I’ve had the pleasure recently of trying out a fantastic digital app which gives you instant access to breathing exercises, meditation, deep muscle relaxation, self-hypnosis and more. And I have to say, if I’d had access to the ‘Feel Stress Free’ app by Thrive back in 2004 it could have prevented a whole load of angst for me!
I used to wake in the morning with what felt like fear coursing through my veins. I remember an accident and emergency doctor quizzing me on my possible use of recreational drugs because my heart rate was setting off the alarm on the heart monitor.
Once he’d established this wasn’t the case I was subjected to a barrage of tests, some quite scary like the one that slowed my heart down so much that it felt like I was having a heart attack, and eventually I was told to go home. It was 10 pm and raining and as I got into my car my pulse was even higher than the 150 beats per minute when I’d arrived at hospital that day. I know now that research shows that this kind of unresolved stress can lead to increased anxiety and possibly Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. No wonder then, my symptoms did not just go away!
The medical profession did its best for me but its best was woefully inadequate. The only thing they searched for that day in hospital was a physical reason for my symptoms and months later when my GP decided that my symptoms were not physical I noticed the word ‘anxious’ written in red on the front of my medical notes; a label that made me feel weak and inadequate.
How different life could have been if the first thing I’d done each morning long before 2004 when my symptoms took hold was to engage with ‘Feel Stress Free’ by Thrive…
The mere fact this app exists acknowledges the very real symptoms people with anxiety experience. Back in 2004 this acknowledgement would have gone a long way towards showing me that I wasn’t alone and I wasn’t going mad! Of course, we didn’t have this digital technology back then but to have had this kind of immediate connection with someone who understood would have enabled me to calm down the adrenaline rush I felt on waking and settle my thought processes.
Being accessible is the key. People with anxiety need help NOW…not an appointment sometime next year…if you’re lucky! So being able to check in with Thrive each morning or whenever I needed it and just…
CALM my fear-laden thoughts with meditation…
SOOTHE my tense muscles with deep muscle relaxation and
CREATE positive anchors with self-hypnosis…
Feel Stress Free IS a life-line!!
It provides all of the above and you also get to learn more about your anxiety and what research-backed self-help activities are effective. Activities like making your own Zen Garden and sending a message in a bottle to other anxiety cast-a-ways demonstrate beautifully that the act of DOING switches off that part of your brain responsible for intrusive thoughts. And that helping others and showing gratitude add another layer of resilience which further reduces your desire to run and hide. All this is tailored to how you are feeling in a given moment by the Mood Meter 🙂
I have learned a great deal about anxiety since 2004 and I know that we will all benefit from having access to this kind of mental health self-care and awareness app. Engaging with it, particularly before symptoms of anxiety are obvious has the potential to raise the positivity quotient of the entire human race! So just as we need to form great habits with diet and exercise in order to live healthy lives we also need to engage in daily mental health activities such as those on ‘Feel Stress Free’ by Thrive in order to live happier, less stressful and more fulfilling lives!