An app for reducing stress

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An app for reducing stress

October 25, 2011 - Jim Denison, PhD

MyCalmBeat app running on an iPhone

Are you stressed this morning?  Do you need better mental focus?  There’s an app for that.

MyCalmBeat uses a heart rate monitor attached to your ear.  According to this morning’s Reuters website, the app detects your optimal breathing rate, called the “resonant frequency.”  When we breathe at this level, we are supposed to experience lower stress and improved intellectual acuity.

Most of us could use such help today.  We worry about the global economy, as European leaders continue working to resolve their debt crisis and save the Euro.  We wonder about the economy at home with Netflix’s announcement yesterday that it expects to lose more customers and business.  We think about the safety of our children and grandchildren, with news that a high school student was shot in the neck on Monday while eating lunch at school.

We’ll always have reasons to worry about the future.  There will never be a morning without bad news in the news.  But we have a choice–we can fret about tomorrow, or we can change it by focusing on excellence today.

How?  I encountered three statements this week that answer our question.  The first was an article on the Dallas Cowboys’ convincing win last Sunday.  The columnist described head coach Jason Garrett’s philosophy for success: “Be great today.”  If his team practices with excellence today, they’ll play with excellence on Sunday.

The second came from a new friend I met yesterday.  He has been very successful in business.  He sums up his work philosophy this way: “Strive for perfection and you achieve excellence.”

The third statement is part of a sermon C. S. Lewis preached to Oxford students early in World War II: “Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or happiness to the future.  Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment ‘as to the Lord.’  It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for.  The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received” (his emphasis).

Paul would affirm our call to excellence today: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).  What are you thinking about this morning?

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from the ESV®️ Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®️), copyright ©️ 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.

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