The Mind Bell

I first heard about this mind bell app when I was attending a talk by Dr Phang Cheng Kar, and installed it on my phone the next day, I’ve since been using it for about 6 weeks.

This is basically an app, which makes the sound of a bell every 15 mins (you get to adjust the intervals based on your preference, I left it by default), and generally people might do a few of mindful breathing when they hear it along the day. When you silent your phone the bell will be muted too. And you can set a schedule – when it starts and ends every day (so if it’s until 9pm, you are allowed to stop being mindful after 9pm. Haha).

We do not want to live in our brains, ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. We want to live in the present, the here and now. And that’s mindfulness, and you might notice how the bell stops some people who worry too much from doing so, by reminding them to breath mindfully and focus on the present, on what they are doing, instead of living in the brain.

I did not use the bell sound as a reminder to perform the breathing, I might just take a deep breath once, or continue to focus on what I’m doing, knowing that I’m focusing on the here and now. One thing that works quite well for me, is actually reminding me of valued living. Sometimes I might be scrolling facebook, and the mindbell showed up (when the screen is on there’s a golden ‘bowl’ showing up with the sound), I might realize that I’ve been spending enough time on FB and this really isn’t the kind of thing I want to spend much time of my life doing. And so I stopped wherever I was.

Though, most of the times, I find the bell distracting. Like when I am reading, replying to emails, running, I was concentrating enough, and it stopped me and got my attention, wanting me to be mindful(?), but it could somehow be the thing that makes me not mindful on the here and now. I believe this is because I’m quite mindful and focus as a person normally, I do not live in my brain much, or spend much time worrying unnecessarily.

However, I believe this app can be very useful for those who worry endlessly. Do try it out to see if it helps and/or suits you.

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