Keeping my Stress & Anxiety in Check with Thrive 

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am living with depression and anxiety. I’ve had depression since I was twelve and have come to terms with it to a certain extent but my anxiety was only diagnosed in the last few months.

I first realised something was up when I was pregnant with Benjamin. I became convinced that something was wrong with my pregnancy. I was on edge constantly, and couldn’t relax at all. It didn’t go away once he was born and I became adamant that something was wrong with him.

Fortunately this paranoia has eased slightly, but the anxiety has remained. I find small things become huge issues for me and decision making is near impossible as I get so worked up.

This week I started Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and I think it will really help, but in the meantime, I’m finding ways to cope with my anxiety and the stress which comes with it.

When I heard about the Thrive app, I was really intrigued. I am a huge fan of apps on my iPhone and will regularly download and try new things.

I hadn’t heard of Thrive before, but when I was offered the chance to review it, I figured anything which could help me relax a little would be worth a shot. I’ve been under a huge amount of stress lately with the wedding plans, and it’s caused my anxiety levels to peak, so I desperately needed something to help ease the pressure a little.

It goes without saying that you should speak with your doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms of severe stress, anxiety or depression, don’t just rely on an app to cure you. One of the things I like the most about Thrive is that it reinforces this each time you use the app.
When you log in you’re asked to complete a mini questionnaire, which enables the app to track how you are feeling at that point in time, and tailor make an approach to help you.

In a similar format as the Apple Music app, you choose bubbles that represent how you feel at the time and you can make these bigger or smaller depending on your mood. This is much more intuitive than other similar apps I’ve used in the past, and I was impressed with the personal touch Thrive gives you as a user.

When I first logged in it was fairly late at night and I was feeling worked up and stressed out. The app encouraged me to do calm breathing and I found it really helped me to switch off a little from my racing thoughts.

I’ve been using the app for the past couple of weeks and I have found it to be hugely beneficial at such a stressful point in my life. The app has several exercises to encourage and improve mindfullness. My favourite is the Zen Garden, I’m a sucker for anything interactive like this. However, all of the exercises are brilliant at grounding you, and I felt I actually calmed down whilst doing them.

I would recommend using headphones if you are with other people, or if like me you have a baby in the room with you at night, as it’s much easier to feel the benefit if you’re centred, without distractions around you, plus the relaxing sound of the waves really does help put a smile on my face each time I log in.

Priced at £5.99 per month, with options to pay quarterly or yearly at a lower overall cost, Thrive is not to be mistaken for a quick fix, but more of a long term addition to your mental health plan.

That’s not to say it isn’t beneficial for those who have not been diagnosed, in fact it’s worth mentioning that the app provides a lot of brilliant information alongside the exercises, including advice on finances and caffeine intake, which could be useful for those who struggle to relax and unwind.

I would suggest giving the app a go if you’re unsure. It’s fast to download and get started, and it’s definitely helped me to feel more in control of my stress and anxiety levels since I started using it. It’s also made me realise just how little time I have to myself without the children, without working on my blog or logged onto social media accounts. It’s made me start taking care of myself more and I know it will be beneficial alongside my CBT going forward.

I was provided with a month’s pass to Thrive without charge for the purpose of this review, however all views, opinions and images are my own. 

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