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Best meditation apps for Apple Watch

We all know that life can get a little crazy. Whether it's your boss pushing you to meet strict deadlines or things aren't going so smooth with the family at home, stress can build up and feel overwhelming. The Breath app, built into watchOS helps with bite-sized relaxation moments throughout the day, but sometimes you need a little more than just a few minutes of deep breathing.

Taking some time out of your day to meditate can help reduce stress and help you recharge and your Apple Watch can help! Here are our favorite meditation apps for the Apple Watch.

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SOS! I need a medidation session, ASAP!

Sometimes, things around you seem like they are going to barrel over you like a freight train and your brain feels like it is going to explode. In those moments, you might need an emergency meditation session. Headspace has an SOS session that will start up a three-minute recording of a calming voice talking to you about how to relax, breathe, and focus. Though the audio pipes through your iPhone, you can access it right from your Apple Watch. You can pause and play the session without having to reach for your handset so you can keep your eyes shut and your mind focused.

There is also a 30-second quick calm session that requires you to touch and hold your finger on your Apple Watch screen. You can't press to hard or too soft. This mini mind exercise helps you focus on something other than your anger or fear in bite-size sessions. If you are paying attention to how much pressure you use while touching the screen, you might forget about that thing that was freaking you out 10 seconds ago.

If you tend to get wound up during the day and sometimes feel like you just need to clear your head, give Headspace a try.

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A stand-alone app to help you rebalance each day.

If you don't need help meditating, but do want to take a few minutes each day to rebalance your mind and body with a breathing session, 3 Minute Mindfulness offers a variety of exercises that you can access right on your Apple Watch. This is less of a companion to the iPhone and more of a stand-alone app. The only thing you would have to do on your iPhone is unlock the premium upgrade, which includes five additional exercises.

When you are ready for a three-minute rebalance, open Mindfulness on your Apple Watch, select a breathing session, and begin. There is a visual aid in the form of a circle that lets you know when it is time to inhale or exhale. Different sessions provide different breathing patterns. Square has you breathe in, hold, breath out, and hold, while 4-7-8 Breathing helps relax you by having you breathe in, hold, and then breathe out slowly.

All of the unlocked breathing sessions are accessible from your Apple Watch.

If you are looking for a basic breathing session app, 3 Minute Mindfulness is the perfect app for you.

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The meditation app for beginners.

Omvana is a personal meditation trainer. If you've never closed your eyes and cleared your mind, you can start with meditation for beginners, which even includes audio tracks that explain what meditation is and how you can keep your mind focused. If you have been meditating for most of your life, you can check out tracks that help you grow your skills, like the Silva Method and hypnosis sessions.

The iPhone app lets you mix ambient sounds with vocal training. You can even adjust the tracks to play music or voice louder. You can also connect your Health app to receive notifications to meditate throughout the day when your stress levels begin to rise.

On the Apple Watch, you can access your favorite tracks and begin a session from your wrist. When you add the Mindfulness Quotient to Glances, you can quickly see your daily meditation progress. If you want to adjust a track you are listening to, you can use Handoff from your Apple Watch to go directly to the currently playing track on your iPhone.

Omvana is like the Music app, only for meditation. It doesn't matter your skill level, there is something for everyone.

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Relax to natural sounds.

For some, achieving a clear mind only takes a few minutes of ambient sound. Enlighten facilitates that with a variety of natural and manmade noises that you can mix and match.The iPhone app lets you chose a pre-made mix of natural themes, like the forest or a river, or pick specific tracks (which you can also add to the pre-made mixes), like a ticking clock or binaural beats.

On Apple Watch, you can check your current and average heart rate and activate a one-minute relaxation exercise where you will place your finger on your screen and breathe slowly for 60 seconds. You can add your current stress level status to Glances for a quick check on your heart rate and recommendations for ways to calm down.

If you practice meditation with ambient sounds, try Enlighten to keep you focused.

Your favorites?

Do you use a meditation app on Apple Watch? What do you love about it? Let us know in the comments.

Updated September 2018: These are still our favorite apps to give you some peace of mind when you need it!

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).