Different exercises for when traditional meditation just doesn’t work
Here is something I feel a little silly admitting: I can’t meditate. There is s something about it that just seems so out of reach for me. My mind wanders or I start thinking about my to-do list for the day or sometimes it even makes my anxiety worse. Suddenly all I can notice is how fast my heart is beating or how much adrenaline is rushing through my body.
It just doesn’t work for me. But the thing is, that’s okay! There are so many other ways I can try to manage my anxiety throughout the day, especially with a little help from all of the mental health apps out there. But how do you know which ones will work for you?
Here are three of my favorites that you can test for yourself:
- Breathwrk: Breathing Exercises
Breathwrk focuses on controlling your breathing through different exercises. Which is great because studies show that controlling your breathing through exercises like this can help eliminate stress, reduce anxiety, and increase your energy. You can even use it to help yourself fall asleep!
The app offers a library of exercises that focus on different categories, like calming, energizing, or clearing your mind. Each exercises gives you a visual guide to match your breathing to. You can also choose different voice or nature guides to go along with it.
Cost: The app is free to download and use, but you can also upgrade to a pro account for $99.99/year.
- I am – Daily Affirmations
Many days I am, unfortunately, full of so much negative self-talk that it seems to spin like a tornado in my mind. I can’t get away from it. And it starts to affect how I treat other people too.
I am is here to help you with that. The app sends you daily affirmations that “help rewire our brains, build self esteem, and change negative thought patterns.” I am enough. I am worthy. I am allowed to say no to others and yes to myself. Each affirmation is a powerful statement that not only makes you feel stronger but also trains your brain to think with a more positive mind-set, without the patterns self-doubt and negativity weighing you down.
To put it simply: this app helps you feel good about yourself.
Cost: The app is free to download and use, but you can also upgrade to premium for $19.99/year.
- Mesmerize – Visual Meditation
I know, I know. I already said I was bad at mediation. But this is a different kind of meditation. It’s not laying down and closing your eyes while you try to clear your mind with gentle music. For this one you keep your eyes open.
Mesmerize creates a unique visual experience that helps you relax and relieve anxiety, while freeing your mind from any distractions because you’re focused on both sight and sound.
Each exercise gives you colorful, visual patterns that are soothing and satisfying to watch. You can add sounds as well, such as music or an audio guide to help you throughout the exercise. You can even sync the visuals with customized breathing patterns. It’s built differently than other meditation apps because it keeps you engaged while clearing your mind at the same time.
Cost: The app is free to use, but you can upgrade for more options for $49.99/year.
Which App Works Best For you?
When choosing the right mental health app, you might have to go through a few before you find your favorite. Some of these apps might not work for you, just like straight-up meditation isn’t my thing. And that’s okay!
If you feel drawn to one of these apps, try it and see. If it’s not your thing or doesn’t make you feel any better, on to the next one. Because the most important thing is knowing that what works for someone else, might not work for you.
Listen to how your mind and body responds, and find what’s best for you.