You looked stressed. In all fairness… don’t we all? Even the most zen among us can’t claim they’re stress free. Where they differ from those of us who find ourselves practically pulling our hair out on the regular is in how they deal with their stress. Me? I go mobile. Believe it or not, there are some great stress management apps out there.
Recently I embarked on a new professional (and personal) adventure. After over a decade of owning my own consulting business – working mostly from home or far-flung exotic locales like, Dublin and Detroit- I’m back in an office, working for someone else. Part of my new gig entails teaching people what a big role stress plays in our over all health and wellness.
To be honest, I could be the poster girl for the ill effects of stress. Hair loss? Been there, lost that. Insomnia? There aren’t sheep enough for all the counting I’ve done. Weight gain? Yeah, we aren’t even going there. This new job has forced be to stare stress right in the baggy, dark-circled eyes and deal with it so I can help others do the same.
My top advice? Find apps that make it easier to coral the cortisol. After all if you’ve got to stress about how to deal with stress you’re sort of doing this whole thing wrong… really wrong.
Stress: There IS an App for That!
Headspace – This app is by far my absolute favorite – and not only because I love the cute British man-voice. Headspace is sort of like a gym for your brain. In daily 10-minute guided meditations you’re guided through ways quite and focus the mind. I find that squeezing in a session or two during the work day really helps renew my energy and stave off that afternoon slump in creativity. (If you want to know more, I wrote a full post and review of Headspace over at (cool) progeny)
Mood Panda – When I was young I carried around a beat up old diary with a lock I’m sure my brothers would never have dreamed of picking. I’d pour every unedited thought into those pages as though I were at confession. For a lonely word-nerd that diary was about as close to a BFF as it got.
Mood Panda may not be a trusty, old-school diary but it is a good app for recording your feelings, literally. Knowing how you’re feeling/felt, when and where you were can be a key step to unlocking the patterns in your stress. From there you can put in some work in avoiding or dealing with those issues in a new way. Plus… pandas!
Attitudes of Gratitude – A while back my side kick and the brilliant brain responsible for keeping The Nuggs up and running – Cameron of Daddy Bookins fame – had a pretty terrifying health scare. In the midst of going through that he started to do daily posts sharing gratitude for things big and small. It was an exercise in grounding. Be thankful for each day, try not to let stress take that away.
If you’re not necessarily into public declarations of thankfulness, this could be the app for you. Record at least one daily moment of gratitude. In doing that, you force stress to loosen it’s grip on your day.
Bright Side Up – I’ve only used this app a few times, but my daughter loves it. Swiping away the clouds and seeing the bright side is something we could all use.
Just click the clouds to whisk them away and bring out a fresh, original BrightUp written by Amy Spencer that can shift how you feel by suggesting something to do, think or try. Use these BrightUps on their own or as a companion to the book Bright Side Up, full of strategies for looking at your life in an entirely new way.
I’ll confess that I find myself singing Always Look at the Bright Side of Life from Monty Python’s Life of Brian when I see this app. Don’t judge, laughter is a stress release after all!
Kick the Stress by Playing
Zen Koi – Have you ever spent time in a Japanese garden with a Koi pond? Isn’t there something inherently calming in just being in a place like that? Would that we could all have a Koi pond in our homes, offices or in line at the DMV, eh? While this app may not be the next best thing it certainly is calming.
I’m not much of a gamer but there is something about guiding virtual Koi around this pond, watching them evolve and chilling out to the zen background music that forces you to relax. Stress falls away as you let go and just play. Play is a great way to manage stress. Go ahead, try it.
These are just a few apps I personally like. The beauty of living a mobile lifestyle is you can find the app, vibe and time that suites you. No need to stress about it, just explore!
Disclosure: As a member of a very cool team of influencers for Verizon Wireless I sometimes receive compensation, cool gadgets to test drive, or get attend special events. All opinions entirely my own, based on my experiences, because you deserve nothing less!