Stress Reduction Tools

Posted on July 24th, 2014 by Seth Nickinson

Digital tools to help you reduce stress.

Websites

Calm.com: beautiful, inviting guided relaxation website with easy sessions ranging from 2-20 minutes and various scenic backgrounds you can change. iTunes

Simply Rain – Sounds of rain. Control the storm by fine tuning thunder and crowsswinds and set a sleep timer. iTunes $0.99

Smiling Mind – cute, elegant mindfulness site and app designed specifically to be attractive and easy for young people, but with an adult option, too. iTunes

The Quiet Place – a humorous, calming minute away from all distractions and electronic notifications. iTunes Google Play

Headspace – Free access to their wonderful “Take 10” series of 10 animated, friendly, super-accessible meditations; subscription required for a range of other content including themed content on Relationships, Stress, Anxiety, plus 3-minute emergency blasts.  iTunes Google Play

Buddha Board – like a peaceful Etch-a-Sketch, engross yourself for a minute in drawing with a disappearing calligraphy brush; the online version of a real-world product iTunes

Free SmartPhone Apps

  • Relax Stress and Anxiety Relief: a simple breathing tool with nice sounds and visuals. 5 minutes of measured breath. iTunes Google Play
  • Pranayama Free – Universal Breathing: sister app to “Relax Stress,” a simple and remarkably helpful breathing app with straightforward cues to calm and connect your breathing. iTunes Google Play
  • Smiling Mind – brilliant, elegant mindfulness site and appsdesigned for young people, but with an adult option, too. iTunes
  • Bubble Wrap – You know popping bubble wrap is distracting and relaxing. There are a whole bunch of these apps, just search your app store.
  • Headspace – Free access to their easy, animated “Take 10” series of 10  super-accessible meditations; subscription required for a range of other content. Also has a Web version.  iTunes Google Play
  • Instant Heart Rate:  gives you a sense of your heart rate by holding your thumb in front of your camera’s flash, and 15 seconds of slowing down and tuning in is a bonus iTunes Google Play
  • Calm – Meditate, Sleep, Relax – from the people at Calm.com, includes a free series of guided meditation programs and blissful music. iTunes
  • Buddha Board – draw disappearing images, like an Etch-a-Sketch for living in the moment iTunes
  • Simply Rain – exactly what it says, a remarkably calming app that lets you listen to different kinds and intensities of rain sounds Google Play

Audio Downloads

Throw these free tracks on your computer, phone or mp3 player. And chill.

UCLA Mindful Awareness Resource Center: 9 free tracks

Tara Brach: a respected insight meditation teacher offers more than 50 meditations

UConn Health Education: offers 3 nice tracks:

The Free Mindfulness Project: collects Creative Commons meditation resources. 33+ tracks divided into:

  • Mindfulness of breath
  • Brief mindfulness practices
  • Body scan
  • Sitting meditations
  • Mindful movement
  • Guided imagery
  • Self Guided Mindfulness Exercises

The Meditation Podcast: guided meditations laid over binaural beats; 27 diverse tracks; also on iTunes

You can also always find tracks on your favorite streaming service, such as Spotify, last.fm, or Rhapsody.

Videos

These are just a “way in” to some of the array of teachers and practices available on YouTube.

Jack Kornfield – Self-Forgiveness Meditation – a teaching from one of the leaders in bringing Buddhism to America over the last 40 years

Jon Kabat-Zinn – creator of the medically accepted Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness “Taster”

Deepak Chopra – a bestselling holistic medicine doctor

Stress Relief (walking through what looks like Joshua Tree)

Pema Chodron – female Buddhist teacher and abbess of Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, noted for her writings and teachings on compassion and fear

Loving Kindness Meditation – a very powerful practice, here are 2 examples

UNH Health Services

Sharon Salzberg