|We've all had those days when it seems like nothing is going right... you wake up in the morning only to realize you slept through your alarm! You race to get ready, skipping breakfast, end up missing the bus, and getting to work half an hour late. Your coworker asks you how your morning has been and you automatically snap at them.
How would you be feeling in this scenario? Your body may tense up, while your heart races and your thoughts feel scattered.. you feel on edge and anxious and despite getting more sleep than usual from sleeping in, you feel exhausted. And you just started your day! Talk about a stressful start to the day.
What if you had a way to feel more relaxed and stress free in this situation so that you could go about your day without snapping at your co-worker again? Introducing the Feel Stress Free App by Thrive! A perfect solution for those moments when you're having a rough start to your day, or needing a way to unwind any time you feel your stress levels rising.
Review: Feel Stress Free App by Thrive
I had the chance to try out the Feel Stress Free App by Thrive for myself. After arriving on my island with the sun shining high in the sky, an immediate sense of calm washed over me, just from the aesthetics of the platform.
I also noticed the slow relaxing tune that was playing in the background which added to my sense of relaxation. Such a great start and I hadn't even started chatting with the guide that instantly greeted me with a message and instructions about how to use the application.
Mood Meter & Thought Trainer
The mood meter was next on the agenda. As a therapist, I find it helpful to encourage clients to track their mood over time to identify patterns or ways to adjust behaviour in order to feel better.
I found it easy to record my current mood using the slider option. Most importantly, I wasn't feeling frustrated or anxious by using the platform so far. Next, I was asked to describe more about my situation by selecting bubbles that corresponded to how I was feeling (at the time I was feeling pretty good).
I appreciated that I was asked to describe how I was feeling in a more in-depth way as one component of feeling supported and understood is to have a sense of interaction and to be asked inquisitive questions.
After finishing the initial questionnaire, I was given my results which included suggestions for goals to complete in order to enhance my emotional well-being. After doing a bit of research, I also found out that if my results had been worrying, the app would automatically encourage me to reach out for more support, like from a doctor, so that I may have a proper assessment of my concerns.
Goals & Progress
Overall, I found the initial questionnaire phase of the Feel Stress Free application easy to go through and helpful to see the recommended goals which were deep muscle relaxation, light exercise, and to increase my social connections.
The recommendations were definitely in line with my own thoughts of activities that could help my overall well-being and would be strategies I would encourage a client to consider.
You can access your progress by using the arrow keys on the bottom left and right of the screen. You can check your progress over the weeks and months to see any shifts in your emotional well-being, which felt very encouraging to keep up with my goals.
I was curious to try out the relaxation exercises through the app as I am an advocate for being intentional with slowing down and spending time relaxing as most of us lead quite busy, erratic lives.
For each relaxation exercise, there is also a section to learn more about the benefits of the and include evidence-based research and links to see these studies which I found very credible.
I tried out the Deep Muscle Relaxation exercise first and was pleasantly surprised that there is a quiet and relaxing audio in the background and the exercise is led by an gentle voice who speaks slowly and gives you instructions to tense and relax areas of your body and also spend moments focusing on your breathing.
I felt like I was able to allow myself this time to examine how much tension there really was throughout my body and was able to give myself approval to spend time relaxing. Following the exercise, I felt a sense of calmness and as though my body was much lighter.
The Calm Breathing was also an easy exercise, and I enjoyed the ability to choose how much time to spend on this activity. The same voice led me through the belly breathing exercise as my guide visually demonstrated the technique. When I finished, I noticed that my thoughts were much more settled and I felt my lungs expand.
The Meditation section was one of my favourite as it uses your environment and senses to help you feel more grounded and relaxed. I also enjoyed the Self Suggestion exercise which reminded me a bit like self-hypnosis and was helpful to associate a state of calm with the phrase I chose 'Let Yourself Be Calm'.
Using the arrows on the bottom left and right of the screen you can swivel your screen around so that you can access an area of your island where you can play with a virtual Zen Garden which was a nice distraction and fun to create without getting real sand everywhere.
Two other games are available, Wise Words and Zen Challenge, both helped me take my mind off the constant to-do list that piles up in my own head. Sometimes it can be good just to do something fun even though we're not ticking something off our list.
You can even send a Message in a Bottle to other Thrive members with words of encouragement. You choose a nickname and message to send so that others feel hope and compassion along their own journey of thriving. Such a great idea!
After trying out the Feel Stress Free app I felt a sense of calm and stillness in my mind and body. Try it out for yourself! You can access the app from your phone or website and spend as much or as little time as you want on each exercise.
If you're looking for help to feel more calm, less anxious and more relaxed, definitely give this app a try! Thrive is a paid subscription service - try for free this month with the code for January: THRIVE180131
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