One of my favorite mindful technology tools isÂ Calm.com,Â a website (and also an iOS and Android app) that provides calming sounds and guided meditations.Â Although I’ll focus on the home page below, the apps work similarly.
The site is quite simple to use.Â You can select from a small selection of nature background animations, such as a beach, lake, or mountain view.Â Then you select an amount of time, ranging from 2 to 20 minutes.Â Finally, you choose whether to have a guided meditation or an unguided meditation.
The guided meditations provide spoken instructions, played over calming background sounds (a combination of water and gentle music) while your selected animation is displayed.Â The unguided meditations simply let the audio and video play for the amount of time you chose, and then ring a bell.
One appealing feature of the site is the simplicity of its user interface and the ability to launch a meditation right from the home page, without needing to log in, select a large number of options, or navigate through multiple pages.Â The sounds are quite calming, and the nature animations are very high quality and peaceful–they appear to be videos of real scenes in nature, rather than cartoons or simulations.
The features described above are free on the web site and both apps.Â The app versions can also remind you daily to meditate.
The creators of Calm.com clearly have put significant effort into designing an experience that is conducive to meditation and to relieving stress, and into striking a balance between simplicity and enabling theÂ user to customize the experience to fit his or her own tastes.
I highly recommend checking it out if you need to calm down, focus, meditate or are just looking for a way to relax.