Monday, September 2, 2013

Freaking Out? There's an App for That

A iPhone or iPad is a great aid to stress reduction and mindfulness practice. Being a caregiver with a hectic job means I never know when a bad day will pop up. You can respond to this one of two ways: 
  1. Waiting for another shoe to drop
  2. Working proactively to stay calm, centered and abiding in God.
No. 2 works a lot better than No. 1.

In my Relaxation folder on my iPhone, I rotate, doing one app at day at least, with a timer set to remind me to stop, pray and de-stress at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

I call it my "Jesus Calling" alarm, and it's a harp sound. I stop and read "Jesus Calling," a great app based on a great devotional book.  The second time, I read a Bible verse on the iMissal blog or the "Girlfriends in God" email.  My Faith app folder on my iPhone includes a Bible, "iTalk to God" app, my church's app, and iMissal/Daily Office (because I still love a lot about the Catholic church even though I'm in the Vineyard movement now.)

The apps for mindfulness and stress reduction were mostly free, although I did do some add-ons to music and guided meditations. My favorites include:
  • "Stress Meditations" from the Cleveland Clinic
  • "Relax Free" from Andrew Johnson  (We liked that so much we bought his Relax + app as well.)
  • "Calm" from
  • "The Mindfulness App" from Catherine Polan Orzech, who teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia
  • "Office Harmony"
  • Any of the apps from the Meditation Oasis team featuring Mary Maddux, especially "Simply Being"
It's just a few minutes, but I can make a big difference.  If I'm caught in crisis communications or meetings, I just try to breathe deeply about six times.  It really gets you more centered in less than 60 seconds. 

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