You might find that after a long day you like to put your feet up and watch a good show. Maybe you’ll give yourself an hour to stop answering phone calls or work-related emails and instead just pour yourself a relaxing glass of wine.
Did you know that the device in your pocket that you’ve probably been using on and off all day also carries with it the ability to help you unwind? Your iPhone (or even iPad) is more than capable of clearing your mind and easing your stress in a healthy manner. Three apps in particular can help with managing stress and anxiety, clearing your mind, alleviating stress, and finally drifting off into dreamland for the night.
Take Charge of Anxiety with Pacifica
Pacifica is a relatively new app that launched in January 2015 with a clever set of tools for managing your anxiety and stress – note that there is, in fact, a difference between the two. Having an overwhelming daily schedule or just too much negative energy in your life can certainly contribute to either one or both.
Pacifica’s goal is to remedy all of that by asking that you log your mood every day, then take a few short steps to address any negative feelings you might be having. The app separates these steps into three categories: Relax, Thoughts, and Experiments.
Relax is all about meditation, from deep breathing to muscle relaxation. Regardless of the activity you choose, the goal is to completely calm yourself. Luckily, it doesn’t take too much of your time either.
Moving from daily meditation to daily reflection, Pacifica also encourages logging your thoughts. Interestingly, your keyboard isn’t allowed here – just a voice recording. Talk about what might have triggered stress or anxiety today for up to two minutes. This promotes self-awareness and allows you to go back in time to see how and why your mood fluctuates.
Lastly, the Experiments section wants you to face your anxiety head-on. It suggests taking baby steps toward conquering your stress and fears by tackling them rather than avoiding them.
These tools all combine into one fantastic, free app for quick daily recovery from the tiresome events that preceded.
Relax Your Mind and Body with Headspace
Headspace‘s introduction video tells you to think of the app as “a gym membership for your brain.” The free portion of the app features Take 10, a 10-day program that requires just 10 minutes of your time every day for deep meditation and establishing a healthy relaxation technique.
Pacifica dabbles into meditation a bit but it’s the main focus of Headspace and as such, Headspace expands upon the idea of relaxation much further. Eventually after you finish the free 10-day program, you can choose to subscribe for a wide variety of other targeted relaxation techniques for specific situations, durations and personal goals. You can also track your progress and compare with friends.
As a testament to how well it worked, I began the first session of Take 10 for research and wound up getting lost in complete relaxation for six minutes and 38 seconds before I paused it and realized I should get back to work. It’s quite nice and effective.
Relaxation doesn’t come too cheap with Headspace though. If you wish to subscribe for the full experience, get ready to pay $12.99 per month, unless you’re willing to pay on a yearly basis which breaks the price down to $7.92 per month ($94.99 per year.) If this beats the price of stress, you may find Headspace remarkably beneficial to your daily life.
Let Sleep Pillow Sounds Help You Doze Off
Sometimes you don’t need to spend your time reflecting on your day or meditating away all of your stress. Instead, you just need a good night of sleep. That doesn’t always come too easily even on your most exhausting day, so let Sleep Pillow Sounds help you out a bit.
Sleep Pillow Sounds includes a variety of different relaxing sounds found in nature like ocean waves, birds chirping, wind blowing and more to drift you off to a land of unconscious tranquility. A great feature is the ability to create mixes of multiple included sounds. The built-in sleep timer automatically turns off the sound after a specified amount of time so you don’t waste your battery in the middle of the night.
The pro version of Sleep Pillow Sounds for $1.99 includes 70 different sounds and unlimited mixes, plus an alarm clock and enhancements to the sleep timer. However, the free version should be more than enough for all but the most elite of sleepers.