We're pleased to announce that Mohammad amin Saraei and his design team have completed the Farsi version of Aetas 2 Minute Meditations! Mohammad, a psychology student and addiction phone counselor in Tehran, Iran, contacted us nine months ago about his desire to introduce his country to the calming effects of meditation, a little known concept in Iran. As we view this project as a humanitarian endeavor, we were happy to work with him on developing the Farsi version of our meditation app. Check out A2MM Farsi at Aetas.nworld.ir. Mohammad – we wish you great success!
Throughout our lives, each of us will experience varying levels of stress, anxiety and depression. How we cope during these times can determine whether or not we move forward quickly with a positive attitude, or get stuck in fear and negativity.
One of my goals is to help people overcome the ever-increasing stress levels our rapidly changing world presents on a daily basis. Over the past few years, my time perspective therapy colleague, Rosemary Sword, and I have discussed and researched the efficacy of meditations – quieting and focusing the mind - as a way to help people undergoing stressful situations to gain a sense of balance. We discovered that meditations, including brief meditations – about 2 minutes – can work.
You may ask: Why 2 minutes? Why not 20 minutes or longer? The answer is that many people are too busy to devote 20 minutes or more to helping themselves feel better. They may be in a stressful situation at work, or in the middle of parenting, or anxiously waiting to take a school exam. These are the people we want to help. So we gathered a team of mental health specialists and a design team to create Aetas 2 Minute Meditations. The meditations included in Aetas 2 Minute Meditations were suggested by clients as the most important areas they felt would benefit them as well as others.
In our fast-paced, ever-changing world, Aetas 2 Minute Meditations can help reduce stress and restore balance. We created it for you.
After months of numerous builds, of testing, and fine-tuning, we are excited to announce that Aetas 2 Minute Meditations is now available at the App Store for iOS (iPhone/iPad)! Our goal is to help as many people as possible - no matter their socioeconomic situation, ethnicity, or location - live a more stress-free life. This being the case, we do not charge a subscription fee, or offer our apps for "free" and then after a week charge you a monthly or annual rate. The cost of Aetas 2 Minute Meditations is $1.99, one time.
Aetas 2 Minute Meditations can help if you:
- need to focus (in school or on the job)
- work under difficult circumstances
- are a stressed-out parent or teenager
- want to be more open-minded and accepting
- need a boost in self-esteem
- want to let go of things that hold you back
- need to jump-start for your imagination (artists, writers, students)
- suffer from stress, anxiety, and fears
- need to relax before sleeping
We wish you all the best life has to offer!
Aetas 2 Minute Meditations will be available at the iTunes/AppStore for iPhone/iPad use in early June 2016. We'll offer to bundle Aetas 2 Minute Meditations with our original Aetas app at a special, low price.
Aetas Android - We are currently adapting Aetas 2 Minute Meditations for android use; It will be available in July 2016 through Google Play. Once we complete this adaptation, we will commence work on our original Aetas app for use on androids (it's complicated.) Thank you for your interest and patience!
Aetas is nominated for Overall Best App of 2015 in the health and fitness category by BMA (Best Mobile App Awards)!
Aetas – 2 Minute Meditations was created at the suggestion of our beta testers and early Aetas users who found, after reading about time perspectives and taking the quiz to learn more about themselves, they listened to the brief meditations on a daily basis. A variety of background music and nature sounds are included to enhance your experience.
AETAS – 2 MINUTE MEDITATIONS
· ACCEPTANCE – encourages open-mindedness of others and situations
· BEAUTIFUL – get in touch with true inner beauty
· BREATHE – helps calm, center, and relax
· CONTROL – helps decrease controlling behavior
· CREATIVITY – inspires your inner visionary
· FEAR – helps diminish fears
· FOCUS – helps relax, refresh, and motivate
· LOVE – inspires unconditional love
· NEGATIVITY – helps reduce negative thoughts and actions
· PAST – helps let go of past negative experiences
· SLEEP – helps calm, relax, and prepare for sleep
· STRESS – helps reduce anxiety and stress
· WORTHY – boosts self-esteem
Apps – The Evolution of Therapy
Now that the app industry includes mental health we have an amazing app for you!
“Apps such as Candy Crush, Angry Birds or Scramble with Friends provide entertainment and ‘kill’ time when waiting on line, traveling, or taking a few minutes to unwind. But now, people have the option to use this time to establish calm and improve their sense of well-being with other, more 'nutritious' apps - apps that can monitor your depression, anxiety, stress level and moods, as well as improve your optimism…”
Read the article at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-time-cure/201505/apps-the-evolution-therapy
Katherine Schreiber of the popular New York on-line journal, greatist.com, contacted us for an article she was working on regarding mental health apps. The article, 81 Awesome Mental Health Resources When You Can’t Afford a Therapist, (http://greatist.com/grow/resources-when-you-can-not-afford-therapy), states “Sure, pretty much everyone could benefit from therapy. But not everyone can afford it. Thankfully, there’s a whole world of free or affordable mental health care out there designed to help you with just about every issue…” We are proud that Aetas is included in Katherine’s well-researched list of awesome apps. And we are happy that PhD clinicians such as Robert Weiss and Joseph Lenz are using AETAS in their therapeutic sessions with positive results.
We are happy to announce that Aetas 1.1 is now available at the App Store. Click Here to view it in iTunes.
Note: If you already purchased a previous version of Aetas your device should have automatically updated; if it didn't, go to the App Store, Aetas for your free update .
The Read section offers valuable information to better understand the importance of how perspectives of the past, present and future influence the choices we make.
Take the Quiz to find out your personal time perspective(s) and how the way you view your past, present and future affects your life.
In Relax, take 2 minutes to listen to one of three guided meditations to let go of the past, relax your mind and body, and refocus. You control the volume as well as background sounds – birds, brook, or music.
The Play segment offers three interactive audio/visual activities:
Breathe - an exercise to help slow down heart- and breath-rate
Stress Relief - to help let go of negativity and focus on the positive
Light Dance – gently reboot your brain after listening to the guided visualizations
Aetas is for everybody seeking a way to better understand themselves, reduce stress and live a more fulfilling life.
Don’t wait - get Aetas today!
Team Aetas is excited to announce that the innovative new Aetas App will be available in the coming weeks at the App Store. Our heartfelt desire is to help as many people as possible learn more about themselves as well as easy ways to cope with life's stress.
Wishing you all the best,
Feeling stressed and down during the holidays is not a disorder
Katherine Schreiber of greatist.com (http://greatist.com/grow/shake-off-post-holiday-blues) recently interviewed Rose regarding the traditional holiday blues and the new concept of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). We’d like to share with you some additional information about the differences of these two types of depression:
1. What explains the holiday blues — and what exactly do we mean when we say "holiday blues"; what are the signs and symptoms / does "holiday blues" really just mean Seasonal Affective Disorder?
The holiday blues is what folks commonly call depression - and the stress that accompany it - during the holiday season. It can start prior to Thanksgiving and last after the New Year. As an aside, the term “the blues” dates back centuries and although disputed, it may be in reference to the “Blue Devil” that would overwhelm people with melancholia. Over the years, it was adopted by the medical community as a popular synonym for having low spirits - or depression. It’s different from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.
2. How much does SAD play into the Holiday Blues?
People with from Seasonal Affective Disorder actually suffer from clinical depression that is a result of their personal biology – it’s the way their body works. The holiday blues is strictly situational; it comes from sadness or depression that is psychologically based. In other words – something happened in the past that – maybe at this time of year – that causes you to be depressed during the holidays. Typically SAD lasts for a few to several months while the holiday blues are time and situationally limited, happening just during the holiday season. And SAD brings with it myriad of physical and physiological changes caused by depression – like difficulty falling asleep or sleeping too much, an increase or decrease in appetite, low energy, difficulty remembering things or having a hard time handling situations, experiencing irritability and anger, and worse – a desire for isolation. Folks with the Holiday Blues don’t usually have these more profound symptoms.
3. How can we better prepare for the Holiday Blues — what are some strategies we can employ (behavioral or otherwise) to combat these low feelings and stave off the drop in mood that comes after the presents are unwrapped and we/re back at our desks, or doing our usual life tasks, trying to get back into an effective work mode?
The first thing is to embrace the joyous, compassionate, giving aspect of the season. This is in reference to the type of giving that comes from within you, not to the commercial gift giving aspect of the holidays. Be generous with your smiles and laughter; be compassionate and sensitive towards others, especially in difficult situations like long lines at the checkout counter. Sure, we may have had a hard day, but the other person may have had it worse! Also, make time to give others deserved compliments that can make their day.
Secondly, make life easier by planning ahead. If you feel the weight of too many obligations – like attending numerous events, or fighting crowds at the department store to get that special gift, lighten the load. As much as possible be selective about how you spend your time. Sure, there are some obligations that must be met – like going to visit relatives. But there are likely others that we can let go of. And instead of fighting crowds at the mall, take advantage of the internet to do your shopping and connecting with family and friends. Do stuff at off hours and try to arrange with your partner, kids or friends to share the load equitably.
An attitude tweak toward the positive - less hassled, more compassionate - will help lift your low mood. And when you find the Holiday Blues coming on, remember that these feelings are temporary; you’ll get through it. Think of the power of your smile to brighten your inner landscape as well as the social one around you.
4. What are the biggest misconceptions (in either the lay or the professional community) about holiday blues?
The biggest misconception may be that the holiday blues isn’t real – that it doesn’t exist. But it is and it does. Having the holiday blues doesn’t require medication – but if you think you have it, some gentle reflection may be in order. It may not qualify as clinically significant, but it is real and messes up our mood and thinking for weeks or more.
5. How does what we focus on during the holidays (or after) alter our mood—and what are some strategies to shift our focus so that we have a happier, healthier outlook once the holiday season is over?
What we focus on during the holidays is important but perhaps even more important is how we focus. It’s all about choice. We can choose to think and be positive or negative. For instance, if something bad happened in the past at this time of year, instead of going over and over what happened and wallowing in the sadness or loss, choose to remember the good experiences you’ve had during the holidays. If this seems too daunting then start small – notice the beauty of the lights and decorations, the smell of evergreens. Remember the taste of special seasonal foods and the warmth after coming in from the cold. When we are stuck in past negative experiences, we can poison your experiences today and your expectations for tomorrow. So choose to be positive! Go for the Zen Now moment of joy.
6. Does the advice you have for people combatting holiday blues differ based on their age, parental status, relationship status or gender? If so, how, and are there specific concerns related to certain populations that are important to highlight?
With the exception of children and young teenagers – who may have difficulty grasping the concept of the future and future-thinking, and the elderly who may be suffering from elder-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, the advice we have given here should work no matter a person’s age, gender, parental status or relationship status.
The population most prone to the Holiday Blues is the elderly. This makes sense because they have likely suffered the greatest amount of loss. They are of an age when people in their lives – spouse, family members and friends - are starting to pass on. Perhaps they moved from their house into an elder-care facility or with an adult child. They may have lost vitality, energy, their health. And if they suffer from an elder-related illness, they may not be able to grasp the provided advice. But, they deserve love, attention and respect. If you are visiting an elder this holiday season, steer the conversation toward their past positives; make their past part of your positive present.
For all others, it doesn’t cost anything to draw upon past positive experiences – and no matter how bleak life may seem, we all have good things that happened to us. It’s just a matter of choosing to remember them – the good old times or the good recent times. Also try overlaying the negative with the positive. Reducing stress by lessening your daily load and simplifying your agenda during the holidays goes a long way toward creating a brighter, more joyous holiday season. Finally, make time for yourself – for personal compassion.
Wishing you and yours a happy new year!
Rose Sword and Phil Zimbardo
For more in depth information about how your life is affected by the mental time zones that you live in, please check out our books: The Time Cure and The Time Paradox. Or visit our psychology today blog column: https://my.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-time-cure/201412/holiday-blues-vs-seasonal-affective-disorder