Uncategorized

Apps for Support (Part 2 – Depression)

Piggybacking on my last post, if you feel that depression is overwhelming you and you aren’t sure where to turn, I encourage you to check out these apps to boost your mood and keep you focused on forward movement. 

               Depression CBT Self-Help Guide – Comprehensive depression treatment app that provides audio (relaxation, emotional training and mindfulness), educational articles, thought training, diary section and coping skills.

               Inspirational Quotes Free – Pretty straightforward; the pleasant surprise comes in the artistic way the quotes are presented.  Easy to share the quotes on social networking. 

               Secret of Happiness – 30 Challenge to improve outlook.  This free-spirited app has prompting questions about your goals and what you are grateful for each day.  Very easy to use.

               Virtual Hopebox – The “remind me” section allows you to upload personal photos, voice memos, songs and/or videos as a reminder of more pleasant things.  The “distract me” section lets you play word and number games or puzzles from the pictures you uploaded.  The “inspire me” section provides an array of uplifting quotes.  My favorite section is the “relax me” section which offers guided meditations, muscle relaxation and breathing audio.  Lastly the “coping skills” section reminds you to schedule pleasant activities into your week, add accountability partners and set reminders (it will sync to your calendar).  

Mindfulness – Straight forward application, offers guided mindfulness exercises, timers and education related to the reasoning behind and benefits of mindfulness practice.

What apps do you use to combat depressive symptoms? Share with below so we can all check them out!

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Inspiration

Apps for Support (Part 1 – Anxiety)

Anxiety encompasses several diagnoses: panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety, and social anxiety to name a few.  I may be a bit behind the times on this topic; however I am grateful to have recently discovered that there are many Apple and Android Apps aimed at helping those suffering from mental health difficulties.  I took it upon myself to download and explore many of them and thought that I would share my top picks with you all! All of these apps are free on Android.  Let’s first take a look at apps that target anxiety:

Virtual Hopebox – The “remind me” section allows you to upload personal photos, voice memos, songs and/or videos as a reminder of more pleasant things.  The “distract me” section lets you play word and number games or puzzles from the pictures you uploaded.  The “inspire me” section provides an array of uplifting quotes.  My favorite section is the “relax me” section which offers guided meditations, muscle relaxation and breathing audio.  Lastly the “coping skills” section reminds you to schedule pleasant activities into your week, add accountability partners and set reminders (it will sync to your calendar).

Relax Melodies- 16 relaxing sounds that can even be combined to find your signature sound.

Breathe 2 Relax – This is a fantastic app for paced breathing.  It allows you to set the length of inhales and exhales and offers great verbal assistance to breathe through your anxiety.

Stop Panic & Anxiety – This is a comprehensive anxiety treatment app.  It offers educational articles, coping skill lists, audio (relaxation, mindfulness and emotional training help) and diary tracking.

Self Help Anxiety Management (SAM)– Very user friendly and comprehensive anxiety treatment app.  Offers immediate audio assistance to work though panic, an anxiety diary, encouragement, psychoeducation, and a social network piece.

Mindfulness – Straight forward application, offers guided mindfulness exercises, timers and education related to the reasoning behind and benefits of mindfulness practice.

 

What apps do you use to decrease anxiety? I’d love to hear about them!!

Inspiration, Uncategorized

I Do Have Time

I was recently contemplating my life and the disparity between what I’d like to do and what I tend to do (see previous post for deeper understanding of this disparity). The main excuse I provide, usually as a rationalization, is that I don’t have time. I’d like to call bull on that one…on myself!
The most frequent example that comes to mind is going to the gym. So often I wake up early, get off work early, or generally have a few hours on the weekend in which I think “I should go to the gym”. I know that going to the gym improves my mood, increases my confidence and sense of mastery; however I typically talk myself OUT of going! The act of talking myself out of going leaves me feeling lazy, defeated and hypocritical. I don’t know about you, but I’d chose accomplished and proud over sluggish any day (and yet I don’t).
The thing is, I always have time. Even if it’s 15 minutes, I could do some free weights and not need a shower. If it’s an hour, I could get in a really “good” workout. The trick is acting from a goal oriented state of mind rather than from current emotion. Action and emotion can exist independently from one another.
Other things I would like to do are: read more, go to parks, call friends and relatives, and paint. I know from experience that it’s not as easy as “just do it”; and yet it is! (simple, not easy ) Once I start doing any of these things, the ball is rolling and I’m more likely to follow through with the task. For example, if the phone is already ringing, I’m not going to hang up on my dear Aunt! If I’m already in the car with my dog, I’m not likely to turn around and go back home, and if I turn off the TV/radio and open a book I am more likely to actually read a chapter.
The message I’m trying to convey is that you (and I) need to peel apart our emotions from our actions. Schedule what you want to do in a week, and find ways to reward yourself for a job well done!

Uncategorized

Vacation Time!

Hey everyone! I am taking the time this morning, as the rest of the house sleeps, to check in with you all. I am on vacation and relishing in it! The trip so far has been a practice in mindfulness. Let me explain this in a new way that may make sense:

After MUCH contemplation, the Buddha discovered that all suffering is a result of desire. More clearly, the disparity between what IS and what you believe SHOULD BE. (I am not promoting or advocating against Buddhism…stay with me…). I was previously aware of the dangers of “shoulding” on yourself or others, which only increases anger at others or shame of self. OK…back to the point. Think of when you get irritable in traffic. There is a great difference between what IS happening (traffic jam) and what you believe SHOULD BE (free flowing traffic). Or when you put on your bathing suit, or when your family isn’t doing what you want them to do…it goes on and on.

So yesterday it rained most of the day. I SHOULD have been at the beach, I SHOULD have been exploring the island, I SHOULD have been…blah blah blah…but I WAS siting inside. So I had to ACCEPT that it was OK to be sitting inside coloring mandalas, it is OK to be sitting inside reading, it is OK to be enjoying family conversation. Only when you reconcile the two scenarios and decide for yourself that you are OK with the present moment, as it is, will you loose the internal conflict and find peace. This is mindfulness my friends. This is freedom from suffering.