How many times have you set aside time for meditation only to look up and realize you've been mentally running through your to-do list for the last 10 minutes? According to Healthline, studies have proven that the benefits of meditation can blow your mind; from reducing stress to improving self-awareness and channeling our inner-zen as we toss anxiety to the side (hopefully for good this time). Practicing meditation can help us get better sleep, become kinder, and even help our attention span (Lord knows my busy bee self needs it). But ironically, we're tempted to give in to one inner-distraction after another as we try to close our eyes and find our center.
It's no secret that the practice of meditation calls for discipline. In what's supposed to calm us, sometimes we find ourselves getting restless and fidgety as we hone in on our thoughts and all things within. These apps are super helpful with not just setting the tone for introspection but serving as guided meditation that can fight off any potential distractions. Let's snap into it!
7 Best Guided Meditation Apps
This app was developed with the ultimate fidgeter in mind. 10% Happier provides the education and resources you need for an amazing meditation experience, one day at a time. It has a custom-made, two-week course that features video lessons for each day. It comes with guided audio meditations and even a personal coach to help you stay on track. The exercises are simple, effective, and will get your woosah back on its equilibrium.
If you don't think you have time for meditation, the Breethe app could prove you wrong. This app has sessions for just 10 minutes a day. You'll spend the short yet impactful time with a professional mindfulness coach, who delivers positive talks and inspiring steps to help you navigate through life's ups and downs just a few minutes at a time. And when it is time for a good night's sleep, the app offers a vast variety of sleep sounds such as nature and reading resources on how to get the most out of sleep.
This app is currently #1 for Meditation and Sleep, two things we could all use. As soon as you open the app, you're greeted with the phrase "Take a deep breath." Sometimes, that's all we need before we jump into the day and/or before we go to bed after a long one. The app offers a new Daily Calm to keep you focused, more than 100 guided meditations to help ease anxiety and stress, and even get better sleep with a new Sleep Story that's delivered each week.
This is another great app for those who are on the go but still see the importance of taking a few minutes a day to relax and meditate. The self-proclaimed "daily vacation for your mind" has 5-minute sessions that you can choose from depending on your goal and what you hope to get out of the meditation. Ultimately, this app was created in an effort to prevent burnout by taking just a few moments to re-center and calm your mind.
Stress less, focus more and get better sleep. Isn't that the point of meditation sometimes? You can certainly get one step closer to that with Headspace. This app walks you through the steps of meditation, whether you're a beginner or a guru. For those who just don't know where to start, Headspace offers a 10-day beginner's course that not only shows the importance of meditation and mindfulness, but also gives you tools to have effective meditation habits moving forward.
Whether you're just looking for a few minutes of calmness or a half-hour of time away from the world with yourself, the Mindfulness offers it all along with tips to make sure your mind doesn't stray too far. It has a five-day guided meditation process and timeframes for guided and even silent meditations that range from 3 to 30 minutes. It can also remind you to meditate and comes with a digital journal for you to document your experiences and what has worked best for you.
This guided meditation app might be as personalized as they come. The voice-guided, step-by-step meditation feature helps keep you focused in a moment of tempted distractions. You can also select how long you want to meditate from 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 minutes. You have the option to choose music, nature sounds, or even much-needed silence during your meditation experience.
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Charmaine Patterson is a journalist, lifestyle blogger, and a lover of all things pop culture. While she has much experience in covering top entertainment news stories, she aims to share her everyday life experiences, old and new, with other women who can relate, laugh, and love along with her. Follow Char on Twitter @charjpatterson, Instagram @charpatterson, and keep up with her journey at CharJPatterson.com .
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports