Most studies on the benefits of mindfulness go back to the research conducted on sixty-three prisoners in Seattle jail who were enrolled for a ten-day meditation program. These prisoners were released after a short while. They were observed to have consumed significantly less cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol than their counterparts who were released approximately around the same time. This development in their personality and the changes observed were published in 2006 by Dr. Sarah Bowen, and have been used as the foundation of mindfulness.
While practicing mindfulness through meditation is a great way to begin this practice, but can smartphone apps truly help in your mindfulness journey? Today, we find out.
Smartphone App for Mindfulness
A mobile phone has become the next essential after food and water and therefore, incorporating an app that helps in combating stress has shown in some cases to alleviate stress and other mental health issues. While no research exists to back this claim and prove its efficiency equivalent to in-person treatment and training, It is believed by some mindfulness app creators that mindfulness programs on the internet too benefit people in their everyday life.
What is Mindfulness?
At its core, mindfulness is the ability to be wholly present and understand the surrounding while not being reactive and overwhelmed by it. It is a quality within everyone and does not require conjuring. Mindfulness can be practiced by performing regular meditation. This can be performed while sitting, walking or standing, or practicing meditation along with sports.
Here are some basic facts about mindfulness:
- Mindfulness is not an exotic or unknown fact. It is familiar, and you only need daily practice to reap its benefits
- Mindfulness is not a special type of meditation
- You do not have to change your nature to follow mindfulness
- Mindfulness has an immense potential to drastically change and turn into a social phenomenon
- Mindfulness is based on proven scientific evidence
- Mindfulness leads to effectiveness and innovation
- When incorporated effectively, mindfulness becomes a part of your everyday life
- Mindfulness can be practiced by anyone, and is not confined to certain types of individuals
How Apps Help with Mindfulness
Smartphone apps for mindfulness and meditation are increasingly becoming popular with Android and Apple users, and are seeing a sharp increase in the number of downloads and usage time. The internet has also seen a tenfold increase in web-based searches for mindfulness apps and meditation apps, to the extent that it now seems that we are mediating more with apps than humans and in-person training. 2018 saw enormous earnings for mindfulness apps. These apps have been observed to advertise an increase in productivity, efficiency and relaxation.
Science of Mindfulness
Apart from the benefits of mindfulness, some research also points to the placebo effect of mindfulness. Sometimes, knowing that a mindfulness app would relieve you of stress can actually help reduce your stress. This is one reason why placebos are an essential group, even in large clinical trials worldwide. In a study carried out by Noone and his colleagues, they observed no difference between the participants who received mindfulness resources versus the group that received instructions. Nevertheless, the increase in the downloads by the users worldwide suggests a positive effect that the app has on the users in alleviating stress and anxiety.
Claritas Mindsciences, a company providing digital therapeutic solutions along with mindfulness training, introduced 3 apps and began clinical trials based on the usage of these apps. They observed that due to their addictive nature, smartphones were proved to be more effective than a therapist because they can deliver the therapy precisely at the moment of need.
Many mindfulness apps have gone through scientific studies. Some, such as the Mindful Mood Balance app, indicated that it had shown a large amount of effectiveness in preventing mental conditions such as depression. In addition to this, apps via smartphones help users understand and realize the essentiality of mindfulness outside the app.
Benefits of Mindfulness Apps
Mindfulness apps come with a lot of benefits such as:
This characteristic feature is based on the app’s subscription model that charges its users for a subscription fee per year. In turn, this payment makes the user more dependent on the app and allows them to think of it as a luxury.
This feature is based on the fact that the mindfulness app is right on your mobile phone which everyone carries everywhere with them. This allows the user to think that they can practice mindfulness and meditation without time or place constraints.
Since the mindfulness app’s meditation is a guided activity, the users are allowed to think that it is passive rather than a daily essential tool.
Ease of Use
The fact that smartphone apps are easy to use is a major factor that entices users to download and benefit from the practice of mindfulness.
Future of Mindfulness Apps
Mindfulness apps are a growing trend in society. These apps also can be categorized as calming apps and breathing apps owing to their ability to reduce stress and anxiety through the use of calming and breathing exercises. They not only relieve and reduce stress but also help in improving social relationships and help boost memory.
Research on mindfulness apps also confirms the various benefits of mindfulness. While in-person guided mindfulness training is challenging to achieve in our fast-moving world, a mindfulness app can help you achieve the goals associated with meditation and mindfulness wherever you are, regardless of the time or place. United We Care is one such Android and iOS app that not only is run by professionals but is also accessible completely for free! Using apps such as United We care would help you attain better mental wellness and lead a happy and stress-free life.