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5 ways your Apple Watch can help you be more mindful (besides the Breathe App)

An Apple Watch on an arm.

Becoming more mindful in daily life is a goal for many of us. Luckily for Apple Watch owners, wearables are the perfect tool to help us achieve that.

The Apple Watch is an excellent tool for incorporating more mindfulness into your life because of its design and features. It’s a tool that’s always with you and allows you to download all the meditation, yoga, and other health and wellness apps you want.

Related reading:

Beyond the Mindfulness and Breath app

Of course, watchOS also has a built-in Mindfulness app with Breathe and Reflect practices. These are great techniques for increasing mindfulness, but they’re only the beginning.

You can use your Apple Watch as an all-in-one mindfulness tool with built-in or third-party apps — and just a bit of creativity. Here’s how.

5: Go for a mindful walk take a mindful walk

One of the most powerful tools available in the “mindfulness toolkit” requires nothing except for your own two feet. We’re talking about a mindful walk.

Beyond the physical benefits of activity, walking meditation or mindful walking practice is associated with a variety of positive effects, including reduced anxiety and depression, increased well-being and sleep quality, and enhanced creativity and mental clarity, according to Healthline.

The simplest way to incorporate mindful walking is to strap on your Apple Watch and hit the sidewalk. I recommend that you track your activity using the Workout app to get a sense of the physical benefits of your walk, too.

Outdoor Walk on Apple Watch
Track your mindful walks for even further insight.

The hardest part about starting a practice like mindful walking is consistency, which is why it’s also a good idea to set a gentle reminder on your Apple Watch to get you up and out the door.

If you want to turbocharge your mindful walking, try taking a five-minute walk every time your Apple Watch pings you to stand. That’ll be 40 minutes of mindful walking by the time you achieve all of your Stand hours.

Time to Walk Apple Fitness+

And for those that are also Apple Fitness+ subscribers, Apple also offers interesting Time to Walk sessions with inspiring and insightful people who share thoughtful and meaningful stories, photos, and music. Apple Fitness+ also includes guided meditations for times when you want to look inwards.

4: Wake up a bit earlier wake up and get out of bed earlier than usual

Many high performers and mindfulness experts swear by waking up earlier in the day. Mostly, this is because it affords you extra time for a morning routine.

However, waking up at 5 a.m. to work out for hours is a hard sell for many people. Because of that, it’s a good thing that waking up that much earlier is unnecessary.

Alarm app watchOS
Wake up just a bit earlier than normal — start with just 10 minutes for yourself each morning.

The whole point of waking up a bit earlier for mindfulness is to grant yourself the ability to luxuriate. Spend time for yourself without the pressure of getting ready for the day or staring at social media.

If you have an hour to spare, then spend it taking time for yourself. Only have 10 minutes? That still counts.

The Apple Watch comes in handy here by being your gentle alarm clock. Set the alarm a bit earlier than you want to wake up. Then, check the Sleep app to ensure you’re simultaneously getting the rest you need and allowing just a bit of time for yourself in the morning.

3: Learn how to uni-task magnifying glass

Mindfulness, at its core, is the state of being fully present and aware at a single time. It can look like a traditional meditation or breathing practice, but it doesn’t have to.

One way to be mindful in your day-to-day life is to focus your attention on a single task at a time. Are you fully aware while eating meals, or just spacing off at your TV and mindlessly eating?

Of course, this also applies to work tasks. One of the best ways to encourage both mindfulness and productivity simultaneously is to uni-task or focus on a single task without getting distracted.

Give yourself specific time to complete a task, and then set an Apple Watch timer accordingly. Until that timer goes up, put your full focus on that task: no social media, emails, or distractions.

Use the Timer app to create your own custom timer. You can label your timers by asking Siri to create the timer. Just raise your Apple Watch, and ask Siri to “set a 45-minute distraction-free work timer.”

Apple Watch custom timer
Ask Siri to create a custom timer for you!

This is most effective when combined with other Apple Watch features, such as Airplane Mode, so that you can tune out distractions. There are also dedicated task timers, such as watchOS-based Pomodoro apps, that you can consider.

2: Set a gratitude reminder what I am grateful and thankful for

There’s a simple hack to becoming happier in life: be grateful for the things that you have. Gratitude is consistently associated with overall greater happiness.

One way the Apple Watch can help is by reminding you to be grateful daily. The simplest way to accomplish this is to set a Reminder with a title like “What am I grateful for today?”

There are also dedicated iOS apps with companion Apple Watch apps that can help. The Thankful app, for example, sends you an alert at a specific time each day, asking you what you’re grateful for.

Thankful App
The Thankful app sends you a daily reminder to be grateful.

This practice doesn’t require anything fancy — you can spend just 10 seconds thinking about something that brings you joy or a good thing that happened.

If you want to take it a bit deeper, use the Apple Watch reminder as a prompt to journal about the things that you’re grateful for. Don’t have time for that? Just write down a short list instead. Either reinforces the positive benefits and gives you something to reflect on later.

1: Tailor your notifications (or hit Airplane Mode) Apple Watch Airplane mode

You probably already know that notifications can be a distraction that pulls you away from the present momet since to be mindful is to be fully present and aware.

Luckily, you can change that with just a few taps. I recommend disabling notifications for everything unless they’re necessary communications apps.

Notifications Settings
Turn off notifications for apps that aren’t important.

You can also tailor notifications selectively. Use your Focus Modes (Do Not Disturb) to create specific times of the day when you don’t want notifications to pull you away from a task.

Create specific Do Not Disturb modes (Focuses) for specific times of the day, such as when you’re working, meditating, working out, and when you’re winding down for the evening.

Focus modes for Apple Watch
You can easily tailor specific Focus Modes to suit your life.

In a scorched-earth scenario, you can also turn on Airplane Mode. This cuts off all of your communications, but it can afford you a little bit of peace if you’re feeling overwhelmed or really need to get something done.

The Apple Watch is an excellent tool for mindfulness

As you can see, there are a number of ways the Apple Watch can support your mindfulness journey beyond Apple’s own Mindfulness app.

Of course, these are also just suggestions. The possibilities for mindfulness with wearable devices are basically endless when you apply a bit of creativity. Just remember that the device is a means to an end — it’s a tool to support your practice, not the practice itself.

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