To help keep your breathing steady, imagine a balloon inflating and deflating with each inhalation and exhalation. A tool on the Calm app called “Breathe Bubble” gives you the visuals; the speed of the bubble is adjustable. “It supports people [help them] Breathe in, hold, and breathe out easily at a comfortable pace,” says Tamara Levitt, Calm’s Head of Mindfulness.

Find the meditation technique that works for you

If you are quiet and focused on your breath, congratulations: you are already practicing silent or unguided meditation. If this works for you, keep working on it. But many beginners like to hold their hand (metaphorically) through guided meditation, in which the teacher walks you through the course. There are hundreds of techniques to choose from, so it’s important to find guides and exercises that resonate with you. Some common types of meditation include visualizations (where you focus on mental images, such as the sun shining on your body), mantras (set intentions by repeating words, such as “rich” or phrases), and body scans (when you start from scratch). Get to know every part of your body when you do a “self-scan” of your feet).

Many practitioners combine elements of different techniques, especially when designing meditations to pursue specific goals, such as better sleep or clearer focus. An easy way to analyze what works for you is by downloading an app. Here, a few of our favorites.

best meditation app

headspace

The interface is easy to navigate and the course library is huge. (But as you might guess, a three-part foundational course—teaching basic techniques—is a great place for beginners to start.) For those who have trouble sitting still during meditation, Headspace ($13 a month) also offers Offers a “move” mode” that combines gentle movements and yoga poses.

Insight Timer

The Insight Timer app is free, but we’re happy to provide pony access to its 100,000+ guided meditations – many led by mindfulness experts like Koya Webb and Alex Elle. While the free version of the app doesn’t have step-by-step lessons, users can specify their favorite meditations by creating “playlists” or browsing content curated by other users.

calm

Whether you’re a fan of one-way sports or a basketball fan, the Calm app ($15 per month) has you covered. Harry Styles and LeBron James are just two of the many celebrities who have given their voices to the app’s sleep-time stories and mental health lessons. Calm also offers simple exercises (like the aforementioned “bubble”) when you’re feeling anxious.

best time to meditate

You really shouldn’t check social media before meditating because you should avoid it right before bed. “Checking your email, surfing the news, or going through your to-do list forces the brain into beta brainwaves [a term used in neuroscience]”It’s useful for judgment and problem-solving tasks, but also has the following characteristics,” Morris said. [states of mind such as] Anxiety and hyperactivity, which are not conducive to meditation. “First thing in the morning — before you’re bombarded with the news of the day — is the ideal time to practice,” Morris said.

How to Stick to a Meditation Routine

Some studies have shown that “committing to one style of meditation and practicing it consistently allows us to experience the cumulative effect best,” says Ellie Burrows Gluck, CEO and co-founder of New York City-based meditation studio MNDFL, which also Offers live classes. Studies have shown that these beneficial effects include lowering blood pressure, relieving anxiety and helping with insomnia.