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January 26, 2017

New App Uses AI to Deliver Better Meditations

Chronic pain, anxiety and stress are all ailments many of us can identify with today. Fast pace life, hectic schedules and a general disconnect from personal contact with others, have all added to the poor psychological well-being many of us find ourselves dealing with today.

How do you start to turn this around? Find time for peace and a moment to collect your thoughts and just be present in the moment? The age old practice of meditation where you sit in a quiet space to breathe and ‘just be’ has really started to see a reinvigoration today—on both a personal level and even in professional settings.

Innovative companies are adding meditation programs at work to promote mindfulness and stress reduction. A calmer, happier worker will, after all, produce better results.

Meditation can be as simple as taking a few minutes to breathe deeply and just let all the stress and negativity melt away.

I myself have recently started to practice meditation and have been introduced to some great tools on Twitter’s own Periscope to help with my journey. With Periscope, viewers are given the ability to connect with a broad array of people and professionals from across the globe to guide you in meditation from the comfort of your home. The problem with this platform is you have to find the people to follow and be selective about trusting them, and you don’t have much choice over the content or topic.

Recently, I heard about another new tool to help with meditation, called Aura Health. This is a mobile app to help users overcome the challenge of clearing their mind to meditate; it offers customized meditation experiences based on a user’s specific needs. 

When I was offered a chance to check out the App, I jumped at the opportunity to review.

Image via Aura Health

What I found most beneficial about Aura Health is that it leverages the power of Artificial Intelligence to understand and utilize information, like a user’s rating of past meditation sessions and other stated needs, to deliver options that are most relevant for each user.  

The idea is that if a meditation speaks to you and you find it’s helping you to reduce stress and overcome other blocks in your life, you’ll most likely want to do it more. And practicing meditation and mindfulness on a regular basis has proven to have a number of benefits.

From a better immune system to less stress and depression, all have been linked with taking time to breathe and let go. The practice has even proven to improve our brains’ functions and aide in bettering our compassion and relationships. The benefits can be seen just a few weeks after starting to practice mediation and mindfulness.

“Stress affects 75 percent of the U.S. population. Anxiety is affecting a staggering 40 million adults—yet only one in three affected seek treatment,” said Aura Health co-founder Daniel Lee.  “Taking care of mental health is extremely hard and there is no easy solution. But there is one solution that is scientifically effective and requires just a bit of time every day--it is mindfulness. It physically rebuilds our brains and has been transforming our lives and even corporations. We want to make mental health care accessible and a priority to every person fighting stress and anxiety through mindfulness.”

Image via Pixabay

The Aura app is nice because it offers sessions that are only three minutes so that users can easily add the practice into their lives with less resistance.  Adding three easy minutes into your day is much easier than having to find a quiet place and pillow to sit on the floor and try to relax.

That means you can do it quickly when you wake up just as you would probably scan your social media feeds, or on a quick break in the middle of the day without it causing much disruption to your routine.

After each session, you are then asked to provide feedback so the Aura can deliver more targeted meditations each day.

You can set up what times you’d like the app to remind you to meditate as well as receive inspirational quotes, and there are options for longer meditations for premium subscribers of the app.

Other features worth exploring include a gratitude journal, mood tracking/analytics, breather reminders, and a library of nature-based relaxation sounds.

You can download the premium version of the app for Android or Apple currently at $11.99 monthly or $94.99 yearly.

Edited by Alicia Young

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