Stress is defined as any change. It can be a good change such as buying a new house, or a bad change like being let go from a job. Stress is always present in our lives and our stress hormone, cortisol, has an effect on our body. You can change the effect of stress on your body by improving the way you cope with changes in your life. There are many well researched ways to cope with stress including yoga, meditation, exercise and so on. If you don’t have time to hit the gym or yoga studio, or you’re not sure how to start meditating, here’s our list of the best apps to manage stress.
- Stop, Breathe, Think – this app is incredibly simple to use and it’s free! You can opt to enrol in a free learn to meditate course, or you can simply do a guided meditation, your choice of duration, once you’ve downloaded the app. If you’re feeling anxious, there’s a meditation for that. If you’re feeling angry, there’s a meditation for that. It will guide you through a series of questions and produce several options for guided meditations for you to try.
- The Five Minute Journal – you can buy a hard copy of this book, or you can download the app for your phone/tablet. This app is a great way to practice gratitude and positive affirmations. In the morning, it will ask you for 3 things you’re grateful for and 3 things that would make your day fantastic. In the evening, you can reflect on your day by entering 3 things that you felt went well and 1 thing you could’ve done better.
- Breathe+ – If learning to meditate sounds like a bit too much for you, but you’d consider practicing some deep breathing to manage your stress levels, this app is for you. You can use this app to slow down your breathing by setting the length of your inhales and exhales. The app has a simple graphic that changes with your inhale and exhale so that you know when to breathe. You can set any length of time from 1 minute up to practice your deep breathing.
Try one or all of the apps to help you manage the stress in your life. By meditating, journalling, or slowing down your breathing, you can have a measurable effect on your stress response. This could look like increased energy, improved sleep, fewer sensations of anxiety or worry and/or improved concentration. Let us know if you have a favourite app that you use to manage stress!