With election season freshly behind us and the holiday madness in front of us, it's safe to say that stress levels are high. Left unchecked, excessive anxiety can take a toll on your health, happiness and the general "adulting" you're supposed to be doing in earnest right about now.
Studies show that meditation lowers tension and allows people to feel happier and be more productive.
The Source Weekly tested out the following apps, giving everyone from beginner meditators to expert yogis a way to handle the stress of the season.
This app offers multiple animated scenes—including Mountain Lake, Sunset Beach and Rain On Leaves—accompanied by soundtracks that soothe and assist listeners.
If you're just starting to explore meditation, Calm offers a seven-day program that walks you through 10-minute, guided, introductory meditations. If you already have a personal meditation practice you can try guided meditations that focus on a variety of goals such as manifesting more love and kindness, or even drifting off to sleep faster.
BEST FEATURES: The visuals and sounds are beautiful, clear and crisp, and you can set reminders that hold you accountable for your practice. For a monthly fee of $9.99 or yearly fee of $3.33 per month, you can unlock additional meditations.
These meditations only take five minutes and are appropriate for any level of practitioner. Simple Habit is all about efficiency, so they're ideal for individuals on the go from sunup to sundown. Each 5, 10, or 20-minutemeditation is tailored to specific scenarios, such as feeling purposeless or preparing for a difficult conversation. The free version has a limited library, but for a fee of $9.99 per month or a yearly fee of $5.83 per month, you can enjoy a plentiful library.
BEST FEATURES: You can sort through the library of meditations by teachers or by theme. There's even a Post-Election selection from which you can currently choose.
Relax Lite: Stress Relief
This app offers 8-minute guided meditations for any level. A unique feature is the staged breathing techniques. Users can follow sliders with directions on when to inhale or exhale and a pie chart that fills up as each round of breath is completed.
BEST FEATURES: It's a simple, effective and easy-to-use app that only requires a one-time fee of $2.99 to access additional levels of staged breathing and a 13-minute guided meditation.
Available at the iTunes, Android App stores and Google Play.