An app a day keeps the doctor away. Or does it?

In an adaption of one of my late mother’s favourite health sayings, the release of the latest Apple Watch comes with a new ‘Breathe’ app which promises to help you better manage everydaystress and anxiety.  I think technology makes us more stressed but here are Apple with an app they claim reduces stress!

CAN AN APP REALLY MAKE YOU MINDFUL?

Well, in this post below Rafael A Calvo and Dorian Peters from University of Sydney enlist the help of Richard Ryan the world-renowned wellbeing psychologist and Tenzin Priyadarshi the director for the Dalai Lama Centre for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,(great job title ) to road test my opinion (okay, perhaps not just myopinion!)

This post was first published on the excellent Conversation website.

Giving mindful breathing a place beside the alarm clock and weather app seems to provemindfulness has truly gone mainstream.

But modern society is still strongly oriented in the opposite direction: toward speed, efficiency and multitasking. Take the tagline for the Apple watch “Do more in an instant.”

Other hooks for the new watch include “Share. Compare. Compete” and “Do even more right from your wrist”. So can a device that promises to optimise your productivity and competitiveness also help you non-judgmentally focus your attention on the present moment?

Or, to put it simply: can an app make you mindful?

As researchers in wellbeing technology, we are in constant pursuit of answers to questions like these.

More recently, we had the opportunity to pose the question to two distinguished colleagues at the intersection of mindfulness and technology, Richard Ryan and Tenzin Priyadarshi. Their responses, based on decades of research and personal experience, yielded illuminating insights into the design of future technologies.

MINDFULNESS APPS CAN HELP BEGINNERS

Both agree mindfulness apps can help connect beginners to the practice, as Priyadarshi explained.

“Firstly, from a Buddhist framework, mindfulness is a much wider field than what is being spoken of in the contemporary discourse,” he said.

“In the contemporary discourse on mindfulness, I do think apps are more useful, but useful mostly as an introductory phase, and in terms of creating the connection level.”

Ryan added: “One of things that I’ve been impressed by comes from the old adage that, even when you’ve been well-trained in mindfulness, the trick is remembering to be mindful.”

“So some of the apps, such as the .B app used as part of the Mindfulness in Schools program, is a reminder to ”.B” (stop, breathe) – a recall that mindfulness is a state available.” Read More.. 

Source: Mental Toughness Partners 

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