Apps, Online Platforms Become Popular Ways to Meditate, Says Wellness Expert Dipanshu Sharma
As major depression increases among young people, digital solutions are growing in popularity as well, said Dipanshu Sharma, the founder of Meditation.Live. Apps and websites are looking to meditation and mindfulness as tools to decrease depression and anxiety in users.
According to the American Psychological Association, in the last decade, the rate of people reporting major depression symptoms rose 52% in ages 12 to 17 and rose 63% in adults ages 18 to 25. However, this sharp uptick in depression symptoms was not evidenced in older generations, which some experts believe is due to the rise of digital media, Dipanshu Sharma said.
Though mobile phones and social media may be partly to blame for the rise of depression in young people, it may also play a part in the solution, Dipanshu Sharma believes. One app, Calm, backed by actor Ashton Kutcher, has 50 million downloads to date, according to Yahoo! Finance. The content also has 1 million paying subscribers.
Deepak Chopra followed suit with his meditation app Jiyo, and also has launched a meditation podcast called Daily Breath. Other popular meditation apps include The Mindfulness App, Headspace, Buddhify, and Sattva. These apps offer guided meditations, deep breathing exercises, tips and techniques and more to integrate meditation and mindfulness into daily life seamlessly.
Dipanshu Sharma’s own live, interactive meditation and movement class company, Meditation.Live, has taken off. The wellness platform provides wellness solutions for companies to provide their co-workers with the benefits of meditation, said Dipanshu Sharma. Mediation.Live offers meditation and movement classes, courses, workshops and panels in a live, interactive setting.
“People are looking to apps and websites to help them manage depression and anxiety and achieve better mental health,” Dipanshu Sharma said. “We bring them this experience, whether in their own bedrooms or in a company workspace like Meditation.Live does, and it results in a more productive work environment.”
The benefits of meditation, in addition, to reduce anxiety and depression, include improving leadership skills and personal relationships and focus and productivity, and reducing everyday stress.
“Although technology may be part of the problem with mental health struggles, we are hopeful it will be part of the solution as well,” Dipanshu Sharma said. He said the key is using social media and technology in healthy, constructive ways and recognizing unhealthy patterns in technology use. But apps and websites that foster positive habits and teach beneficial mental health skills can have a huge benefit.