LESS STRESS, MORE LIFE
Do you want to experience less stress and more life? With help of the Stress Less Cards app, you can make easy, stress and anxiety relief exercises amidst your busy everyday life – on the bus, or while queuing at the supermarket! The app is easy to use and you can start your first exercise right away – it requires no registration.
• Stress and anxiety relief with guided meditations
• Soothing voice guidance that helps to calm down and relax
• Stress reduction for a better sleep
• Feel better by reducing mental and emotional strain
Available on iOS & Android
The original card deck with 50 exercises is available on:
Stress Less Cards app contains 50 stress and anxiety relieving exercises. 28 of them can be listened (as guided meditation) with relaxing music playing after spoken guidance. The exercises make use of Mindfulness, NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) and other efficient stress management techniques in a pleasant way. The diverse exercises of the Stress Less Cards app are already used by many doctors in occupational health care, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists and trainers. The Stress Less Cards really work!
• 50 easy stress and anxiety relief exercises as ”cards”, 5 of them are at your use for free.
• 28 exercises with spoken guidance (guided meditation) that include an option for relaxing music.
• The guided audio exercises last about 10 minutes. However, you can also take a shorter version of them, if you wish.
• Surprise yourself with a random exercise, or select the exercise you want from the exercise list.
• Mark your favorite exercises.
• Create reminders about the exercises for yourself to relieve the stress and anxiety on a regular basis.
The exercises in the Stress Less Cards are divided into six themes:
- Noticing your body
When you are stressed, all the subtle signs that your body gives may easily go unnoticed. By paying more attention to your body, the stress reactions subside and you learn to recognize your rising stress levels in time.
- Focus on breathing
According to research, focusing on your breathing for even 10 minutes calms you down. The rhythm and depth of your breathing signal your body and mind that ”there’s nothing to worry about”. By combining different mental images with the breathing exercises you can increase their effect.
- Watching and observing
When you watch and observe things and your own internal world without taking a stand on it, you can shorten the distance between a stress reaction and becoming aware of it. In this way you can learn a lot about your reactions and you can start influencing them.
- Awakening positive emotions
When you make powerful visualization exercises to awaken positive emotions, it activates different parts of the brain and the brain’s stress center calms down – because the fear center and the ”good mood” center can’t be active simultaneously. By activating different parts of your brain you can influence the body’s hormone functions and experience.
- Using visualization
The body doesn’t know what’s true and what’s imagined. With help of various visualization exercises you can break away from stressful thoughts and in this way feel lighter and gain more room for better thoughts and feelings.
- Conscious action
Many mundane things you do in your busy everyday life can be taken as stress-relieving exercises. These exercises will change your attitude to some things you do automatically – and even turn them into moments that lighten the way you feel!
Hi! I am Sanna Wikström, author of the Stress Less cards and a former stress-sufferer. This is my story:
I can’t really recall a time in my life when I wouldn’t have been stressed. Already as a child I was anxious and scared of many things and situations. My stomach was often hurting, due to being nervous, and my cheeks flamed red when I was stressing about future situations. I was nervous about many things: about raising my hand in class, about photography, about running competitions… Nevertheless, I didn’t know I was suffering stress. For me, this was my basic condition, a way of living that I was accustomed to. I had no experience of anything else.
As a grown-up, in a job with lots of responsibilities as an editor-in-chief of a magazine, I realized that constant hurry and the tremendous workload took over me, and my stress symptoms became stronger than ever before. In the evenings I was so tired that I cried myself to sleep. Being a positive person, at every sunrise I could always convince myself to have some extra energy. Until the evening came, and I was crying again.
Before my first child was born I was already really exhausted. I thought that when the time comes that I can stay at home with the baby, I will finally be able to get some rest… However, when my baby was a few weeks old, she was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux. For the first two years of her life, she cried every night. I was really stressed, my body was screaming for mercy, and my mind was gray. Then the child’s father was diagnosed with cancer. At that moment I discovered how the body and mind feel when you have outstripped your resources and ran out of strength, and your whole being is begging for some way to find balance. In short, my whole life was pure stress reaction, with no means to find a way out.
I never returned to my busy job. During the dark moments of the night, these words kept spinning in my head: what is life all about? I wanted to find an answer.
I set up a website that deals with holistic well-being (Hidasta elämää – Slow Life). Now this website is one of the largest well-being sites in Finland.
As an extension to my university degree I studied NLP, attended Mindfulness courses, meditated and studied holistic body awareness. I gained a bit from here, another piece from there. Most of all, I began to find means to unwind the body and mind that are suffering from stress. On one morning, after years of studying, I woke up and knew: I must create Stress Less Cards! Cards that are easy to use; cards where I can write the best exercises for managing stress, based on my years of studying and my own experiences, so that others wouldn’t have to spend years learning about the same things.
Stress Less Cards were first released as a card deck in Finnish, and now they are available as a mobile app in English, too.
People often ask me whether I actively do the exercises that the cards contain. My answer is: yes and no. I have been doing these exercises for such a long time now that I don’t need to make a conscious decision about doing them – they appear automatically, on their own, whenever there’s need for them. So yes, even I still experience stress – but in continually lessening amounts, as I learn to recognize more and more which thought patterns or beliefs cause me stress. This ability is increasingly amplified by the fact that now, when a stress reaction raises its head, I have enough tools to rise above it and to stop it right away. Then I can see more clearly and hear myself better.
Now I have another baby, who is still at home with me. And I have my own website to run. And the Stress Less Cards app. Nevertheless, stress reactions no longer are a part of my daily life. When I notice a stress reaction rising in my mind or in my body, I often – without thinking about it – make an exercise: ”Breathe with your diaphragm”, ”Move your thoughts to a small cottage” or ”Space travel”. Unconsciously, in my daily repertoire are also ”Walk slowly”, ”Give yourself mind candy”, and actually many, many other exercises as well.
I have come a long way from a red-cheeked stress-sufferer to a 35-year-old woman who fully trusts that life will carry you. I no longer view the world through ”stress goggles”, because I now know how to take those stress goggles off my eyes and change them into whatever I want.
And what is life all about, then? At this moment I feel that the answer can’t be put into words; it’s a happy and light state of being that can be found beneath all the stress reactions… in each and everyone of us.