WELL­BE­ING

Smart apps that help you re­lax The magic of mas­sage

Northern Rivers Style - - CONTENTS - HE­LEN HAWKES

With a grow­ing num­ber of apps de­voted to de-stress­ing the up­tight and anx­ious, you can use tech­nol­ogy to help not harm. Here’s some sug­ges­tions.

Calm: Med­i­ta­tion to Re­lax, Fo­cus & Sleep Bet­ter

Fea­tured in the New York Times, this app of­fers guided or un­struc­tured med­i­ta­tions de­signed to re­duce anx­i­ety and stress, im­prove your qual­ity of life, and help you sleep bet­ter. Seven days of calm teaches you mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion ba­sics and then you can sign up for $7.49 a month for a year.

Rain, Rain

It’s 3am and you’re awake, your brain end­lessly pro­cess­ing the day’s stress­ful events. No prob­lem. Tap into any one of 25 free, high qual­ity, sounds, from a thun­der­storm to the sound of the sea­side, to lull you into a peace­ful sleep. More than three mil­lion peo­ple have used this app to help them over­come stress-re­lated in­som­nia.

Hap­pify

This app helps you prac­tise pos­i­tive qual­i­ties such as kind­ness and mind­ful­ness with spe­cific tips, games or vi­su­al­i­sa­tions. Think of it as train­ing for your brain that will ul­ti­mately re­sult in you be­ing more stress-re­sis­tant. You can even track your progress with an over­all hap­pi­ness score.

Breathe2re­lax

Even med­i­cal ex­perts agree that proper breath­ing is at the cen­tre of all re­lax­ation prac­tices. This app, de­vel­oped by the Na­tional Cen­ter for Tele­health and Tech­nol­ogy in the United States, of­fers di­aphrag­matic, belly breath­ing ex­er­cises de­signed to de­crease the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ (stress) re­sponse and help you re­duce anx­i­ety and anger.

The Worry Box

Worry Box is a vir­tual box where you can record all the things you’re stress­ing about. You then have a choice to let it go or get help. If it’s help you’re af­ter, you can se­lect from a list of cop­ing state­ments to help you ap­proach what­ever is mak­ing you up­tight from a dif­fer­ent an­gle.

Acu­pres­sure: Heal Your­self

Acu­pres­sure is an an­cient heal­ing art where you use your fin­gers to ap­ply pres­sure to points on the sur­face of your skin to stim­u­late the body’s nat­u­ral, heal­ing abil­ity. The app it­self helps you lo­cate the pres­sure points to al­le­vi­ate spe­cific symp­toms.

Down Dog

No mat­ter what level yogi you are, this free app will let you find your om and re­lease your in­ner up­tight­ness by cre­at­ing new Vinyasa yoga se­quences each time you want to ex­er­cise. You choose the pace and time of the work­out and each se­quence comes with clear in­struc­tions and ac­com­pa­ny­ing mu­sic.

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