App Review: Breathe2Relax, Mindfulness Coach, Stress Check

HelpGuide.org asserts, “If your methods of coping with stress aren’t contributing to your greater emotional and physical health, it’s time to find healthier ones.

There are many healthy ways to manage and cope with stress, but they all require change. You can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose, it’s helpful to think of the four A’s: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.”

Stress management is a vital skill that everyone should have so they can manage their anxiety and address particularly stressful situations appropriately. However, everyone is different so a stress management technique that works for Sally might not work as well for Joe. Luckily, the digital age has given the world mobile stress management tools in the form of smartphone apps. These following three apps are great options for those looking for better stress management methods.

Breathe2Relax

On the Mayo Clinic’s website staff members write, “Relaxation techniques are an essential part of stress management. If you’re an overachiever, you may put relaxation low on your priority list. Don’t shortchange yourself. Everyone needs to relax and recharge.” That’s where Breathe2Relax, a free app for iPhones and Android devices, comes in. Breathe2Relax provides users with instructions and exercises to assist with managing stress through diaphragmatic breathing, a common stress management technique. While this app is not connected to any social networks, Breathe2Relax illustrates how stress affects the body and tracks your progress.

Mindfulness Coach

According to the University of California Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, “Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.”

Available for free in the iTunes app store, the Mindfulness Coach app offers exercises, information and a mindfulness tracking log. Developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to assist veterans with PTSD, tracks your mindfulness progress and helps you be more mindful in a variety of situations such as eating, breathing, and listening. As mindfulness is a very personal experience for people, Mindfulness Coach is not equipped with any social network or community functions.

Stress Check

Another free app available for download from the iTunes store, Stress Check provides users with a stress assessment tool. Using the tool, users can learn more about how stress is affecting them and their bodies. Once a user has completed the stress assessment, detailed information about their results along with useful exercises are provided. For users interested in learning more about managing their stress, in-app purchases are available such as mindfulness meditation sequences and yoga videos.