Calm.com: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The DMV

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I don’t normally write about mental health, but since we all know the mind and body are connected, I thought I’d share something about it that I recently experienced.

Like millions of others out there, I have anxiety. Actually, I’m the poster child for it. At least that’s what my husband says. And he’s right.

Not only do I stress about anything and everything I possibly can, I realized, if I’m not worrying about something, I’d find something to worry about.

I wasn’t always like this. But life is packed with constant stresses, from work, to family, to any obligation big or small, that only increase as you get older. Naturally you learn to adapt. Adapting, for a lot of people, means planning out all the “what ifs” so we can’t get hurt by anything unexpected.

The problem with that is, that any situation that may cause stress, immediately does. Regardless of the reality or how big the situation actually is.

One thing I hate, and I mean HATE, is the DMV.

But really, who doesn’t? No one, on the face of this planet, has ever said, “I love the DMV” and wasn’t being facetious. For me though, it goes a little beyond that.

The first time I went, needless to say it was an awful experience. I was completely confused, overwhelmed and never, ever wanted to go back for the rest of my life.

So naturally when I completely misplaced my license one day and my husband uttered the words, “you’re going to have to go to the DMV to get a new one” I immediately stressed out. My heart started pounding, I got short of breath. I’m pretty sure I started sweating.

I was miserable.

The last thing I wanted to do was go there.

The bigger problem is, the DMV isn’t the only thing that puts me into this immediate state of stress. I get like this over everything. I’ve been having difficulty coping in new situations, trouble sleeping and I cry at the drop of a dime.

But it was at that moment, losing it over the idea of having to go to some harmless place, that I realized I needed to do something.

Actually, it was my best friend who spent about 30 minutes listening to me stress over this silly thing that suggested something that’s really helped her. An app and website dedicated to meditation and un-stressing, called Calm.com

It was free and because the one person that knows me, even better than my husband does, was suggesting it, I thought I’d give it a try.

And I’ve never been so happy that I listened to her in my life. I downloaded the app and the moment it opened I felt relaxed. There was a beautiful, animated image of sapphire water rushing over large rocks and the soothing sound to match.

I couldn’t believe it but I felt like I was instantly miles away. And I actually felt myself calming down.

And the best part was, choosing which serene image and beautifully calming, orchestrated music I wanted out of their library of options.

calmimage1There’s slew of different types of guided meditations as well as unguided ones and you can tailor it by choosing how long you want it to be from 2 – 20 minutes. You can also track your progress so you feel like you are achieving something… and you are!  This made me incredibly motivated to meditate.

Another feature I was excited about was the timer. I know. It’s the small things in life, right? What I love is that you can set the calming music to play by the minute, and all the way up to 24 hours.

This can help anyone who has trouble sleeping, luring them into a deep, relaxed slumber, shutting off when you choose, or playing the whole night through if you want it to.

The first time I used it Iset it for the entire night, and I think I had one of the best sleeps Ive ever had in my life.

They also have a program, “The 7 Steps of Calm” to help teach you the basics of meditations from your posture, mindset, body and breath which is great for beginners.  calmimage9

By the way, I’m not new to meditation. I know how beneficial it can be, especially for someone like me. I try hard to set aside time to meditate, but the biggest problem I have is remembering to just do it in the chaos of my day.

What I love about the Calm app is that they deliver random reminders to you that pop up on the locked screen on your phone; to stop whatever you are doing and take 5 minutes to meditate.

And that’s just what happened when I went back to the DMV.

It was like a gift from heaven. I walked in there, dreading it, then the “Calm” reminder popped up and it suddenly put me into a completely different headspace.

The Calm app not only immediately reminded me to release all my worries, but to turn that obnoxious, stressful, chaotic, moment at the DMV into my time to meditate.

I popped in my ear buds, listened to the relaxing sounds, and breathed deeply. I was there, at the DMV, and I was relaxed, happy, and I was actually enjoying the moment.

The thing I learned about meditation is that you can, and should, do it whenever and wherever you want. And since I need a gentle nudge when it comes to this, having the Calm app at my fingertips has managed to get me through the most mundane and stressful tasks.

I now use it waiting in line at the grocery store, in waiting rooms, gridlock traffic, and especially before anything that will usually skyrocket my anxiety.

I’ve even been using Calm.com during scheduled times too; the quiet, stillness of the morning as well as before bed. This has significantly helped me cope better with whatever stresses the day brings. I’ve been sleeping deeper, I have more energy, I’m more focused, productive, and all around happier.

I never thought a simple app could help me the way it has. I didn’t even quite realize I needed it until my girlfriend suggested it. I’ve thanked her profusely for it. I owe her. But then again, she owes me for things so we’re probably even.

You can learn more about the app at calm.com.

Categories: Reviews
Tags: anxiety, Apps, calm, stress