Seriously? An app for your phone to help you relieve your anxiety? Sometimes my phone is the cause of anxiety. The last thing I think about doing is pulling out my phone to help me relax.
I was driving and talking, to one of my kids, on the phone, because of course one must be available at all times. We are having a fairly serious conversation. Another one of my kids calls and I ignore it, 1. because of the seriousness of my current call and 2. because I have not yet mastered the art of putting a call on hold, answering another call, then going back to the original call, without loosing both calls. Anyway, kid #2 calls back again and yet again. Since I am not answering the call, kid #2 texts me. So, while I am having a conversation with #1, my phone is buzzing, vibrating, and dinging in my ear, causing me some anxiety. Ring in kid #3. #3 calls once and then an unknown number is calling. Still not answering but having a hard time carrying on my conversation with #1. Someone has left a voicemail, someone is calling, someone is texting, my phone is buzzing, vibrating, dinging, and now chiming. I want to throw my phone out the window, not pull up an app to help me manage all of this anxiety.
I’m sticking with some tried and true techniques to reduce my anxiety.
Practice observing (your thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations) with compassion, and without judgment.
- “Is this worry realistic?
- What is the likelihood of this really happening?
- What if something bad does happen?
- If the worst happens, what would be so bad about that?
- Could I handle that?
- Is this really true or does it just seem that way?
Look around you:
Find 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. Or
Find 5 things of different colors, name their five colors. Like: Brown chair, white table, green couch, red walls, blue box. Brown, white, green, red, blue. Repeat them in your head or say it out loud if you prefer.
Slowly inhale a normal amount of air through your nose, filling your lower lungs. Then exhale slowly through your mouth. Continue this gentle breathing pattern with a relaxed attitude. Concentrate on filling only the lower lungs.
Sit comfortably. Take a long, deep breath and exhale it slowly while saying the word “relax” silently. Close your eyes. Let yourself take ten natural, easy breaths. Count down with each exhale, starting with “ten. This time, while you are breathing comfortably, notice any tensions, perhaps in your jaw or forehead or stomach. Imagine those tensions loosening. When you reach “one,” open your eyes again.
Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, right behind your front teeth. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4. Hold your breath for a count of 7. Release your breath from your mouth with a whooshing sound for a count of 8. Without a break, breathe in again for a count of 4, repeating the entire technique 3-4 times in a row, then resume normal breathing and activity.
If the phone app idea does appeal to you, here are some you can check out:
- Anxiety Free
- Worry Box
- Stop Panic & Anxiety
- Self-Help for Anxiety Management
- Worry Watch
- Stop, Breathe & Think
- 7 Cups