Pause is a beautiful new mindfulness app from ustwo, the creators of the popular game Monument Valley. Inspired by Tai chi, the developers took a unique approach to help you find meditative states. The Pause app guides you to make micro movements with your finger via hypnotizing visual feedback and sound cues. These slow, deliberate movements shift your state of mind to become more present, relaxed and focused.
The experience begins with soothing sounds and text prompting you to place your fingertip on the screen. When you do, a small lava-lamp style blot appears and begins to swell in size. "You can interpret it as your energies of focus regrouping" says studio head Marcus Woxneryd. From there, the app encourages you to make micro movements to grow the blot until it envelopes the entire screen. Then, the app suggests you close your eyes to let yourself fall into a deeper state of calm attention. A bell chimes when the session is over.
Although Pause is not vetted with controlled trials, its approach is backed by scientific research and theory. The developers incorporated Attention Restoration Theory and physiology to activate the parasympathetic nervous system for the relaxation response.
Pause is available for iOS and Android.