Recently I’ve been under a lot of stress for various reasons, and I find it difficult finding time to actually manage it. I was contacted to see if I’d like to try out the Thrive: Feel Stress Free app and it sounded like something that would really help me out. Over the last few weeks I’ve been trialling the app to see if it helps me to destress. There are three different pages on the app, and all of them have different features.
The first page on the app includes Message, Progress, Wellbeing and Mood Meter. Message is a feature where you can send a message in a bottle, which is a message of encouragement to another person using the app. I like this feature because I like the idea that I’m making someone somewhere smile and giving them a message of encouragement.
Progress is a graph of your progress over the month or week, it records results of your feelings from each day, your daily activities, your goals and your thought trainer (what you complete when you do your mood meter). Wellbeing is all about treatments you can receive for your conditions such as depression and anxiety, it also encourages you to seek help if you need it.
The Mood Meter has a metre of how good or bad you’re feeling on that day, and asks you questions based on how you feel, which is called the thought trainer. The questions differ daily so that you can set your goals to exactly how you’re feeling. I find that it’s best to complete this everyday to track your progress so that you can see how far you’ve come.
There is a whole page dedicated to meditation and breathing techniques to help relieve stress. With the breathing techniques you can do between 3-15 minute durations, it says that 3 minutes of deep breathing techniques 3 times a day has been proven to have long-term benefits. Deep Muscle Relaxation is an activity where you tense and relax all of your body, then parts of your body separately. I found this similar to the exercises you do in Pilates towards the end of a class. Self-Suggestion is an activity that makes you think of a certain word or statement and associate it with being calm.
There are a few different types of meditation under the meditation section on the app. The first type is between 5-25 minutes duration of meditation. There is also mindful walk, which is meditating whilst taking a short walk on a route you’re familiar with. Mindful Earth encourages you to let go of worrying thoughts, while Mindful Body Scan helps you to focus your attention on what you want to focus it on rather than your stressors. The final type of meditation is Sensory, which is guided meditation and enables you to transfer the skills you’ve learnt to any soundscape.
The final page on the app includes Zen Garden and Zen Challenge. Zen Garden helps you to create your own virtual zen garden, which is a relaxing distraction if you just need five minutes. Zen Challenge is a mini game that isn’t very challenging, so it won’t stress you out.
I’ve found this app to be beneficial for de-stressing and I particularly enjoy using the mood meter to see how my mood progresses each day. I also enjoy Deep Muscle Relaxation because it reminds me of the techniques you use in Pilates, which I really enjoy. It does make you feel relaxed and the fact that most of the activities are rather short or you can pick a short option helps, as most of my stress is because I have too much to do and too little time.
If you’re interesting in trialling the app for yourself, you can head here and select I have a coupon, then enter the code FSFOCT300917. You’ll then be able to download the app from your app store and log in using the account you just created.