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Stress release

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3 Apps That Will Blow Your Mind, Not Your Wallet

I love a good productivity app and these three are incredible. Put a little YOU in your schedule and feed your soul and your mind with positive vibes. Taking a break during your day can be a challenge, but adding a few moments of down time can help boost your productivity and help you feel less stress in your day. Studies show short breaks, 15 minutes or less, will reduce fatigue, improve mental acuity and make you happier. Sounds like a winning plan to me. 

Yoga Studio, by Modern Lotus - $3.99

Developer's description - Yoga Studio includes 65 ready-made classes. Choose your level (beginner, intermediate or advanced), duration (15, 30 or 60 minutes) and focus (strength, flexibility, relaxation, balance or combination) to find the perfect class for you.

We think learning how to move from one pose to the next is important - just as important as learning the poses themselves. That's why all our classes come with full HD video and teacher commentary that's clear and easy to follow.

Mr. Nice Guy description - I've been using this app for several months, and I love that I can listen and watch instruction as I am doing my yoga poses. For a guy that is not so coordinated, I prefer the app over going into a studio and feeling awkward while attempting some of the poses. This app is perfect for someone who is busy and can't dedicate an hour in the studio, plus commute time back and forth from class. Multiple collections are included including beginner, intermediate and advanced essentials. Classes for runners, people with back pain, sun salutations (whatever that is) and my favorite, Yoga Quick Fix (classes in under 10 minutes). Another huge plus is the meditation feature that guides you step by step into deep relaxation. This is a must-have app if you are a travelor or someone that has very limited time, but want to add yoga or meditation into your life.

 iTunes           Modern Lotus

 iTunes         Modern Lotus

Pzizz, by Pzizz - FREE

Healthdeals.com description - A nap can feel quite decadent, but short naps (20 to 30 minutes) also offer some benefits in terms of improving mood, alertness and performance. Touted as “the world’s most advanced sleep and power nap system,” pzizz (pronounced puh-ziz) incorporates “inspiring words, enchanting music, delightful sound effects and binaural beats” to relax and calm users’ minds., The app’s algorithm ensures that the soundtrack varies—there are more than 100 billion—which helps it remain effective. Use the power nap module for quick daytime refreshment and then use the sleep module for a solid night of slumber.

Mr. Nice Guy description - I had never been one to take powernaps, but Pzizz has changed all that for me. Open the app, set your time limit and hit "play." The rest (literally) is taken care of from there. Calm narration leads you into guided sleep as a series of soundscapes lure you into powernap supersleep. Before using this app, I admit I was very skeptical of the idea of an app for napping, but I can assure you, this app is awesome. Other features include a sleep module that will help you get to sleep at night, an alarm clock and tutorials to help you get the right mix of voice and music levels.

Buddhify, by Mindfulness Everywhere, $4.99

Developer's description - Practical, playful and beautifully-designed, Buddhify increases your wellbeing by teaching you mindfulness-based meditation on the go.

With over 11 hours of custom meditations for 15 different parts of your day including traveling, being online, taking a work break and going to sleep, buddhify 2 gives you a simple but effective way to bring more mindfulness and calm to your busy day.

Mr. Nice Guy description - A colorful wheel of options presents opportunity for you to select any circumstance you wish to add meditation. Feeling stressed, can't sleep, difficult emotions, feeling ill? Select your situation and Buddhify will provide a series of meditations to choose from. I find this app particularly good when I am dealing with a high anxiety moment and can't quite get focused or on track. One of several narrators will guide you through your meditation, allowing time for you to take action. As a beginner in the world of meditation this app has helped me realize there are many ways to manage stress and anxiety. Additionally, the app is an amazing tool for anyone searching for a quick dose of mindfulness during a busy day. Over 80 meditations, most under 12 minutes.

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How to Stop! In A Go World.

I started to put air into my schedule. Well, not specifically air, but rather, the action of inhaling and exhaling air and deliberately breathing. It’s amazing what a few cleansing breaths can do for your life. So I got to thinking (always a dangerous thing for me), what if I actually put breathing as a line item on my schedule, and added a place for it on my to-do list. It would no longer be a distraction or an annoyance, but rather a goal. Always the overachiever, I want to accomplish everything on my schedule for the day. Plus, it allows me to strike through another item on my to-do list. Win-win.

I quickly found when I add this period of breathing time in my schedule these last few weeks, I relax more, not take the day with quite the same hectic pace anymore, and I seem to be more in tune with my body. Then I did something totally uncharacteristic for me, I took breathing to a whole new level. I starting taking breathing outside with me on walks. Inhaling. Exhaling. I even added yoga to my schedule. I am a guy who likes variety, and there is something very therapeutic about a cleansing breath or two while doing downward dog.

We can’t figure out why we are always tired, bloated, achy and allergic.

In the U.S., we run at a pace that is unrivaled by any other country and ironically, we wear this as a badge of honor. In other countries, they work hard too, but then they turn off, shut down, disconnect and stroll home after hours. We simply move our workload from the office to our cell phone during the commute home. And when we get home, we spend only a few minutes with our family, maybe take a moment to shove our prepared, processed, shelf stable, sodium pumped foods into our system. Then we flip open the laptop and get a few more hours of work done. The American Dream.

We are doing more harm to ourselves than we realize. The pace is chipping away at our physical and mental health as we try to reach toward the always elusive success quota. We can’t figure out why we are always tired, bloated, achy and allergic. What we really need is right in front of us, all around us and completely free. Air. If we could all learn to be as passionate about our health as we are about chasing the almighty dollar, things might start to get better.

Studies conclude you are actually more productive when you put a break or two (or even three) in your day.

Our bodies are chained to our desk chairs, we can never get it all done and we constantly feel like we are in a hurry, under the gun and running late. At that pace, we simply don’t allow ourselves a mental break. I am guilty of this as well, but this post is therapy for me too as I make my transition from an entrepreneur, writer, speaker, entertainer to a guy that is learning how to breathe more and appreciate what I have in my life.

It’s time to stop, in our go world. Schedule some “you” time. Literally, get “you” on the schedule. Worried about the loss in productivity? Think again, studies conclude you are actually more productive when you put a break or two (or even three) in your day. You will be amazed at how amazing that time slot will make you feel. Research also proves that scheduling a break in your day for yourself allows you an opportunity to control negativity, allows you to mentally recharge your batteries and gives you a chance to really appreciate all you have been able to accomplish.

At first, you may not know what to do with yourself. So here are a few suggestions:

  1. Take a nap (I suggest a great app called pzizz).
  2. Go for a power walk (No app needed, just your legs).
  3. Try some beginner yoga (The Yoga Studio app is great for 10 to 60 minute lessons).
  4. Read a book (My rule is the book should be just for fun).
  5. Meditate, it’s not just for hippies anymore.
  6. Write yourself into a story. Keeping a journal is a great way to chronicle your feelings while taking a break.
Working too much is a gateway activity with bad results like eating poorly, laziness and loneliness.

Working too much is a gateway activity with bad results like eating poorly (fast food, no food or processed food), laziness (inactivity outside of working) and loneliness (look around you when you are sitting and staring at your computer 14 hours a day, you are missing out on life). When in doubt of what to do or how to get some calmness into your life, just take a moment, be still wherever you are, and breathe once. Do it again. Repeat. I promise you will soon get the hang of it, and it will lead you to amazing places.

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