Last year I made a commitment to start meditating regularly. Well, that didn’t work out so well. Soon I was caught up in the daily frustrations and flashes of anger and completely forgot about trying to meditate. Peace of mind can be so elusive.
Then, a couple of months ago, my son asked to go off his ADHD meds. When he takes them, he doesn’t eat all day. By the end of the day, when the meds wear off, he is crazy hungry and out of control. We decided that if he was willing to commit to a regular meditation practice we would be willing to let him stop his medication.
I read a lot about meditation for kids and one idea kept repeating: the best way to help kids develop a meditation practice was for the parents to also practice meditation. I realized there was no way around it. I had to start meditating.
I decided to try a meditation app. Unfortunately, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of them. They range in price from free to almost $100 or more. I started downloading and trying the free ones, but found most of them to be incredibly annoying. You know those syrupy-sweet voices that are almost a whisper? I hate those. Where I live, they call that “airy-fairy.”
I asked people about apps they used and stumbled across an app called Smiling Mind. I downloaded the Smiling Mind app (it’s available for IOS and Android.) The dude is Australian, and I found his voice to be remarkably non-irritating.
This particular app is completely free. There are no parts that you have to pay to unlock. I really like that. None of the dealer’s ‘first taste is free’ thing.
Smiling Mind has a number of different programs. They have programs for kids in different age ranges, programs designed for teachers, and a number of programs designed for adults with different focuses such as sports or for the workplace.
Each program comes in several modules which are designed progressively to help you develop mindfulness and increase the time, gradually, that you spend in meditation. Each module consists of meditation sessions, but they also include activities to enhance your mindfulness.
I’m averaging about 3 times a week, but hope to increase that. You can set daily reminders on your phone or to tell it to notify you when you haven’t been on the app for a few days.
I’m really enjoying working through the basic adult program. Eventually, I’ll be able to do longer and longer meditation with little to no vocal guidance. Of course, you don’t actually need an app to meditate. Simply following your breath can help you return to calm.
I feel like this app is helping me develop mindfulness to instill a deeper sense of peaceful contentedness. Try it! You might like it.