Surviving finals: Five apps to ease stress and the mind

As deadlines of numerous final essays and exams creep up on us, it becomes difficult to stay sane. Stress floods our minds and we need fast relief. Yet when we grab our phone in the midst of our anxieties, scrolling through our social media feeds sometimes isn’t enough to put us at ease. Fortunately, there is a seemingly endless amount of choices of anti-stress apps to choose from on our mobile devices. From offering guided meditations to relaxing breathing exercises, anti-stress apps can help us focus, get better sleep, and be our best selves. The only issue is figuring out which ones to choose. This week we weeded through the app store and found five free apps to relieve stress during finals week.

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Color me

Who would have thought coloring books could be so relaxing all these years later? In fact, they are scientifically proven to help stress. In the article “Adult coloring books promise stress relief”, USA Today reported on a study conducted with 84 college students who colored in mandalas after a stressful experience. Those who colored in patterns versus blank pages were found to have reduced anxiety. “Color me” is a digital coloring book that can help do just that. Without the hassle of paper and pens, users can choose to color in mandalas, animals, flowers, and more. Be sure to keep an eye on the clock, however, as coloring can become so mesmerizing that you lose track of time.

 

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Stop, Breathe, & Think

Many studies, including one by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, have proven meditation is beneficial for the brain. “Stop, Breathe, & Think” helps beginners by not only giving simple lessons on meditation, but also by helping track their progress. In addition, users can log their emotions that assist in self-reflection and finding the correct guide to listen to. Overall, the app has a very interactive and personable user interface that will be sure to help during the whirlwind of finals.

 

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Daily Yoga

Combining stretching and meditation, yoga can be incredibly beneficial for stress. The good news for students that are drowning in papers at home is that “Daily Yoga” provides yoga instruction so that you don’t have to haul your gym bag down to a yoga class. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced yogi, the app offers videos of guided sessions that can target specific areas of the body or aid in meditation.

 

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Calm

The “Calm” app offers a beautiful user interface filled with images of nature along with various relaxing tracks to choose from. Depending on what the user needs, “Calm” provides guided meditations for sleeping, stress, focus, and more. Even better, they always release bedtime stories to help users get to sleep. The only downside is that many of the tracks on the app are locked unless the user pays a monthly subscription fee. Regardless, there is still much to choose from.

 

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Infinity Loop

“Infinity Loop” works to improve users’ focus with a simple yet stress-relieving puzzle game. The goal is to create rounded shapes by rotating the lines provided. While it is a very simple concept, the game is incredibly satisfying, especially when your mind needs a break. “The goal is to clear your mind,” states the developers, “remove the stress from your daily life without any pressure or tension to solve the levels.” The app does just that, in fact, playing it long enough can certainly cause you to forget your troubles, or even where you are.