If I’ve done it right, this post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Much has been written about the disconnect created by our constant ability to receive information. More than ever, carving out a space for ourselves to experience full presence while living with ready access to distraction is important for our well-being.
Technology can also be a tool to help with mindfulness. For example, we can learn about mindfulness practices, set alarms to remind us to practice, and record our experiences.
My goal with this series is to share mobile apps that I have found especially useful in cultivating mindfulness practices. I believe that harnessing the power of our handheld distraction devices has the potential to integrate mindfulness into our already overfull lives. Or, as a friend aptly noted, bring balance to the force.
Today’s app is, called:
365 Happy Days
by Happiness Central
Version I demo: 1.0.1 on iPhone
Cost: Free US, no ads
365 Happy Days is a an app that taps into positive psychology research to remind you to focus on the good. Numerous studies have shown that breaking negative, or even neutral, trains of thought and resting the mind on a positive area can be extremely beneficial to mental and physical well-being.
Positive psychology scientifically looks at effective actions that can cultivate greater satisfaction in a person’s life. Mindfulness about where we focus our thoughts and recognizing negative thought patters, rather than solely treating mental illness, have been shown to have a holistic impact whether in concert with current treatments or by themselves.
The 365 Happy Days app is set up for reminders that pop up on your phone as alerts with a positive quote or an action to take with a bit about the research to help motivation to take the action.
When the app launches, it gives a simple interface with 3 choices: “Happy Thoughts” (the quote), “Activities”, and “My Alerts (where you can set the alert frequency.)
The quotes are varied in topic and author, which is nice. I notice that some positive affirmation apps tend to stick to a narrow view of the kinds of words and writers and they tend to be repeated everywhere. This can lessen their impact as the familiarity can lead to them being ignored. For example, I love the quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world” by Gandhi. But, it has almost become a cliche at this point and the intention has arguable lost some of its power to move. It is enjoyable to have quotes that can actually be pondered, whether for a moment or for a day.
I’ve often used the daily quotes as reminders throughout the day to look for things that fit in to the words. This helps me to remember the things I did that day in a more positive light. They have also been extremely useful for nightly writing prompts or gratitude journaling, whether inspiring a new piece or simply chronicling the day.
I have to admit that I find the quotes more useful than the activity suggestions. But, when I have taken one of the suggested activities, especially when I have been feeling down, they have immediately changed my outlook and energy level for the better.
I notice that when I have been feeling sad or overwhelmed, I don’t think of simple things that can change my mood, like listening to happy music, getting a nature fix or popping into warrior 2 pose. This app has snapped me out of my funk, quite often when I hadn’t even realized that I was focusing on negative feelings.
It would be nice if the app had the option to choose the time of day for the alert to come up-or even to have the alert come up more than once per day. And I wish that the app included a hyperlink to the research cited on the activities page. I’m often curious about the studies, or at least an article about the results. Of course, I can google it, but when I want to break out of thinking patterns, having the information on hand would be useful.
Overall, though, the app keeps it simple and does what it does well.
If you try this app, I’d enjoy hearing how you use it in the comments.
Consider adding this app, between Candy Crush and Twitter to bring a little mindfulness into your device, won’t you?
Do you have a mindfulness app that you recommend or one that you would like me to review? Please let me know in the comments below. I would enjoy hearing from you.
- All Mindfulness Apps and Technology Posts on TouchstoneZ.com
Disclosure: If I’ve done it right, this post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Post for NaBloPoMo
(Since I’m writing most of these late at night, in bed, while tandem nursing twins, I’m choosing to concentrate on writing rather than proof-reading or editing. Please forgive the extra typos and non-nonsensical grammar. Thank you.)