For many of us, from the moment we wake up, thoughts permeate our mind, racing against the clock before our day has even begun. And we’re left spending the rest of our day with our minds in a constant state of flux.
A new mobile app,
Meditation Alarm Clock provides a peaceful solution to the sense of dread and anxiety people commonly feel upon waking, allowing them to train the mind to be calm and to induce positive thinking from within.
“I think part of the problem today is that we’ve been conditioned to believe we have full control over lives. The truth is, you can have a vision, you can set goals and you can work towards achieving your goals, but you can’t control what is going to happen from one day to the next. We’re always trying to control every aspect of our lives, and I think sometimes we just need to sit back and let life take its course,” says Mercy Wolf, Founder of Meditation Alarm Clock.
“The essence of meditation is learning to accept every moment as it is. The reason we feel so anxious is because we think we can change our circumstances. But we need to be present in the moment; we have to stop resisting it. Once we stop resisting life it gets magically better.”
Studies are slowly revealing a direct correlation between practicing meditation and good physical and mental health.
“People tend to think that meditation requires a huge commitment of time and discipline, when in fact research shows that a few minutes a day is enough to produce significant and lasting changes in a person’s outlook and well-being,” says Wolf.
She adds that because we’ve been programmed to immerse ourselves in activities – whether it’s work-related or household duties – we’re unable to carve out even five minutes a day to simply sit and meditate.
After spending 28 years as meditation teacher, a solution emerged in Wolf’s mind “in a blinding flash” – the solution being, a mobile app that allows people to wake up gently and enjoy the calming benefits of 5 to 20 minutes of meditation while still lying in bed in the morning.
“It’s the easiest way for people to meditate. All you have to do is set the alarm five minutes earlier, and the app guides you into a meditation and puts you in a calm state so you’re ready to meet the day ahead,” says Wolf.
Meditation Alarm Clock offers a range of sounds from chirping birds to wind chimes to help wake the user, as well as four mindfulness meditations from 5 to 20 minutes in length. Features include a ‘sure wake’ function for those who have a tendency to sleep through alarms, and a ‘back to sleep’ meditation for people who have disruptive sleep patterns or suffer from insomnia.
“Meditation completely transformed me. It breaks my heart to see so many spending day in and day out feeling stressed and miserable. This app is all about making meditation accessible. I want other people to experience the same benefits as I have,” she adds.
When she initially came up with the idea, Wolf convinced Liam Austin, Founder of Next For Sale, to help her build the product and business. She says “his technical and startup knowledge helped bring the concept to life”.
“We’re quite different in the way we operate but we had a great working relationship. I’m a ‘go with the flow’ kind of person, and I needed someone who is meticulous and organised,” Wolf adds.
The pair engaged online freelancers to scale the workload as they needed to keep costs under control.
Wolf learnt a lot by working with developers online. She wanted the alarm to ring even when a smartphone is in ‘do not disturb’ or ‘airplane’ mode, and the developers insisted that was against iOS regulations. However once Wolf was clear and communicated her vision clearly the app design turned out to be perfect and it functioned exactly as she wanted it to.
Wolf says her experience using online workers that you can connect with through platforms such as oDesk.com was fun and rewarding in the end. It also prevented her from wasting initial capital.
Kyri Theos, Country Manager of Elance-oDesk says “When you’re looking for online workers to assist on a project, you really need to have a clear understanding of exactly what you’d like them to create. You need to communicate that succinctly and check in regularly to ensure the project stays on track”.
While many founders test their apps on local markets before going global, Wolf felt that meditation’s relevance has no borders.
“Our marketing is targeted to Australians, but the app can be downloaded from anywhere in the world. That said, I think it will be important to offer the meditation in different languages. Not everyone speaks English and we need to take that into account,” she says.
In the future, Wolf also plans to introduce meditation for anger, forgiveness, and grief.
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