Meditation is one of the best ways to practice self-care. Simple and accessible to all, the benefits of meditation are numerous. From reducing stress and anxiety to calming the mind and improving focus, meditation is a perfect antidote to our fast-paced modern age.
For people who don’t make time to practice meditation, an app such as Balance provides a good solution. You can enable notifications to remind you to take time out. Then put your headphones on and let the app lead you to a more peaceful state of mind.
What Is Balance?
Balance is an app that aims to be a personal meditation coach and tailor your meditation experience to your needs and level of experience. Balance offers a premium subscription for additional features. In 2021, the developers of Balance offered new users their first full year for free. They said that money shouldn’t prevent anyone from improving their stress levels, sleep quality, or mental well-being. That offer remained active in 2022.
When you sign up, Balance invites you to make a monetary contribution towards the cost of offering free access worldwide. However, you can easily choose the complimentary offer as long as it's available.
Download: Balance for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
Getting Started With Balance
When you first open Balance, you are asked a series of questions, and you are presented with a personal meditation plan based on your answers. Balance promises that you will participate in an ongoing personalization process by answering further questions each day to tailor the meditations the app offers you.
The main home screen shows your picks for the day. It offers your personal Foundations or Advanced plan, or you can choose meditations based on time of day, your mood, or the state of mind you want to achieve. If you’re about to study, you may want to choose the procrastination category. Or if you’re feeling disheartened, there is a motivation category.
There is also a daily meditation selected for you by the app based on the mood you checked in with. So you can tell Balance you’re feeling stressed, sad, or sick, and it will supply a meditation to help.
Meditating With Balance
The most immersive way to experience the meditations is by using headphones. Each one starts with an invitation to breathe slowly and deeply, calling you simply to pay attention to your breathing. As with all good meditation programs, Balance meets you where you are and invites you to be aware of your reality.
A calm instructor then guides you through some breathing exercises and they do so without needing to fill each second with chatter. The space left to breathe and find your own rhythm is welcome. The instructor is an actual human rather than a computer-generated voice, lending warmth to proceedings that some meditation apps lack.
Unlike other meditation apps, there is no expanding and contracting circle to measure your breathing. Instead, you are invited to close your eyes. Each meditation is accompanied by a simple black background, with colored stripes moving in waves across the screen. It is unobtrusive and keeps your focus solely on listening. You can also try meditating with the Calm app for a similar experience.
At the end, the instructor invites you to check in the following day for your next exercise. The app logs and charts your progress, registering the skills you developed. Users can integrate this data with Apple’s Health app.
Exploring Plans on Balance
In addition to your personalized plan, there is an extensive list of general plans for you to work through. These have category titles such as Embrace Change, Facing Fear, and Relaxation. Each category contains a set of 10 different meditations to help you tackle specific issues.
In any meditation category, you can change the program length and the voice. Both the male and female instructors have wonderfully calming voices, so you can take your pick with confidence.
Sleep Features on Balance
There is an extensive Sleep category within Balance. If you’re troubled by poor sleep or find it difficult to nod off, there are many options to help you at just about any time of day or night. Take a nap, unwind at bedtime, or get back to sleep if you awaken too early. There are relaxing activities such as visualizations and sleep stretches to help you end the day well, and a selection of sleep sounds such as campfires and ocean sounds. There is even a category specifically for kids.
If you're having issues, explore some other ways technology can help you get a good night's sleep.
Enjoy a Moment of Calm With Balance Singles
Just a few moments of meditation can make a huge difference to your day. Balance has a great feature for you to use for a momentary pause from anything causing stress. It is a lovely way to reset during a hectic day.
The Singles tab features over 30 categories for your quick meditation fix. Hit the Anxiety, Breathe, or Motivation buttons, or look at some of the more specialized categories that deal with Grief, Sick Day, or Breaking Habits. New categories are regularly added.
How is Balance Different From Other Apps?
Balance’s vast range of options contains meditations to appeal to everyone, no matter their age or state of mind. There are many apps with breathing exercises for mindfulness. What marks Balance out is its personalization feature, which allows you to tailor a program to really suit your needs.
With its straightforward, simple interface, the ability to save favorite meditations, and the facility to track and record your progress, Balance is hard to beat as a tool for learning or practicing meditation daily. With over 2 million users, it’s a popular choice, and it’s hard to resist when a free trial makes it easy to test for yourself.
Make Meditation Part of Your Daily Well-Being With Balance
With so many challenges to mental well-being in modern life, it is more important than ever to take a few moments out to center yourself and be calm. Beyond meditation, there are many ways to practice self-care, such as journaling or immersing yourself in nature sounds.
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