As smartphone technology improves, so will the apps for these versatile devices. There are currently thousands of apps available for the iPhone and Android phone systems and their utility keeps growing by the second.
These apps can do everything, from showing you where the nearest restaurants are, all the way to helping you figure out the best deal on a new pair of shoes, as you shop!
In fact, there are now anti-anxiety apps as well, and today we’re going to tell you about one in particular called “At Ease.” Anxiety Guru contributor Bryan3000 recently purchased the “At Ease” app and wrote a review for those of you that own smartphones and might be interested in finding new ways of overcoming abnormal anxiety.
— Paul Dooley
Created by: MeditationOasis.com
Purchased: iTunes App Store
There are a number of anxiety apps available for smartphone users. I use an iPhone, and have sampled quite a few. Quite honestly, most fall a bit short… but I thought At Ease was worth a review.
Meditation Oasis is a website that offers free and pay options for users. I happen to be a big fan of their guided meditations, so I thought the app might be worth checking into.
The application predictably centers mostly around a meditative approach to quelling anxiety, but I wouldn’t let that dissuade you if you’re not currently practicing meditation. It features some handy tips outside of purely meditative teaching.
Using the App:
One of my favorite features of the app is that all of the pages feature recorded instructions, from the index to the guided breathing. So, Mary Maddox’ voice guides you through each step very clearly and concisely. Mary leads all guided meditation for the website. Her voice alone is calming, soothing and for me at least… provides almost instant relief from stress.
Starting from the index page, you’re given several options. These include guided breathing options, as well as “journaling” pages. The guided breathing options are what they sound like they would be. When you click this page, you get three choices of meditation to choose from.
They range from 9 to 12 minutes long. You also get three music options. Each meditation serves a slightly different purpose, but all aim to quell anxiety. The journaling pages are all equipped with recorded instructions and are aimed at allowing the user to get his/her thoughts and experiences recorded in a written format. This is for later use, but also for therapeutic reasons.
The guided meditations are excellent and it’s apparent to me that Mary and the folks who put this together really did their homework regarding anxiety and the proper approach, in my opinion. The premise behind the instruction given is not just accurate in the meditative tradition, it echos some of the core fundamentals of CBT and other well accepted anxiety therapy techniques. The music is composed by Richard Maddux, Mary’s husband and is excellent for these kinds of meditations.
My suggestions for improving this app would revolve around the journaling option. While I think it’s a great idea, it could be expanded to allow for multiple entries, (pages) or even a calendar. Also, it might be technically challenging to implement, but what about voice-journaling?
People with anxiety need things made simple. Improving and expanding the journaling option could really make a big difference to the effectiveness of this app. Beyond that, while the meditations are great… there are only three, and all are relatively short.
Considering that over 20 long-form free meditations are available at their website, it would seem that a pay-app might feature a bit more exclusive content. On the technical side, implementing some fades on the music tracks as they run out would be a nice touch as well.
Overall, this is a nicely done app. It was well thought out, and I really think if used as intended… could be another good tool in the arsenal against anxiety. While a few things could be improved, keep in mind that this is a $2.99 application. It’s well worth that and probably more. I hope we see the folks at Meditation Oasis release more apps of this nature, as well as future upgrades.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5.00 stars.