Today is National Stress Awareness Day! It’s a great time to take a moment and think about our wellbeing, and the most effective ways to stay productive when it all gets a bit too much.
No matter whether you’re studying for exams or chairing a big project at work, stress can easily take its toll and make a hard day seem even harder.
Stress Awareness Day was created by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA) to help provide information and strategies on how to manage stress, both for individuals and organisations. Unchecked stress can ultimately lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, so it’s important to take a step back and identify the things in your life that make you feel tense or under pressure.
Here at iD, we’ve got a list of four apps that are great for helping to combat stress, and we’re also running a competition to win a Special Edition Fitbit Versa 2 to celebrate. More on that later, though:
Take a deep breath. This app is great for helping you to remain conscious of the way you breathe, and how it can affect the way you deal with stressful situations. The app provides useful info on the way stress affects the body and teaches you the skill of diaphragmatic breathing. It’s not a standalone tool to purge stress from your life, but it can help you make significant improvements. It can even help you keep your mood stable, control anger and manage anxiety. Try it out!
2.Sanvello: Stress & Anxiety Help (Free, with in-app purchases)
Sanvello isn’t just about meditation or dealing with stress as and when it occurs. Instead, it’s a comprehensive platform that offers you long term skills to help you deal with stress, anxiety and depression. With Daily Mood Tracking, you’ll answer a few short questions each day to give the app a clearer picture about how you’re feeling. You can also track things like exercise, caffeine intake and sleep to see how certain factors affect your mood. With this data, you can make changes to your lifestyle that you know are guaranteed to have a positive impact.
That’s not all though. You’ll also find Guided Journeys recorded by experts that draw on techniques from mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other effective skills that can help each day seem more manageable.
3.Happify (Free, with in-app purchases)
You’d be forgiven for thinking that graph-based data isn’t the best way to examine something as subjective as emotion. But with Happify, it works. Designed with quick use in mind, Happify is an app that fits easily into your routine. Combining activities and games designed by scientists and mental health experts, all you have to do is complete a few tasks a week to develop personal satisfaction and effective ways of tackling negativity. You can even track your progress over time and see how a few simple changes in the way you think can drastically improve your outlook!
4.Headspace (Free, with in-app purchases)
Sometimes, an activity that would be effective in tackling stress at work wouldn’t be as useful late at night when you’re at home. Headspace is an all in one guided meditation, mindfulness and sleep app, that helps you deal with stress and anxiety whenever it occurs. Meditation is split into themes, so you can pick the most relevant topic and learn how to apply your newly learned stress-combatting technique to a real-life situation. You’ll find courses on everything from Dealing with Regret to Finding Focus.
And if stressful thoughts cause you to have sleepless nights, the ‘In the Sleep’ by Headspace experience may give you the peace and quiet you need. There are guided meditations for sleep, relaxing music and ‘sleepcasts’ recorded to relax your mind.
Those are just four apps that we’ve found to be a great help when dealing with stress and its symptoms. Why not download and try them out?
And of course, we haven’t forgotten the competition - we’re giving you the chance to win a Fitbit Versa 2 Special Edition fitness watch with Amazon Alexa! All you have to do is tell us below how your phone helps you combat stress. It could be that one friend in your contact list that makes everything better, a distracting game or a great app we’ve never heard of.
Let us know by Wednesday 13th November, and you could win a brand new smartwatch to help keep tabs on your wellbeing!