By Hadley Harris
Open iTunes to buy and download apps.
Personal Zen is clinically proven to reduce stress by JUST playing a fun game. Built by a team of leading neuroscientists and mobile developers, playing Personal Zen actually retrains your brain to lower stress and anxiety. Just like exercising for physical health, we can exercise our brain for better mental health and wellness!
Here’s what experts in the field of psychology had to say about Personal Zen:
“Personal Zen brings cutting-edge research and well-established strategies for reducing anxiety and stress into the palm of your hand”
Shannon M. Bennett, Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College
"Instantly engaging for adults and kids, Personal Zen is a rare example of science turned into fun in order to reduce stress and anxiety"
Dr. Tony Simon, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of California Davis
***LOWER YOUR OVERALL STRESS LEVEL***
To lower your overall stress level our research shows that you should play a few times a week, for around 5-10 minutes at a time. Playing more (up to 40 minutes a week) has been shown to have powerful stress-reduction effects, and playing less, even for only a few minutes, can still boost your well-being. A small time investment can lead to big stress-reduction pay-offs over time.
***DE-STRESS WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST***
Use Personal Zen to lower stress before or during any stressful situation.
HOW DO I USE PERSONAL ZEN?
To use Personal Zen look for the path the friendly sprite leaves after it burrows down out of sight. Then, simply trace the path of the friendly sprite quickly and smoothly. Try to be accurate, swiping every part of the path. Don't let the angry sprite divert your focus from quickly shifting your attention towards the friendly sprite and tracing the path. Don't get frustrated if you miss some, as the healing mechanics of the application will work no matter how fast you do it.
HOW DOES PERSONAL ZEN WORK?
When we get anxious or stressed, we pay too much attention to the negatives and have less ability to see the positives in life. These habits of attention reduce our ability to cope effectively with stress and can create a vicious cycle of anxiety. Personal Zen helps to short-circuit these habits and frees you up to develop a more flexible and positive focus. Following the friendly sprite actually trains your brain to disengage from the negative and focus on the positive, creating a mindset that helps you overcome stress in the real world. You can reduce your stress and anxiety in as little as one sitting, and the more you play, the more you strengthen well-being and vaccinate yourself against the negative effects of stress.
What's New in Version 1.0.9
Push Notification improvements and bug fixes
I wanted to like this
First, I felt rushed into swiping the "good" guy, so I actually felt more stressed because of the time pressure. Second, the good/bad sprites appeared so quickly that I didn't have time to meditate on their positive/negative qualities. I would rather have focused on the positive for a few seconds longer, emphasizing to my brain that I am seeking the "good" while actively training my brain to avoid the "bad" even while it is on screen. In reality, positive and negative thoughts are always on the front of your brain, they don't appear for a second and disappear. Third, there should initially be far more bad guys than good guys. Maybe a better game would be to find the positive guy in the crowd of negative guys. Then you would be rewarded by reproducing more positive guys on screen and less negative guys. The goal being to fill your mind with mostly positive thoughts simply by focusing on the positive.
Don't underestimate this app
It's simple, and for that reason I find it has been effective.
Obviously, happiness and finding true inner peace is complicated stuff in our busy lives, but what this app provides is an easy way to zone out of all the noise and zone in on the single minded task of following the good reaction. It's meditative. I've been playing for four weeks and believe that it's helped me reduce my stress overall.
In all fairness, maybe I haven't played this enough to see any results. I seem to remember a version where you worked toward certain goals within the game. However, the latest version of this app has no point. There's no rhyme or reason regarding what color star you get. It's really repetitive and goes nowhere. I can play it for about 30 seconds before I'm bored. In my book, an app that played relaxing music to foster mindfulness would be better