Technology

This new app wants to make you nicer

TIM ROBBERTS VIA GETTY IMAGES

In a bid to make you all nicer, happier and more mindful, a new smartphone app called 10% Happier has been launched with the intent of allowing people to take time out of their day to centre and align themselves with the universe once more.

For some people, meditation is something which is associated with yoga pants and lengthy trips to Nepal and India, whereas it is steadily becoming one of the most popular spiritual practices in Western culture. There have even been recent studies which show how its direct health benefits can assist in recovery from certain forms of cancer.

The app was designed by Dan Harris, author of the book 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story and contains many of the insights included in the published version, but in an easy-approach format. Describing itself as an app for those who are “Interested in meditation, but allergic to woo-woo.” and offers a way to learn meditation in a clear and straightforward manner.

According to the Huffington Post:

Smartphone overindulgence can wreak havoc on your well-being if not used mindfully — studies show too much tech can mess with your sleep, your self-esteem and even your physical health — but well-being apps can be a counterintuitive antidote if executed properly. Research on smartphone programs is scarce and mildly disheartening (a 2015 study found a majority of depression apps recommended by the National Health Service show no evidence they help). But that doesn’t necessarily mean users — or developers, for that matter — should throw in the towel. In fact, it should encourage more innovation.

As Kathryn Noth, a clinical psychologist with the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University, explained to The Week, therapy and stress apps could be a useful supplement to professional treatment.

I definitely think [apps] will be integrated into therapy more and more, and that’s a good thing,” she told the publication last year. “I don’t think this will in any way take the place of therapy. I think it’s an adjunct, an add-on, that will increase access to people who wouldn’t be able to walk through my door.”

Given the commonality of stress and mental illness, well-functioning apps are necessary. Well-being apps like 10% Happier join the ranks of other initiatives likeHeadspace, Koko and Talk Space, which are designed to encourage users to make positive changes in their lives. If it helps ease stress or encourages someone to get help in just the smallest way, then it’s already doing a world of good.”

 

Meditation

For more information on How To Meditate, check online for a range of options which will allow you to try and remain grounded in these distracted and trying times.

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