18 May, 2016
We all experience tension in our lives. In fact, technology can often be a source of the tension. But technology can also help us relax and think less about our troubles.
Sometimes, Facebook posts, tweets, or web news reports can be upsetting. Emails can also bring bad news, like criticism from a boss or angry words from a friend.
It can be tempting to step away from technology. But perhaps technology offers some solutions to life's tensions, instead. There are some tech tools designed to help people relax.
Sound can have a major effect on a person's state of mind. Filling a space with peaceful music can ease nerves. YouTube offers hours of videos with calming music. Type "relaxing music for stress relief" in the YouTube search box.
Spotify is another online service where soothing sounds can be found. Check out the playlist, "Pure Relaxation."
Sounds of Nature
Humanity produces a lot of noise – car horns, televisions, airplanes and crowds. But there are sound effect apps that can help drown out that stressful noise. Listen to recorded nature instead, like ocean waves, raindrops, birds singing and crickets chirping.
Many free apps provide such sounds.
Calm.com is a website with tranquil sounds, soothing images and guided meditation. Choose between timed or open meditation for a single session. There are also longer-term programs available.
A YouTube video provides an example of Calm.com meditation.
The website also offers videos designed to ease worries. The videos include scenes of nature, such as clouds, ocean and the beach at sunset.
Flowy is an electronic game developed to help users fight panic and anxiety attacks. The designers said they based the game on findings from a group of studies about how to ease anxiety. Flowy teaches controlled breathing.
The developers say that by playing Flowy for 90 seconds a day, users can learn to breathe better and become calmer. The website says Flowy "produced measurable decreases in anxiety and panic symptoms" during testing.
Flowy puts the user on a boat in the middle of the ocean where he or she must sail the captain home. The app guides the user to breathe rhythmically to power the boat across the water. Tap the screen to steer the boat to collect coins and avoid obstacles.
Flowy is available as a free app.
Problem-solving can help redirect thoughts. Puzzle apps and websites can help the brain work on solving problems. The skills used to solve puzzles may help solve real life problems.
There are many games that are easy to learn but difficult to master, like Curvy. It is a free online puzzle game where the user spins and connects tiles to complete a circuit.
Do Nothing for 2 Minutes
By taking a two-minute break, you may become calmer.
Do Nothing for 2 Minutes is a website from Calm.com. It helps you take breaks during the day.
Head to the website and enjoy a beautiful image and calming sounds. A timer counts down two minutes during which you are supposed to do nothing. If you move the mouse, touch the keyboard or take other action, the clock stops and the two minutes begin again.
Make the world a more beautiful place as you forget your troubles. Weave Silk is a website that lets the user create art by dragging a cursor around the computer screen.
Creations can be shared with others.
Weave Silk is also available as an app for iPhone and iPad.
The website is free, but the app costs money.
Make Everything OK
Did you ever wish for a website that would solve all your problems? Make Everything OK tries to do just that.
Click the button at the Make Everything OK website and watch the magic happen.
I'm Caty Weaver.
Carolyn Mohr wrote this report for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
Do you use tech to help you relax? Do you have any favorite apps or websites that calm you?
Share your thoughts in the Comments Section below or on 51VOA.COM.
Words in This Story
upset - adj. angry or unhappy
boss - n, the person whose job is to tell other workers what to do
tempting - adj. causing an urge or desire to have or do something
drown out - v. to overwhelm by a louder sound
chirp - v. to make a short high-pitched sound
tranquil - adj. quiet and peaceful
meditation - n. the act or process of spending time in quiet thought
scene - n. a view or sight that looks like a picture
panic - n. a state or feeling of extreme fear that makes someone unable to act or think normally
anxiety - n. fear or nervousness about what might happen
obstacle - n. something that makes it difficult to do something
master - v. to learn (something) completely
circuit - n. a path or trip around something
grid - n. a pattern of lines that cross each other to form squares on a piece of paper, a map, etc.
overlap - v. to lie over the edge of (something)