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    Monday, August 21, 2017

    Two Apps That Can Aid Your Memory

    One of the good things about smartphones is that being always at hand you can use them for almost anything, including improving your health and your skills.
    In this entry we’ll take a look at a couple of really helpful and interesting iOS and Android apps that can help you improve your brain and memory skills in short bursts of time without you having to spend a dime.
    There is no shortage of mindfulness and meditation apps these days, that can help you combat anxiety, sleep better, hone your focus, and more. The following are two of the most popular, educational, and easy-to-use mindfulness apps that are available free.

    Insight Timer
    Available for iOS and Android
    Insight Timer is one of the most popular free meditation apps out there, and it is easy to see why. The app features more than 4,000 guided meditations from over 1,000 teachers—on topics like self-compassion, nature, and stress—plus talks and podcasts. If you prefer a quieter meditation, you can always set a timer and meditate to intermittent bells or calming ambient noise.
    Right from the beginning, the app feels like a community; the home screen announces, “3,045 meditating right now / Home to 1,754,800 meditators.” After you finish a meditation, you’ll learn exactly how many people were meditating “with you” during that time; by setting your location, you can even see meditators nearby and what they’re listening to.
    Despite its extensive collection, Insight Timer doesn’t show you a list of teachers—which would be helpful, especially since they feature experts like Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, and Sharon Salzberg. And Insight Timer doesn’t recommend step-by-step sequences of meditations to follow; it’s more like a buffet. But these drawbacks hardly matter in the face of all the tempting choices.

    Available for iOS and Android
    Aura is a meditation app with a simple premise: Every day, you get a new, personalised, three-minute meditation. The same meditation never repeats; according to cofounder Daniel Lee, Aura’s teachers are constantly recording new tracks.
    To personalise the experience, Aura initially asks about your age and how stressed, optimistic, and interested in mindfulness you are. The daily meditation that appears also depends on your mood: If you’re feeling great, Aura might suggest “Your Brilliant Heart;” select stressed, and you might get “You Have the Power.” If you like the day’s meditation, you can save it to your library for later listening.

    Aura claims to target stress, anxiety, and depression. If a short meditation isn’t enough, you can also listen to relaxing sounds or try their Mindful Breather feature, where you synchronize your breath to an animated circle that gently expands and contracts—surprisingly effective. The home screen encourages you to jot down something you’re grateful for, another tool for well-being.
    Aura is straightforward and sparse, but that is part of the beauty. Particularly if you are just getting started, or you don’t have lots of time to meditate, the simplicity of one meditation a day could be just what you need.
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