March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb and, with any luck, this article will help you to do the same with your stress level. Whether it be your family, work, relationships, deadlines, health concerns. or any number of other stressful topics, do you often find yourself feeling tense and uptight? You know you’re not alone.
Our lives are far too hectic to succumb to any one of these trigger points. Our lives are far too hectic, period.
But you can actually use technology to help you unwind.
- Stress Tracker. This app was created by a team of psychologists and is described as the perfect tool to help you take charge of your emotional, mental, and physical health. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness principles, it provides an all-in-one personal stress management app that tracks, identifies, and helps relieve your daily stress.
- Breathe2Relax. Breathe2Relax is a portable stress management tool which provides detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and instructions and practice exercises to help users learn the stress management skill called diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing exercises have been documented to decrease the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ (stress) response and help with mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management. Breathe2Relax can be used as a stand-alone stress reduction tool, or can be used in tandem with clinical care directed by a healthcare worker.
- GPS for the Soul. This app, created by Arianna Huffington and Deepak Chopra, operates a bit like biofeedback. You place your fingertip over your phone camera lens, and the app’s built-in sensor will measure your heart rate and its variability. Then, factoring in your age, weight and gender, the app displays your stress level, indicated along a color spectrum that corresponds to an emotional state. It then offers you ways to help lower stress, like listening to calming music or viewing relaxing photos (or family pictures). At the same time, a pacer will help regulate your breathing as soon as you sign into the app. Watch your screen to see a “pulse” — a slightly darkened area of the background shaped like a sine curve — go up and down. Follow the curve as it rises and falls, breathing in and out. As you steady your breaths, you are already de-stressing.
- Awareness. This is one of the apps that reminds us to take breaks. It offers a non-intrusive reminder of how long you’ve been working. Awareness shows in your menu bar how long you’ve been working without a break and will chime hourly reminders to get away from your computer. When you do take that break, no need to tell Awareness — it can tell when your computer is idle and will automatically reset its timer.
These are just a few apps that are available to help you de-stress and there are many more. If improving your quality of life is part of your goals this year, then take this article to heart and you may be on your way to less stress and more "app-iness".
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