Mindfulness is the very simple concept of focusing one's attention on the present moment, which can be achieved through a number of meditative techniques. Derived from Buddhist practices, it is far from a fringe belief - in fact, it is now widely used in many clinical settings to alleviate symptoms associated with depression, anxiety and stress, and is employed in some behavioral and cognitive therapies.
The recent popularity of this practice has led to a number of apps that help you achieve and track your periods of mindfulness, including Calm, Insight Timer, and 10% Happier, to name a few. Apple's Health app lets you track your mindful time, which you can do manually or by connecting it to whatever mindfulness app you use. Here's how to do it on iPhone and iPad:
- Open up the Health app, tap on the Health Data tab at the bottom, then tap on Mindfulness.
- Tap on Mindful Minutes.
- If you have meditated on your own and want to record the time manually, tap the "+" in the top right corner.
- Now you can add time spent being mindful by selecting start and end dates/times. Tap "Add" in the top right, then you will see it in your data graph.
- If you want to link a third-party app, scroll down and you will see a collection of apps that are compatible with the Health app. Tapping on one will take you to the App Store.
- Once you have a compatible app downloaded, it will either ask you to connect to Health or you will have to find it in the app's settings. In this example we'll use 10% Happier, which has a Mindful Minutes toggle in its settings. Once toggled, Health will verify that you want the app to read and write data. You can tap "Turn all categories on" then tap "Allow" in the top right corner.
- Now you will see your app under the Sources tab in the Health app.
- Any time you use the app it should record your time to the Health app. Try a meditation session with your app, then see if it sent the data to the Health app.