Mental health & inner development with a supportive community

Learn & connect. Grow. Make a difference.

Aware is a new free app from the 29k foundation, with open or private, hosted live sessions for mental health, wellbeing and inner development.

Developed by psychologists.

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Top topics from the Aware community.

How do I know if I have anxiety?

Anxiety reactions are part of a major alarm system in your body that reacts to threats or danger, sometimes called the "fight or flight" reaction. All the physical reactions associated with anxiety are our body's way of preparing to take action in the event of perceived danger. Interestingly enough, this is a significant evolutionary advantage that has kept us alive for centuries.

It comes with an intensive unsettling feeling of discomfort and can manifest in a lot of different ways. Some of the symptoms you can experience can be pressure over your chest or a fast/hard heartbeat. Also, dryness of the mouth, a stomach ache, feeling dizzy, or muscle weakness. Sometimes it may feel like you're living in a bubble, disconnected from your surroundings and feeling like an outside observer of your own thoughts or body with a loss of control over your thoughts or actions.

When we're anxious, we tend to do things that make us feel better in the moment, making things worse in the long run. This throws us in an endless loop. And the more we do to overcome the state we're in, the more anxious we feel. We call this feeding the anxiety monster. We engage in these kinds of behaviors because they make us feel good at the moment. They give us a false sense of being in control.

To work on your anxiety, we have several exercises and courses in the 29k app and as always, reach out to your local healthcare provider.

How to cope or recover from stressful situations?

There are various scienced-backed techniques to help you recover from stressful situations while on the go. While you're at the office, with your families, or riding the bus.

In an acute bout of stress, the first step is to be willing to feel our uncomfortable feelings rather than trying to avoid them. Mindfulness meditation is an excellent way to come into our bodies, practice acceptance, and get close to stress-related feelings. These can be physiological sensations like tight chest, high heart rate, exhaustion, or emotional states like irritability or fragility.

Often, taking five to ten minutes to focus on our breath can give us a moment of rest and relaxation, critical components of stress recovery. We recommend finding a seat in a chair and taking long, slow breaths. You can find a guided meditation like this on the 29k: Mental Health app.

Another technique available to help you meet stress at this moment is the body scan. This exercise scan is a form of meditation that brings awareness to your whole body and can help you feel the particular effects of stress in different parts of your body. This is an essential part of learning to recognize stress in yourself before it becomes overwhelming.

Stress will return, and that's ok because it's a natural part of being human! However, it's easier to meet stress with grace in the future when we know we have strategies to manage it.

How do I best work on my relationships?

It starts with self-care, setting healthy boundaries and commitment.

Basic formula:
The basic formula backed up by science is: spending time x being courageous x being loving x being aware = deeper connection.

Benefits:Longer life, less stress, increased happiness, sense of meaning. Only then can our body relax, and then we feel safe and connected.

Common regrets:One of the most common regrets people have at the end of their lives is " I've spent too much time on work" and "little focus on my relationships."Steps to deepen relationships.The past 30 yrs of research show that the relationship deepens when our vulnerability is met with compassion. Everyone plays a role in creating such moments. It consists of:

  1. Personally being vulnerable with others. Self-disclosure plays a central role in the development and maintenance of relationships. When someone compassionately responds to us, we feel seen, heard, and accepted as we are. Openness → trusting the other person → creates deeper relationships (spending additional time with them and getting closer).
  2. How we respond when someone is being vulnerable with us. Consists of creating a safe place, validating their feelings and experiences, and offering support.
  3. Good communication is at the heart of all good relationships. This includes setting and respectfully communicating our boundaries. This is associated with trust: do we feel safe to share what we want and need. The word courage traditionally means "speaking one's mind by revealing one's heart.

We need to tend to our relationships to make them strong. Growing deep roots in our relationships. However, stressful periods can feel lonely because bonds tend to slip down in our list of priorities. Knowing what we value in life allows us to take action to live a life that is meaningful to us. This allows us to make active decisions on how and with who we want to spend our time.

Why should I routinely work on my mental health?

A great question!

  1. First of all, It's not a matter of "should".
    It's totally possible to live one's life without ever going on a wellness retreat, meditating, or reading a self-help book. However, there are incremental things you can routinely add to your life.
  2. Secondly - you do not need to be broken or need fixing to work on your mental health routinely.
    But like everyone else, as you grew up, you've picked up beliefs systems, habits, and expectations, some of which may not be aligned with who you want to be in life.

The personal growth practice is individual mental health and wellness activities based on your present needs.For example, if you're struggling with intimacy or relationships. Or critical of yourself or others. Feeling depressed or not knowing what you want. Then creating and committing to a regular personal growth practice will help you identify more supportive behaviors, which will lead to different results.

  • It can also help you build acceptance towards what you cannot control.
  • It can help you heal from the past, especially if you've experienced hardship or trauma.
  • It can make you more resilient and recover quickly.

Word from the Aware community on the Google play store

Diego Fernando Romero Diaz
It has great meditations. If you are struggling with your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, you must check it out. You will love it!!
Emehige Kingsley
relax and be comfortable, the app will guide you through
Andrew Lawson
Tried a lot of apps (the top 5) but they start off too long and the words they speak are generic. This is much better.
Britany Dalton
I'm so grateful to the people who had a hand in making this app as well as the beautiful meditation exercises it's been so very helpful for me. Also thank you for making this app free this is very helpful for those of us who can't afford to pay. this app and the host really care about others mental health and the people.
This is the best meditation app I've ever used in my entire life. It's a nonprofit, but they're doing a very great job in providing the best. With updates, more and more episodes are being uploaded. Love the app ❤️❤️❤️
Linda tweety Taylor
Never in my life I thought I'd find an app that is so good as this one. It doesn't cost anything and there are no ads either. Im so happy that i found it. To all the people who work on this app I salute you because you are really trying to help people honestly amazing and thank you i would have given it 10 stars if that was possible
Crissy Sims
amazing free live sessions, no ads- unbelievable ! non profit, just honestly kind and caring people hosting live (and gentle) group sessions. changed my life !
Fahad Assegaf
Super useful. Easy to implement Just what you need the most to make yourself better in handling tough situations, stress, anxiety and also to improve our self internally. Kudos
Rodden Jose (Rodz)
I make it my daily routine to visit this app. It has been one of my life savers. It is one of my mood boosters and regulators of mental and emotional wellness.
Aidan Raymond
This app quite literally helped me conquer my depression. I had been suffering from it since 2017. Prescribed pills and light therapy was not able to do that. It costs no money and for someone that is low income, like me, that was helpful. I learned a lot about myself with this app and I hope others can do the same. I am finally on a better path.

Listen to our star psychologists' insights and tips.

Be kind to yourself until next time

In the finale episode of the Coming Home podcast, our amazing psychologist Agnes Branny clarifies the difference between 'self compassion' and 'self care'. She provides a unique insight into how our understanding of ourselves as 'cyclical beings' can help us shift perspectives and even change our lives.

"Vulnerability is the shit"

Listen to our lovely psychologist Jenny Rickardsson in this special episode of the Coming Home podcast on relationships. How do we handle and deepen them? How do we actually connect? As the co-hosts share their pivotal experiences, Jenny introduces us all to some useful keys for building a healthy relationship.