Healthy Living Editor, Lindsay Holmes at The Huffington Post explains a new app, called 10% Happier developed by ABC News host and meditator Dan Harris.
By now it’s no secret that meditation can transform a person’s whole mindset, but rarely do we set aside the time – or our phones – to do it. So Dan Harris decided to work with our tech-obsessed culture instead of against it. The result? An app called 10% Happier, designed to fit meditation into your busy lifestyle.
Aptly named after Harris’ best-selling book on mindfulness, the program takes a followable, no-frills approach with daily meditation assignments, personal meditation coaches and a large variety of videos from expert instructors to help people navigate the practice.
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.
“I definitely think apps will be integrated into therapy more and more, and that’s a good thing,” said Kathryn Noth, a clinical psychologist with the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University. “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 the door.”
One of the master instructors involved with 10% Happier is Sharon Salzberg, an expert in lovingkindness meditation, which centers on compassion and can lead to improvements in emotional intelligence and a decreased stress response.
“The place to look for the benefit of meditation is in your life, not necessarily in that formal period of practice, Salzberg said. “You may not be sitting in bliss when you’re meditating, but you’ll find you’re different in the way you speak to yourself when you’ve made a mistake. You’re more resilient. You’re kinder when you meet a stranger. That’s really why you meditate.”
February 12, 1016