With the explosion of apps, there are many options out there to help keep you on track with your goals and focused on maintaining a positive state of mind. Since our minds are constantly wandering off, any tool which supports baby steps toward a more mindful existence are very helpful. An app tool called Reporter built by Friends of the Web has features which enable you to query your mood and/or mindfulness level at specified intervals during the day. For instance, you can set the number of times you are queried per day, which determines the frequency your attention is brought back to your goal. This tools is described as
“…an all-purpose life-tracking app that relies on random samples to gather information and build understanding.”
You can create your own questions to bring your attention to your progress on staying positive and present. The questions can be formatted as multiple choice, yes/no, notes, tokens, etc. for quick answers. Examples of some questions you might ask yourself are,
- What is your mood?
- What is affecting your mood?
- Is your attention fully on what you are doing?
- Close eyes – can you see in detail where you are?
- Have you been inspired today?
- At the end of the day – what did you learn today regarding mindfulness?
The Reporter app keeps track of your answers over time so you can visually see your progress. Below is a screenshot of sample data on moods using multiple choice. The icons are from the Emoji series.
Use the app as a mindfulness reminder. Use it as a positive state of mind reminder. When the alerts come in, answer the questions and take a few moments to bring yourself into the here and now. Raptitude.com has an example of paying attention to Now when you receive a reminder:
When you open a door, drop your train of thought outright (you can pick it up again shortly) and watch your hand grasp the doorknob. Pull the door open with purpose and patience. Feel its weight. Watch as a new scene is revealed. Feel the new air of the room you are entering. Listen to the sound of the first room give way to the sound of the new room. Feel this transition with undivided attention.
Absorb your environment so that you are aware of what you are immersed in and how you are interacting with it. You can include a question tracking the number of minutes you were able to spend being mindful after each Reporter session.