Not that I knew what I was doing, but I started meditating 20 years ago. There was no guide book, no training taken – just a person thinking, “I’ll roll out this blanket, stretch out here, breathe and think.” I was just making it up as I went along. For the past several years my meditation has been on the mat, in a yoga studio, in the hands of experts. Despite those early explorations on my own I had mostly stopped practicing at home.

Off and on I have sleepless spells, usually when I’m over-committed, over-screen-timed, my head swimming with ideas and to-dos. During one such bout this summer, I decided to try guided meditation. The sarcastic, jaded side of me thought it would be cheesy, so I was hesitant to buy something. I ended up downloading a free app called Stop, Breathe and Think.

The app has about 15 free guided meditations, like “Mindful Breathing,” “Body Scan” and “Be Present.” I can’t lie that part of my decision to go with this app was based on their illustrations. When you complete various feats of peace-finding, you earn badges like the double rainbow, or this one:


It’s perhaps a bit weird to solve for this using a device that is part of the cause of my splintered self, but I found it has worked for me to hit play to pause.

This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox
Lifeline prompt: “Pause Button. How do you pause your day? What’s a break look like in your world – is it refreshing, reenergizing, or restful? What makes you able to keep on keepin’ on?”

  • lydiaw

    I love Stop, Breathe, and Think! Nice!

  • Jameal

    It is funny how the very devices that are notorious for distracting and overworking us can likewise be used to bring focus and relaxation. By default our smartphones unfortunately just seem to amplify the mindless tendencies of our brains, but with apps like the one you’ve mentioned, people everywhere can grow to be more mindful of their relationships with technology and work. 🙂

    For the past week I’ve been trying a guided meditation app called Headspace. It’s not free but the trial does include an excellent introduction to meditation for beginners (also a great refresher for non-beginners). It’s also very well designed and features a very fun and unique illustrative style. Definitely worth checking out!