Take a deep breath - our top 3 mindfulness apps

Mindfulness is sort of one of those buzzwords you might be seeing everywhere, along with hashtags like #SelfCare and #Wellness - but what actually is it? The practice of mindfulness has been around for centuries. It's basically about reconnecting with our bodies and minds, and taking note of the world around us and not being so caught up in emotions and what things mean.

And being 'mindful' can really help our own wellbeing, happiness and health. It allows us time to calm, to relax, to tune in to the things that are actually happening around us and not just what's going on in our (very busy) minds. It can ease anxiety and stress, and even help us sleep too.

It may even be a great thing you can do with the person you care for - just taking 5 or 10 minutes together to breathe in and be calm.

So how do you do it?

The great thing about practicing mindfulness is that you can do it anywhere. Sitting on the sofa, on the bus or in the bath - you just need to focus in on your breathing and the sensations and sounds around you. So you don't really need anything but yourself to get started, but there are some great free apps out there that can get the mindfulness ball rolling!

1. Headspace

Headspace has a free version which includes guided meditation (that's basically someone talking you through breathing exercises etc,) and exercises to help you get started. It's a great starting point for anyone interested in mindfulness and what it can do to help ease stress and worry!

2. Aura

This app is interesting because it allows you to answer a few questions so it can give you a personalised mindfulness exercise for the day! Maybe you're feeling extra stressed or you've got something on your mind, this app can tailor an exercise just for you.

3. Calm

Calm has a 7 day beginners plan for those new to mindfulness and meditation! It also has 'Sleep Stories' - a great way to help you sleep if you struggle to drift off. They have one narrated by Stephen Fry! Have you tried any mindfulness apps? What are your favourites? Or do you prefer doing it by yourself, your own way? Let us know! You can find more information, advice and resources around mental health and wellbeing here. You are not alone.

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