In research published in the journal Evidence Based Mental Health, a team at the University of Liverpool found that many mental health apps and online programmes lack "an underlying evidence base, a lack of scientific credibility and limited clinical effectiveness".Simon Leigh, co-author of the study, argues that apps should be "well-informed, scientifically credible, peer reviewed and evidence based"."The rate at which apps come out is always going to outweigh the rate at which they can be evaluated.Mental health apps have grown in popularity at a time when psychological services have faced an increased demand and decreased resources.Many people find it hard to access services because of geography, because of mental ill health, because of physical disability.We've also found that, in the 50% of cases that do get to a GP, they're not able to guide mental health problems adequately."
But now that we can track our steps and how well we re sleeping, what s next?We often don t pay attention to our moods during the day, and wearables could help offer insight, almost like a coach.In the coming months, these devices will become much smarter using machine learning so that they can tell you what to do and when to do it.Already, mindfulness and meditation apps like Pomodoro and Headspace are starting to take off.I think the next innovation is an open-source platform that combines all data with bigger-picture results/events, like annual physicals, information on injuries, illnesses, headaches, fatigue, etc.As VR headset makers succeed in making the virtual reality experience so real that we forget the computer/gaming device, it s only a matter of time until these headsets are fully integrated into society with myriad applications and experiences.
Can your smartphone help you with meditation?Turning to your smartphone for respite from the digital clutter may feel as ridiculous as holding an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in a pub, with your inbox, social networks and Candy Crush Saga just a couple of taps away.Calm is similar to Headspace in its setup: here, the free element is a seven-day course of guided-meditation exercises, while the monthly subscription costs £7.99 and the yearly option £29.99 – the latter is thus a pretty good deal.The Mindfulness App is one of the most accessible apps, offering a decent catalogue of meditation tracks with and without narrators, ranging from three to 30 minutes in length.Smiling Mind is slightly different to the other apps in this roundup, in that it was originally designed for children and young people – even though adults are welcome too.Omvana, Insight Timer, Stop, Breathe & Think, Take a Break and OMG!
Vinaya, the London tech startup that makes jewellery with inbuilt sensors, has announced the launch of a biometric band that can supposedly monitor your emotions.The Shoreditch-based company, which has raised $3 million from a range of big-name investors, including Bebo cofounder Michael Birch and former Index Ventures investor Robin Klein, makes fashionable wearable devices that send you subtle alerts and help you leave your smartphone in your pocket.Founded as Kovert Designs in 2013, Vinaya has previously made vibrating rings, necklaces, and bracelets.The company believes people are finding it difficult to hear their own thoughts and emotions in today's "always on" world.Kate Unsworth, cofounder and CEO of Vinaya, told Business Insider: "What we re doing with Zenta is profiling people very specifically and helping them to understand their own physiological responses to situations.So not just your biometrics heart rate variability, electrodermal activity, and blood oxygen levels but also how many emails are you sending?How many meetings do you have a day?"Zenta has an RRP of $199 £135 but it can be bought for $99 £67 via the company's 20-day Indiegogo campaign, which it launched on Wednesday with the hope of raising over $100,000.Like many other technology startups, Vinaya is aiming to take advantage of machine learning and AI.The company says that its machine learning algorithms build up a profile of the wearer over time, helping them to understand what impacts them most in their daily lives.Vinaya envisions that people will take these insights and use them to structure their lives in a way that increases productivity and happiness, while reducing stress.Vinaya said Zenta features will include:Visual emotion sharingStress, happiness, and mood trackingActivity trackingSleep trackingInteractive breathing and mindfulness exercisesNotification managementContactless paymentsUnique bio identificationMensturation/fertility trackingNOW WATCH: There's a Keurig-inspired machine that makes individual tortillasLoading video...
At home and at work, we increasingly live from distraction to distraction, whether it s the latest celebrity spat on Twitter or breaking news on Donald Trump s most recent gaff.Whilst the UK is a leading light in the readingforwellbeing movement, many initiatives are small and local.The service is powered not by algorithms, but by a community of real people, from librarians to counsellors who believe that there is a book for every aspect of the human condition and that reading changes everything.One of the team of volunteer curators, Julia Webb, a poet and currently writer in residence at Norwich Market, says I enjoy the opportunity to connect with my readers, find out what s going on in their lives, and share my love of reading.I often find myself wishing to reread books that I m recommending too.HuffPost UK Tech is running a two-week focus on our Tech For Good campaign, which aims to highlight the technology that is driving social change and making a positive, long-lasting difference to our world.
Photo: Press photo They themselves have been managers at Google and IDG - now want Rutherhill Jeanna and Eva Ekedahl help other women achieve leading roles. With Women for leaders, the goal is to get more women to apply for senior positions, and to increase the proportion of women in corporate management and boards. There was a void to fill, says Jeanna Rutherhill in a statement. Women for Leaders has two different orientations, a network WfI freemium network where women leaders share as mentors to women who want to progress their careers. Next spring also started a program aimed at women who already have a leadership position "WfI Premium leadership program" Women for leaders in agreement with Hyper Island. We begin with a bootcamp in warmer climes where we mix lectures and workshops with training and mindfulness.
When Marc Benioff started Salesforce back in 1999, he pledged to donate 1% of the company's annual revenues, 1% of its employees' time, and 1% of its product value to nonprofit organizations every year.The company has held steadfast to this pledge as it's grown to become the fourth-largest software company in the world, with more than $8 billion expected in revenue this year.There are two successful anti-establishment presidential campaigns going on right now based on that idea.And when we only focus on our shareholders, that's when it becomes very limiting and that's when we can draw fire from other stakeholders.He had the 500 largest companies there, I'm still not sure how I got there, and he got on stage and said "in your quest for market domination of your industries, don't forget about doing something for other people."Like yesterday I did attend a mindfulness seminar that we had at Salesforce with 500 employees, where we had a mindfulness teacher come in.Rosoff: Mindfulness, what is that, like meditation?Benioff: It's a meditation type practice, just being able to sit quietly and spend time trying to let go of the stress that I collect during the week running a big business.And I'm limited to that.
That's true for everyone, even if you love your job.At Salesforce, CEO Marc Benioff runs a company that employs 22,000 people and will do $8.3 billion in revenue this year.Like yesterday I did attend a mindfulness seminar that we had at Salesforce with 500 employees, where we had a mindfulness teacher come in," he said.Mindfulness is a form of meditation, or as Benioff describes it: It's "a meditation type practice, just being able to sit quietly and spend time trying to let go of the stress that I collect during the week running a big business.Plant both feet on the ground and feel the floor under them.Then go through your body, head-to-toe, relaxing any tense muscles: eyebrows, eyelids, jaw, tongue, shoulders, upper-back/shoulder blades, tummy, thighs, feet.Don't fix things.If you can't relax, just notice how your stress feels in your body.Benioff is such a strong believer in the power of mindfulness that the company put a meditation room on every floor of its massive new building at his San Francisco headquarters.He also dedicated an entire keynote session at the company's huge Dreamforce tech conference to mindfulness training, bringing in tech/meditation experts like Google's Chade-Meng Tan and others to lead the crowd.There's plenty of research that indicates that this kind of mindful meditation lowers stress and helps us make better decisions.
To test the lens through which we consume content, the authors published the same content with same font size and format etc.on digital and paper platforms, before then testing how readers had consumed the information.This flipped on its head however, when people were asked more concrete questions.This situation could be remedied if readers were primed to think abstractly prior to reading the text.There has been a great deal of research on how digital platforms might be affecting attention, distractibility and mindfulness, and these studies build on this work, by focusing on a relatively understudied construct, the authors say.This is especially so as digital devices are not only becoming ubiquitous in wider society, but more specifically in our schools and businesses.
By reminding users to take deep breaths throughout the day and leading them through simple meditation exercises, Apple—via Chopra—claims Breathe can help alleviate anxiety.Torous later told Fast Company that these types of apps are increasingly being investigated by experts.After seven years of studying the benefits of deep breathing, Palley and Moraveji have concluded that slow, purposeful breathing can indeed lower blood pressure and increase endorphins.Spire is currently sold online by Apple and will start appearing in retail stores on July 12.It also illustrates how crowded the mindfulness space is becoming—and how developers like Erez will have to add more bells and whistles to differentiate themselves, now that Apple has basically branded Breathing and integrated it into its device.Some people might be inspired to pay $1.99 per month for Chopra s brand of mindfulness, which includes tips on releasing pain from your cellular memory and some tough inquiries on science that physicists can t answer.
By reminding users to take deep breaths throughout the day and leading them through simple meditation exercises, Apple — via Chopra — claims Breathe can help alleviate anxiety.Torous later told Fast Company that these types of apps are increasingly being investigated by experts.After seven years of studying the benefits of deep breathing, Palley and Moraveji have concluded that slow, purposeful breathing can indeed lower blood pressure and increase endorphins.But I did talk to the creator of another mindfulness app that s been available in the App Store since last year.But this instance is particularly egregious, according to Breathe s developer Ben Erez.It also illustrates how crowded the mindfulness space is becoming — and how developers like Erez will have to add more bells and whistles to differentiate themselves, now that Apple has basically branded Breathing and integrated it into its device.
Some things are just little annoyances, but it s the little things that you forget over and over.If you keep a journal of what annoys you about your home, it will help you remember to actually fix it.Maybe you constantly stub your toe on the coffee table, or find yourself frustrated every time you go to put certain pots and pans away.That s why Katie Holdefehr at Apartment Therapy suggests you start writing it all down:Keep a mindfulness journal for a few days of all the little slip-ups you experience at home... As you start to write down these incidents, you ll likely become more aware of how you move within and feel about your space.You may find yourself noticing things you would typically gloss over, or you may realize how much time you spend avoiding an issue.So when something annoys you around the house, right it down or stick a note in your phone immediately.
And a complex mix of our celebrated 24-hour work culture and attachment to devices makes it even harder to recognize workaholism or the psychiatric disorders it may be linked to.Those who answered at least four questions with a score of four or five were classified as workaholics.However, the fact that all the participants were from Norway makes it difficult to consider what it might mean for American workaholics, Clark pointed out.Judging from these policy differences, said Clark, Norwegians have a very different concept of work-life balance compared to American workers, which could prevent us from generalizing the results among a U.S. population.And while there isn t enough evidence to support the notion that certain therapies may work to curb workaholism, Schou Andreassen writes that perhaps validated interventions used for other addictions, like psychotherapy, medication, stress and time management and mindfulness meditation, may help change workaholic behavior.However, if the workaholic is looking to change their behaviors, they could communicate to their boss the specific times they will be available to respond to work issues e.g., they could say they will no longer be responding to emails after 10pm or on the weekends .
The Apple Watch can do a great many things, and one of those things is being a tool for keeping you active and generally less stressed.This smart little app helps you do exactly that, breathe, and it s designed to help you take a moment from what could be a busy and stressfull day and relax.Breathe will join an already existing feature which reminds you when you ve been sat down for too long.Apple s new watchOS 3 comes with a huge swathe of new features and will be available to download in September.You can use three different short breathing techniques both on your iPhone or through the Apple Watch app with gentle cues telling you when to inhale and exhale.It s not rocket science, but sometimes not-rocket-science is just what you need.
There s other evidence that meditation and mindfulness have positive benefits, even some physical changes to the brain.The makers of the Headspace app have a clever animation that explains some of this:Everyone s experience is going to be different, but there s considerable consensus that the American tendency toward long hours, short vacations, unending obligations, always being available via your phone aren t great for the mind or body.Headspace can track your stats and even get social, though some of it seems to defeat the purpose of focusing on solitude.The cost is $13 if you subscribe one month at a time, or $8 if you agree to a one-year subscription.Stop, Breathe, and Think offers many different themes for focused meditation.They coach you through these specific areas of focus—though I find just about any of them would be decent enough for helping you go down for the night.
This post originally appeared on Zen Habits.For example, at the top of my to-do list today is write Zen Habits post and write intro to declutter course … pretty simple, right?These have no barrier to entry, and always give you some reward, while difficult tasks give you negative feedback and have obstacles to getting started.I ve found that I procrastinate when I m focused on my own comfort, but push through procrastination when I m focused on helping others.A lot of time it s a fear of uncertainty that holds us back.What Productivity Systems Won t Solve Zen HabitsZen Habits is about finding simplicity and mindfulness in the daily chaos of our lives.
The stress of running a startup guided founder Yunha Kim to her next idea: a mindfulness app called Simple Habit, offering five-minute audio meditations so that busy people can squeeze a little tranquility into their day.The app offers a basic wheel of audio-guided meditations for specific scenarios, like having a tough day or needing to get a good night s sleep, along with a fuller library of mindfulness content being uploaded by the teachers on its platform — divided into topics like stress, personal growth, kindness, relationships and work.The app has around 10,000 users at this nascent stage, garnering some early eyeballs after being featured by Apple on the App Store this month.It s officially launching out of beta today, joining a raft of other apps promising the convenience of guided meditation on your smartphone — e.g.But despite some well-formed and weighty competition, Kim is gunning to go big — with her aim being to build out a platform for meditation and mindfulness.It s like how Spotify consolidates all artists into one platform.
If you re like us, then pretty often, so if it was suggested that you take a few moments to meditate each day, you d probably derisively laugh it off as an impossibility.The guided sessions are run by experienced meditation teachers, and although five minutes may sound like a short time for meditation — we often consider such a practice to involve siting cross-legged on the floor for hours — with mindfulness, the benefits come after short sessions.The app promises better sleep, more focus, improved memory, and crucially, less stress.She discovered meditation when stress was at its highest while running her previous startup, Locket, saying learning to meditate changed the way I dealt with stress.In addition to the meditations, the app features podcasts, a calendar to track progress, and reminders to get meditating.If you like it, it ll cost $4 per week, $15 per month, or $120 per year afterwards to continue using it.
In a sentence, describe what Shine is and what it's goals are.Our first product, the Daily Shine, is a daily text message experience with daily affirmations and tactical tips around living each day with intentionality.Today, U.S. and global users can receive that product the Daily Shine on our new Facebook bot, allowing them to access additional features like Ask Shine that has interactive resources on common work and life topics that young people often struggle with.Mobile Engineer for DoSomething.org - the individuals that now make up the Shine team were all key players in growing our previous organization's user base from 0 to 5 million users, with a strong focus on engagement.After spending years understanding how effective text messaging can be at scale with it's 98% open rate and it's hyper-personal nature, when we came up with idea for Shine, using messaging was a no-brainer.Bots as a buzzword aside, it's true and incredibly exciting that in a few years, our phone will be made up of contacts that are human, AI, and a little bit of both -- and users will be okay with that, as long as the experience makes sense for their world.
I don t like to think about breathing.It s a job for my subconscious mind, and the more I m conscious of it, the more I become concerned that I will stop breathing entirely.I have a touch of sleep apnea, so this is not out of the question.I think I just held my breath the whole time I wrote that sentence.SEE ALSO: Pal adds GPS and battery life to your Pebble, but also a lot of bulkAn attractive, $129 mindfulness and activity tracker, Spire looks nothing like any health gadget I ve seen before.