From home pamper sessions to luxury spa breaks, there are so many ways to de-stress and relax. A massage, facial or pedicure could be just the thing you need to clear your mind and kick-start a voyage of mindfulness. There’s just one problem – when faced with so many stresses and strains in our day to day lives, our worries can sometimes reappear once we get back to reality. Thankfully, by making an ongoing effort to manage stress we can often keep it at bay. One way of doing this involves downloading stress-busting apps to your phone. Here are just a few of the best:
Happify promises to be your ‘personal happiness trainer’ and includes a library of de-stress games, motivational articles, quotes and audio snippets from mental health and mindfulness experts. The app is free and once you’ve downloaded it you’ll be given a short questionnaire to assess how stressed you’re currently feeling. Once the app has determined your current level of wellbeing, it will recommend the right ‘medicine’ for you – and by medicine we mean games, articles and inspirational talks.
As silly as it may sound, your breathing plays a huge part in your mental and physical state. Breathing may seem like the easiest thing in the world but, although you’re certainly doing it well enough to keep yourself alive, you may be surprised to learn that your breathing technique could be improved for better health. Breathe2relax is a fantastic app for those looking to improve and practise their breathing to achieve a calmer and healthier state of wellbeing.
Labelled the ‘gym membership for your mind’, meditation app, Headspace, was designed to help people get their mental health in shape. It’s widely considered to be one of the best mental health apps available and is a great way of promoting mindfulness and improving concentration while also minimising stress and anxiety. If you’re new to meditation, Headspace will talk you through it step by step. All you need to do is find a quiet, comfortable spot for 10 minutes each day and plug your headphones in.
Calm: Meditate, Sleep & Relax
Calm does exactly what it says on the tin by helping you achieve a state of peace and tranquillity with the help of meditation, sleep and relaxation tools. The app includes a selection of blissful sounds and music tracks to listen to on your next meditation session along with guided meditations to help your focus and prevent your mind from wandering.
Pay It Forward
Being kind to one another is widely believed to be an effective stress buster and, by doing good deeds on a regular basis, we can often improve our happiness and sense of wellbeing. If you’ve never heard the term ‘Pay It Forward’ before, it’s basically the idea of doing a good deed for a stranger so that they feel inspired to do a good deed for someone else. For example, you could offer to pay for someone else’s coffee your local cafe and they could carry an elderly neighbour’s shopping from her car to her driveway. If you’re struggling for ideas and inspiration, the Pay It Forward app is a great place to start. You’ll receive regular good deed suggestions and, every time you do something nice for someone else, your act of kindness will be added to your profile. Those who complete the most good deeds will not only be added to a leader board, they’ll also benefit from the feel good vibes that come with helping others.