A Review: Pacifica – An App For The Anxious

This post was written by Jessica Forrester and was originally posted here.

Today I wanted to share with you my review of an App I’ve recently started using called Pacifica.

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I found out about the App through a Buzzfeed article, highlighting the best Apps for people suffering with Anxiety.

After testing a few out, I’m committed to making this one work for me.

The App is designed to help monitor your feelings, alongside the other aspects of life that might enhance your Anxiety (Sleep, eating, exercise, etc).

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I’ve only been using it a few weeks, but the latest update even allows you to compare your data between days.

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The App sends you a notification each day asking how you’re feeling, which is great for me because usually I’m quite forgetful or lack motivation for these things.

But, the App also allows you to monitor your mood throughout the day so the data is more accurate.

Not only that, the app allows you to set goals and challenges for yourself to help you fight your every day anxieties. You can choose from a variety options – be it overall negativity, anxiety or something a little more specific – and from those, create challenges.

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I only have the free version, which means I don’t have access to all the services everyday, so each day, there’s something different to try. For example, there are relaxation and meditation exercises including peaceful wave soundtracks to help keep you calm, as well as a Thoughts section where you are able to record yourself talking things through. I’ve not used that section (I hate my voice!), but I imagine it’s great when trying to reflect.

Anyway, I’d say the App is a really easy to use monitoring service for anyone really- each section uses a diagram of a circle where each segment means something different; when you’ve reached a good thing, it turns green. (that was difficult to explain)

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It’s a good way to make sure you’ve drank enough, eaten enough and had enough exercise – things which are all super important for the anxious individual, but also anyone else who wants to keep check on their lifestyle.

Has anyone else used this App? What did you think?

Anxious And Stressed? There’s An App For That!

Pacifica

This post was written by Lauren Ate Pacman and was originally posted here.

Hey you lovely people!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel things so strongly that it seems as if I don’t  have the capacity to take deep breath and think about the why. I mean, i’ve (kind of) mastered owning the way that I feel – taking in the fact that nobody is responsible how I react to situations except for me. And, i’ve stopped looking to other people to fix how i’m feeling.  But being entirely self-aware? That’s something i’m in the process of working on.

If you read any psychology or sociology paper, self-awareness is often heralded as one of the things we should all be aiming to achieve, and it makes sense. The more self-aware we are, the more we can control our thoughts and understand why we act the way we do. This means that we can further understand what we can do to overcome any barriers we may be facing. Which is why the Pacifica app is so useful.

WHAT IS THE PACIFICA APP?

The Pacifica app is a free app designed to help with stress and anxiety. Providing daily tools such as the “How do you feel” feature, and three different daily exercises that alternate (you can only do one per day on the free version), it helps you focus one day at a time on your emotional health and wellbeing. Not only this, but it also has a health tab where you can track how much water you have been drinking, how much time that you’ve spent outside and how much exercise you’ve done. These little things might seem really simple, but until you start using the app, you don’t realize how little you really do for yourself.

HOW DOES IT HELP?

I’ve been using the Pacifica app for about a month now, and even though I don’t use every functionality (the experiments tab just isn’t for me), there is lot’s about it that I do like.

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This is the homepage. Each tab, or section has it’s own use and when chosen, goes through to a second page where the focus is solely on that. The focus provided is super useful and actually helps you to concentrate on what you’re doing, and with things like this I think you need that.

If you’re anything like me, then figuring out how you feel isn’t the easiest thing to do. Most of the time I just do lots of things and don’t stop. But by sitting down and sifting through emotions it makes you acknowledge things that you might otherwise ignore. And ok, yes. Sometimes they’re bad, but a lot of the time you feel a lot better than you think (or at least I do). By keeping the design and layout minimal and simple this is the only thing that you focus on, and it makes it super easy to update just before bed.

THE BEST PART?

My favorite part of the app is the “thoughts” page. Here, the app gets you to record yourself image1 talking about a moment in your day wherein you felt anxious, asking you questions like “What went through your mind when you started to feel anxious?”, “What was the worst thing that could have happened to you?” and “What did this experience mean to you” before prompting you to listen to it back and pin point the areas that you were positive and the areas where you were negative. It also asks why.

Were you catastrophizing? Predicting the future like it’s the truth? Using pressurized words? The constant questioning seems like a lot the first time that you do it, but after a while you realise how important it is.  It really does help you to understand your thinking process and what you can do to stop yourself from slipping into a negative mindset.  This is only highlighted via getting you to record it again, asking you questions that help you think about the situation differently.

HAS IT HELPED?

Via using this app I found that I catastrophize a lot. I mistake my feelings for facts and believe that I know the motives of others when that’s clearly not true. I won’t say that since i’ve been using Pacifica this has stopped, but I am more aware of it, and even though I might not be able to deal with it succinctly enough for my liking just yet, it’s something I can work on. I also find it really empowering to see the graph of how you’ve been feeling over the past weeks and months. Sure there’s a few bad days in there, but a bad day does not make for a bad life and I think that it’s important to be reminded of that sometimes.

Overall, I can’t say that i’m less anxious, but I feel like I can deal with it a little better than I could a month ago. I’m more aware and I know when I just need to turn off my phone, curl up in a ball and go to bed. I know I can’t control the outcome of everything – I just have to figure out how to be ok with that.

Have you tried this app? What did you think?

Lots of Love, xoxo

Founder Stories: How Can Entrepreneurs Avoid Anxiety?

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We’re excited to kick off our new “Founder Stories” series of posts here on the Pacifica blog. Many of us as founders have struggled with depression and anxiety. We’re expected to hold our heads up or to turn the other cheek because anything other than complete confidence is seen as weakness. But it isn’t. This series is an opportunity to help us face the stigma head-on.

We’re honored to have Jeff Fermin of Officevibe contribute our first post of the series. Jeffrey and I connected immediately when we started talking about the experiences we had both shared in working to get a company off the ground. It takes a lot of courage to tell this story and we couldn’t be more thankful to Jeff for sharing his here.


Entrepreneurs play a game of failure.

Though we want to believe that success comes overnight and every company gets a million dollars after the first pitch to a VC, investor or firm, it’s never the case.

Behind every startup there’s a story of people that took a chance. People that did not want to abide by the norms that society puts on them. The outlier, the deviant, the trailblazer, the one that doesn’t want to do what everyone else does.

BUT… there’s a lot more failure than success. Entrepreneurs will lose more than they win; they will fall more than they rise.

Fortunately, entrepreneurs are creatives, they see the world different and they want to change the world. If they’re truly devoted to what they do, they’ll do their best to adapt and advance.

It may sound poetic, and even heroic, but what people fail to realize is the dark side of entrepreneurship and how it affects the mind. And the younger the entrepreneur, the worse the stress and anxiety will hit.

How Entrepreneurs Get Anxiety

There is a massive amount of failures, setbacks and negativity that goes with creating something new.

The worst part is that the bigger the company gets, the worse the setbacks feel. The more setbacks, the more an individual can lose their “cool” and develop mental health issues.

I am speaking from what I’ve seen on the news and heard from other entrepreneurs, but more importantly something that I’ve learned from experience. Entrepreneurs are now becoming more prone to depression, anxiety and suicide.

What’s even worse is that they are not taking the proper steps to avoid or recover from mental health issues that might be affecting their relations with others.

Now more than ever, leaders in the tech community are bringing awareness to the mental health problems developed from entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship Is Not For Everyone

A couple years ago my co-founder and I met up and discussed the possibility of working with one another to start a company. I’ve always been the type to do my own thing and make my own path, so I agreed without any hesitation.

We went through startup incubators, met great people, and kept working hard to get out there. We eventually teamed up with a larger company to build an employee engagement tool that will make people happier at work.

At first it was fun. When you’re young, you can’t help but to think that your company is going to be the next Facebook, Whatsapp, Google, etc. I remember thinking that we were going to be making rounds in Silicon Valley and be like rockstars out there in a short time.

I was glued to Techcrunch, Mashable, and Venturebeat. I had seen movies like the Social Network and Pursuit of Happiness and thought that was going to be us. A team that goes from nothing to something in a couple of months.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t move as fast as some of the films that we watch or articles we read. Success doesn’t happen by just standing around and thinking “that’s going to be me.” Also, there’s a lot more stressful moments than any article or movie portrays.

When anxiety hit me, it hit me hard. The strange thing is that my platform preaches being happy at work, however, there were so many setbacks and challenges that I wasn’t. I began having anxiety attacks and I felt like my mind was trying to kill me off.

For months, I felt alone and that there was no one that could help me. I had written a resignation letter and was ready to leave. Imagine giving a company your all and then just quitting. The day after I wrote my “resignation letter” my investor brought me in to talk, not about business, but about how I was feeling.

I was transparent with him and I let him know how I felt, which to this day was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I even showed him my resignation letter. I gave up on myself, and I didn’t want to be apart from something I was a part of.

He asked me to work from my hometown and try as hard as I can to get happy. Even when I got back home, I had to adjust. It took me about seven months before I had another breakdown and I spoke to my family and told them everything. From there, I did the bravest thing I’ve ever done. I sought professional help.

That’s when I realized that the stigma around mental health is absolute nonsense.

From the very first day, I saw the improvement. My therapist actually induced an anxiety attack, and I became aware that all the problems were all self-inflicted. She helped me recover and changed my mindset about life and what I was doing. I did another couple of months of remote working and I came back to my office’s headquarters with a clear, well-functioning mind. I can say with confidence that I’m doing better, as well as Officevibe.. The only regret I have is not seeking help sooner.

How Entrepreneurs Avoid Falling into Deep Depression

I often think about all the other entrepreneurs out there that are scared to admit that they’re “vulnerable” humans. They want to believe that they’re flawless and that they never fail, but that’s not the case, nor has it ever been.

Deep down people struggle with insecurities and stress. Entrepreneurs have to be told by everybody that they’re not good enough. Consumers, investors, family members, and others will always tell you that what you are working on isn’t good enough. Entrepreneurs will always hear that “someone else does that!” or “why don’t you trying doing something else?”  Oh, and my personal favorite, “have you heard about [insert name], they’re doing so well, why don’t you trying doing that?”  Stress and anxiety is the price to pay for entrepreneurship. But if we were to poll every entrepreneur in the world, I’m sure that nearly all of them agree, it’s worth it.

While that is nice, it’s vital for entrepreneurs to avoid getting into deep depression. If you have hit rock-bottom before and escaped, you know just how difficult it can be to get out of that hole.

Taking the precautions to make sure you avoid anxiety will help you succeed and do its part in giving you a clear mind.

The first thing I would advise is having a healthy balance between work and life. For most entrepreneurs, they’re so obsessed with their product that they do their best to perfect every little aspect of their product every day. Some work deep into the night and early into the morning.

The extra stress from being overworked can cause a lot of unhealthy habits that will damage your wellbeing. Entrepreneurs feel as if they are indebted to their product, so whenever they can, they’ll take shortcuts to not work that hard on themselves and get to their idea. That tunnel vision is hard to get rid of, but they have to realize that there’s more to life than a startup or getting the next person to fall in love with a product.

Having a strict, healthy regimen and diet can help with anxiety. I noticed that I was a lot heavier set when I was depressed. I didn’t care. I stopped caring about myself, and eventually my product. When I started working out and eating right, I felt like my mind was clear. I even turned into one of those “crazy” people that wake up extra early to workout before work.

Healthy mind, healthy body. There should never be a dissonance between the two. So keep both in check and make sure that you’re keeping tabs on improving your mind and body. There are plenty of online tools to help eat and workout better. Now, thanks to creatives at Pacifica, there is a well-designed app that provides a tool to manage stress and anxiety.

I’ve had plenty of conversation with Dale (CEO of Pacifica) and he’s told me about the company’s goals and vision, and I wanted to do whatever I could to make sure that this lovely application gets out there to the masses.

As a person who beat stress, anxiety, and dealt with suicidal thoughts, I wish I would’ve had a tool to tell me that I would benefit from getting help. Being a data-driven individual, I would have loved seeing something that quantifies my stress. Whatever can be measured can be improved. If stress can be quantifiable, there has to be a way to improve it.


 

If you are interested in contributing to Founder Stories please contact us at info@thinkpacifica.com.

Version 1.1: French, Spanish and so much more

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Our latest release is the biggest since our initial launch. Chris and I can’t thank you all enough for your feedback. We listened to every single comment and tried to prioritize what we could to get this out in a reasonable amount of time. First, the new features and changes:

French & Spanish Translations
In March, Pacifica reached #1 in Health & Fitness in the French App Store. Unfortunately we didn’t have internationalization at the time. We’ve responded to your feedback and are hard at work translating Pacifica to as many languages as we are able to, beginning with French and Spanish.

Health + Mood History
You can now see your health data alongside your mood history. This better helps understand how your behaviors can affect your state of mind. For me personally, it allows me to better see how my lack of sleep and how much caffeine I’m drinking seem to always cause a dip in my mood.

Daily Quotes
The home screen has been redesigned to display daily quotes that correspond to the daily activity. Check back each day for a different quote. The new video should also provide better contrast and is more uplifting.

Male/Female Narration in Relax + 8 New Visualizations
We’ve put a lot of work into Relax this release. For one, we added male/female narration to the muscle relaxation activity. This way, you can complete the activity without looking at the screen. We also added eight visualization meditations that can be used in situations where you might not be able to record your own voice.

New Soundscape Mode in Relax
“Soundscape Only” is a new activity in our guided relaxations that allows you to listen to the soundscapes infinitely. This was possible in the last version via our “meditation mode” but it was hidden behind a few different preferences. We brought this out into its own section of Relax to make it easier to use.

Simple & Advanced Mood History
By default, the mood history now shows a simplified view of your mood over time (a smiley). This is designed to give you a quick way to see your mood trends. You can still toggle back to the graph view via the button in the upper right (now “advanced”).

Persistent Experiments
Experiments were initially designed to be done in a single day. That wasn’t very practical. Your experiments will now stick around until you complete them, allowing you to better chronicle your accomplishments. There’s no rush.

HealthKit integration for iOS
Pacifica can now read sleep, caffeine, and workout data from the Apple Health App. If you have a device that supports HealthKit integration, this should make it a bit more seamless to populate data in Pacifica.

Ok, so we’ve packed a lot features into this release. Of the many bug fixes, here are a few of the big ones:

  • We’re hoping we’ve fixed most of the crashes on both iOS and Android. This seems to be the result of the way we’re using audio and video. Please let us know if you’re still seeing problems.
  • We’ve tried to fix the issues with Pacifica taking over the audio on your device. We may not have gotten all of it, but it should be a lot better.
  • Scrolling in the mood progress view could have issues every once in a while. This should be cleaned up.
  • Too many others to name here.

Thank you again for all of your feedback, and please keep it coming. Feel free to contact us at info@thinkpacifica.com with anything that’s on your mind.

Chris & Dale

Managing Anxiety in the Digital Age

Dear Stress, Let's break up.

This post was written by Kate Carmichael LPC and was originally posted here at ATX Counseling for Teens.

This month we are talking about joy!  Obstacles that get in our way are feelings of stress, anxiety, and fear.  Everybody knows what it is like to experience stress, stress is a part of life and even though it is inevitable, we do not have to suffer with constant anxiety, worry thoughts, or a sense of unease.  We can choose new ways of healing and discover greater peace even in the most challenging circumstances.  I have recently discovered a new app that can help by allowing us to become aware of our own emotional triggers.  I find this incredibly refreshing considering technology can be a huge source of stress for many people.  This app utilizes a treatment approach called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which helps us identify our irrational beliefs and unhealthy behaviors.  Irrational beliefs (or negative self-talk) are the deeply rooted misperceptions that we carry about ourselves, others, and life situations.  These beliefs play like elevator music in our minds constantly making us upset and limiting our own potential.  Oftentimes, people are unaware of how deeply these thoughts go, sometimes stemming from previous trauma or an emotionally unsafe person whose voice we have internalized.  The app has features that allow you to identify these thoughts and help you replace them with new, more positive, and more productive ways of being.  It also offers breathing techniques and experiments to help you learn new behaviors when the going gets tough.  Becoming aware of our self-talk is incredibly important in our path towards experiencing greater joy.  Our thoughts are very powerful; they affect everything from how we feel about ourselves to our relationships with others.  If you can think positive, be optimistic, and find some peace you will know joy.  And these thoughts are conscious choices you can make every day…even right this moment!

Download the app here:  thinkpacifica.com
And check out the youtube video below to learn more.

Centering thought of the day:  By choosing positive, loving thoughts, I create a life full of joy.  All is well in my world.

Anxiety? There’s An App For That.

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This post was written by Rachel Lyn and was originally posted here at Roots Elemental.

When it comes to technology, I’m a strong believer that less is more. It is so easy with the current highly evolved technologies widely available as well as living in a Western society to become engulfed in screen-time. Once in a lunar eclipsed moon, I find an app or a piece of technology that helps to connect back with the self versus focusing energy outside of the body.

Pacifica is a free app designed to assist with lessening the physical causes of stress and anxiety through mindfulness. It utilizes five categories rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation and key wellness factors.

1. Mood – A thermometer for your feelings and general mood throughout the day. You can track improvements and take note of triggers over time like water intake or number of hours of sleep.

2. Relax – When you feel stressed, Pacifica offers three relaxation exercises: deep belly breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and positive visualization. You can even pick your soundscape like summer nights or rooftop rain.

3. Thoughts – When you feel overwhelmed and your mind is racing, this app can assist with bringing negative thought patterns into the forefront to develop more positive perspectives over time.

4. Experiments – If you’re feeling up for a challenge, this section provides ways to explore your health and get some forward-motion traction.

5. Health – A section to track your daily wellness factors like hours of sleep, time spent outdoors, minutes exercising and caffeine intake.

Why the awesome folks at Pacifica created the App:
“While there will always be a place for traditional therapy, barriers such as stigma, cost, and logistical considerations often get in the way of individuals getting the treatment they need”. Get the whole story from their about page.

True That.

Awareness and support for folks who wrestle with anxiety and stress is important work. Together, we move forward.

In a fast-paced world of conflicting values, I really like how Pacifica highlights that change happens over time. Depending on how much consciousness we have towards our health factors, we can expedite real change and balance in a lasting way. It allows you to be a detective for your own emotional and physical wellbeing on a non-judging and gentle path. As we stay strongly rooted in the present, we can look to the future.

Get the App

Visit thinkpacifica.com/blog for more on startups & anxiety