I have struggled with anxiety since I was 11 years old (well I have always been a little tentative about everything but I noticed a massive jump in anxiety levels when I was 11) so I believe that I have had many a year to discover what works and what doesn’t to calm my anxiety. I thought that I would share with you a few tips on how I handle my anxiety, starting with apps:
The free version of Headspace is absolutely amazing. When looking for apps, I didn’t want to spend any money as it wasn’t my fault that I was just a natural worrier. You need to set up an account with them when you first use the app but it is pretty much just an email address and a name, and the emails are only as frequent as you use the app. Then, you will only need an internet connection at the beginning as you download the 10 minute guidance sessions to your app and will not need an internet connection from there on in. Andy Puddicombe, the guy that talks you though the meditation sessions has a very calm voice which helps you relax when you are listening to him. I always used this app at night before bed as it was a long enough session to help me get to sleep. Also, if it wasn’t long enough, you just start the next session. There are 10 free sessions overall based on slightly different things so your head won’t get used to it and start reciting it.
If you are willing to pay for the app then purchasing the headspace subscription will allow you access to a lot more content on the app – sessions about beating phobias to negative self-image thoughts. If you are having difficulty with anxiety in a number of areas, Headspace is certainly an amazing app that can help you. (The subscription would set you back between £3.74 – £7.95 per month or £249.85 for an eternal supply of Headspace [as of January 2017])
This was the first app I had ever downloaded. After me and my Dad were involved in quite a traumatic accident, I found it really hard to get to sleep without reliving the accident every night, so I decided to download as many apps that I could find that had a possibility of helping me. I tried around 20 apps at the time and this was the one I always came back to. I used this one so much that I now can’t listen to it when I go asleep as it just makes me relive how upsetting that time of my life was. This 30 minute long guided meditation was (and still is) the best meditation that I’ve ever listened to and involved myself in as she takes your concentration up your body and relieve tension in your muscles that you didn’t even realise you were putting there.
Because of how amazing this app worked, I purchased the full version. I found this completely pointless as the other 45 minute long guided meditation was pretty similar and had weird noises at the end which woke me up… Some people may like that version better but, personally, I prefer the free version.
Calm is probably one of the most well know anxiety meditation app on the market. With its bestselling book and millions of downloads, it certainly lives up to its expectations. I have to admit, when I first got this app, I was quite disappointed with the amount (or lack of) accessible free guided meditations and still to this day there aren’t many more. They now do a daily meditation that is nice to listen to when drifting off to sleep or feeling a little anxious but it isn’t always free. Calm has a subscription service as well that you can pay for monthly that allows you to log in and be able to use the meditations but it isn’t cheap (I purchased my year’s subscription for around £25). I think that if you are trying to overcome a fear or are getting really stressed about work then it would be a really good subscription to have. But, if you are just wanting something to listen to before you go to sleep, like a background noise, then this isn’t the only app that is on the market that has this kind of standard.
I own the calm book and it is, to me, another way of getting my mind to concentrate on something else. It’s the kind of book that you would grab a pen and fill out – one that gets you involved.
This is a free app that you would integrate into your everyday routine. Mindfulness daily sends notifications to your device (with permission of course) telling you to take a minute to focus on your breathe and give you a mindfulness minute. This is an absolute godsend if you are having one of those days! It also has timed sessions in the practice section on the app that allows you to focus on one area. Whether that’s breathing or a certain subject like letting go, you are bound to find something that you would benefit from. I personally love this app if it’s in the middle of the day. Somehow, listening to the others make me so relaxed that I feel like going to sleep, whereas this app is more reflective and allows me to record my struggles that I faced that day so I can let them go and move on to the next.
Overall, there are SO many apps out there for helping you feel less anxious – whether it’s to help you get to sleep or help stop a panic attack on a train. These apps that I have just mentioned have helped me in my own personal situations and I feel as though they would help other people but everybody is different. I must have downloaded about 30+ different apps until I found the ones that worked for me. It’s a cheap (maybe even free) way to start tackling your anxiety. Obviously, I do recommend talking to someone if you find that your anxiety is getting too much and there are loads of ways of getting help. Counsellors are fully trained to help you conquer your anxiety. I have been to counselling sessions in the past and have found them useful. If you don’t want to have to find a counsellor or find that they are too expensive then if you go to your doctors, then they may be able to put you on a waiting list to see a counsellor on the NHS. Alternatively, there are helplines and charities that can help you. Mind is an amazing one but there are also ones that will be more local to you. For example, for me there is Liverpool Mental Health and Chapter West Cheshire. Or, if you really don’t want to talk to anybody that you don’t know, there isn’t a nicer feeling than talking to a family member or friend about it because they know you best and will have your best interests at heart. Sometimes, just talking about it to one person is what you need to do to let it all out so you don’t feel like your anxiety is a monster that seems to be trapped inside of you.
I will be writing some more posts on how I control my anxiety so keep your eye out. If you would like to know when I will post next, then you can either follow me on my social medias (twitter, instagram, tumblr, pinterest) or I have just got bloglovin’ and you can always follow me on there. I hope you all have a lovely day!
Just to point out, this isn’t sponsored (but if anybody who owns these apps wants to sponsor me I am so up for it firstname.lastname@example.org) and all opinions and findings are my own.