you have a positive way of coping with anxiety or stress? We’d love to hear about it! Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know what helps relax you.
(Featured image via Getty)