Mental Health has become a pretty popular conversation point over the past year and what a refreshing change it has been. For too long has mental health been swept under the carpet and been a source of embarrassment for sufferers and it’s about time we were able to talk about it openly and honestly. Did you know that two thirds of us will experience mental health problems at some point in our lifetime? So when Thrive asked me to trial their new App ‘Feel Stress Free’, I jumped at the chance. Keep reading to the end and you too can trial the app for a month completely free!
I think self care and self soothing are so important when it comes to mental health and being able to deal with your issues without the need for external help can make you feel empowered and free to live your life knowing that you are in control. The Thrive app has a number of great tools to help you keep control of your mental health whether you are a sufferer of stress or anxiety or not. So many of us spend a lot of time and effort making sure we look after our bodies but how often do we really spend time taking care of our minds?
When you first signup and login to Thrive: Feel Stress Free, you are taken to Calm Island that looks like this with some wonderful soothing music. If you close your eyes you could easily be in a spa! If you’re not into this sort of music and ambience you can mute them in the settings.
There are a number of areas you can focus on from Breathing and Meditation to Deep Muscle and Self Suggestion.
The breathing zone takes you through exercises for deep slow breathing to help gain full relaxation. You can choose the length of your breathing exercise session from 3 to 15 minutes. So it doesn’t need to take ages if you’re short on time. In all the exercises the voice is incredibly calming and soothing – I could listen to her all day long!
The meditation zone has 10 different meditation exercises for different scenarios. All the exercises are designed to help combat stress and help with different senses such as touch, scent and sight and sound. My favourite one is the mindful walk which actually involves going on a walk. As I walk my dog every day it was a perfect opportunity to do this exercise without needing to take time out of my busy day. There is also a short meditation session which you can do when you’re short on time. Each of the exercises tell you all the benefits to doing that specific session so you can tailor it to your individual needs at the time.
The deep muscle relaxation was glorious. I have done similar things before, but it was wonderful to actually take the time to lie down in the peace and quiet and focus on my body and tightening and relaxing the various muscles. It would be great after a vigorous workout if you needed a good wind down!
This exercise is designed to help you associate a word or phrase with a feeling of calm so that then when you are in a stressful situation you can use that word or phrase to get that feeling back. I did a very similar exercise in my NLP course several years back and if you are open to this sort of thing it can work brilliantly. Personally I do struggle with this sort of thing and have yet to get it to work, however, I know many people that swear by it for helping them deal with stressful situations.
There are also two other islands on the app. The ‘Zen’ island has a number of mind games you can play which I often find are the best way for me to combat stress and anxiety. Keeping your mind occupied and busy is a great distraction and works wonders for me. I particularly enjoyed the Zen Challenge that was a bit like a maze and definitely required some thought as you work your way up through the levels! Wise words is a bit like Boggle if you’ve ever played that game, and the Zen garden allows you to design your very own Zen garden!
The progress section records your progress over time. It tells you what you’ve achieved and reminds you of your goals. Each time you log in to the app you are asked to record your mood for that day and that is recorded here too. It is great for seeing if there are any trends in your moods or the way you feel and help you pinpoint what things might be making you feel more anxious or stressed.
This is where you log your daily mood. Once you have said how you are feeling it asks you to think about why you might be feeling that way. It helped me to isolate the little things that were bothering me and also realise when things might be clouding the way I was feeling that day. The reasons they give are fairly generic but I did feel that there was usually something that embodied how I was feeling.
The thought trainer is based on cognitive behavioural therapy and will personalise itself to you as it tracks how you feel. It gives recommendations and helps you to re-frame any negative thoughts and to find the positives in stressful situations.
This section appeared after I had been using the app for a short while. It gives you lots of hints and tips on how to improve your wellbeing from things like Improving your sleep, reducing your caffeine intake, help with finances and helping to delegate better. All things that can often cause us stress in our lives.
I love this idea! You can send other users words of encouragement by way of a message in a bottle. When you click on ‘Message’ it will generate another random user and you can send them a little pearl of wisdom and likewise others can do the same back to you. I am all about the motivational quotes so this, to me, seems brilliant!
When you have completed your mood meter for the day you can click on the sandcastle icon and it will give you some goals for the day based on how you are feeling. It will tell you which sessions you can do and what things would benefit you most. You can also choose for it to remind you to do those things too!
There is so much to see and do in this app and I feel like I have probably left a lot out! I really would recommend it and I know I could definitely have used it more than I did…it’s a matter of making your mental health a priority. Thrive have very kindly offered my readers a month’s free trial of Feel Stress Free and I would thoroughly recommend that you give it a go. It will help you put your mental wellbeing at the forefront of everything you do and help you cope with those stressful situations so much better.
If you would like to take up the free trial follow these instructions:
- On your phone or tablet, visit www.thrive.uk.com/signup and click ‘I have a coupon’
- Enter your email address, a password and coupon code: JUNE18SUMMERFSF
- Click the link in the verification email you will receive to activate your account. You will now be redirected automatically to download the app from the relevant app store
- Login using your account details and start to feel stress free!