Everyone feels stress – it’s a normal part of life. But sometimes it’s just too much. It lasts too long and anxiety creeps in taking us to really dark and scary places. It’s not easy to be objective and slow down while spinning and find a way to hit the brakes on stress. Here are a few apps that helped me and the people I love. Some of them, like Headspace and Calm, I use on a daily basis.
A few notes:
For non-believers: “Anxiety disorders are serious medical conditions – just as real and serious as physical disorders such as heart disease or diabetes. Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders in the United States. An estimated 264 million people worldwide have an anxiety disorder and women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.” Find out more at Adaa.org
For health-seekers: I applaud you – seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Identifying and addressing anxiety underlying factors is not easy. Be patient and ask for help.
Andy Puddicombe is the founder and the voice of this app. If you have time, I would highly recommend watching his Ted talk or to watch/listen/read his interviews. His story is very unusual and his personality and outlook on life are as kind and calming as his voice.
This meditation app is good for beginners and teaches you how to reduce anxiety and stress, sleep better, and much more. You can pick and choose and create your own practice and adjust it to your needs and the time you have.
Headspace serves over 35 million people in 190 countries, so don’t be intimidated and join them. Start with short and guided meditations.
This beautiful app will teach you meditation and how to reduce anxiety, improve focus, increase happiness and practice gratitude. It will also help insomniacs.
My favorite parts are the sleep stories. They are exceptional, and I guarantee that you will be asleep in 10 minutes. Choose something that works for you, switch from nonfiction to fiction, or listen to fairy tales. I love the story by Matthew McConaughey, “Wonder” and my kids love “The Velveteen Rabbit.” And please check the ASMR* section where Emma Whispers Red quietly whispers this calming tale. Enjoy, and you’re welcome.
*ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s a tingly sensation that usually begins in the crown of the head and works its way down the back and through the limbs. The feeling is extremely relaxing and is often triggered by soft sounds, soft voices, whispering and light touching. Many people have an ASMR experience during a head massage or a facial, having their hair played with or while someone strokes their arm.
And, if you are not in the mood for a story, go straight to soothing music sounds.
If you are a skeptic and don’t believe in calming your mind with meditation and mindfulness, go straight to the 10% Happier app and watch and listen to the “The Basics” and “Essential Advice” with Joseph Goldstein. This app will change your mind.
You will have to face yourself and think about how your mind and body feel. Just by answering a simple question and marking down how you feel physically and mentally (great, good, meh, poor, rough), it will help you identify and name your true emotions. Based on this feedback, the app recommends a list of meditations tailored to your needs.
For more apps find out more at: adaa.org
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have.