Are you looking to improve your ability to cope with stress? Have you considered meditation? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, the Stop, Breathe & Think app may be your solution. This app was developed by the non-profit organization Tools for Peace, which strives to promote meditation as a tool for well-being and developing compassion. Stop, Breathe & Think is available for both iOS and Android devices. This free app allows you to track your progress through 15 meditations that can be tailored to your needs. There is also a “bell” feature if you choose to follow your own meditations, but still would like to track your progress. Whether you’re new to meditation or already meditate, this app may meet your needs.
How it Works
When you open the app for the first time, it will ask you if you’d like to register for free or just browse. If you’d like to track your progress, you must register for the app. During registration, the app simply asks for your first and last name, age, gender and email address.
If you’re new to meditation or in need of a refresher, check out the app’s “Learn to Meditate” section for introductory information, an explanation of how it works, suggestions for practice and details about the meditations. After reading the information, use the “How Are You?” section to note your current mental, physical and emotional status to have the app select meditations based on your needs. You can choose from recommendations for meditations and their duration that the app presents to you. Pick which one you’d like to do and then follow the narrated instructions. A bell will sound at the end to let you know it’s finished and if you’ve earned any “stickers.”
You can earn stickers for the number, type and combinations of meditations completed. You then have the opportunity to continue, give feedback, or view your progress. The progress page tracks all the stickers you’ve earned, the number of times you’ve checked in, the total time you’ve spend meditating, the meditation you complete most often, and your top two emotions. 15 meditations and the ability to meditate on your own provides you with a number of free options, but there are three additional sets of meditations you can purchase if you find yourself looking for more. Since the Tools for Peace is non-profit, if you do opt to purchase, the money goes to the group to continue their mission.
- This app is great for everyone, no matter your age or skill level. Tools for Peace works with all ages, but their program is commonly used in academic settings so the app is even helpful for kids.
- The app provides introductory information for newbies as well as opportunities for seasoned meditators to customize their sessions.
- Personalization to help you get the most out of the app and progress with your ability to meditate.
- Visually appealing graphics, fonts, and colors that make the app easy to read and navigate.
- Tracking your progress and earning stickers can help with motivation and staying interested in the app.
- At times the app opens a little slowly, but be patient–it will load.
- Sometimes there is inconsistency with the volume of the narration. In some meditations the voice is lower than others. The bell signifying the end of the meditation could also be louder.
- For some people, 15 meditations may not be satisfying after they begin to progress. The addition of more free meditations would be helpful.
Overall Consensus: With 15 free meditations, this is a great tool for anyone to use, but especially for those who are beginners or who are on a tight budget. For most people, meditation can be a challenging habit to maintain as it requires much dedication; being able to track your progress and earn stickers provides incentive to actually commit and stick with it. Why not give it a try? Remember, the more frequently you meditate, the greater the results you will see in your ability to “stop, breathe & think” during difficult situations.
For Health Advocate Members:
Are you looking for more stress management tips and relaxation techniques? If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, connect with a Wellness Coach today for additional recommendations or other helpful resources.