Pacifica Mindfulness Updates

We’re delighted to announce the recent renovation of Pacifica’s relaxation and meditation section. Some of the changes we’ve made to this section of the app:

New Design
Perhaps the most obvious change, we’ve shifted from a list to a more visually appealing format, with images that provide some information about the nature of the activity. We’ve also simplified the display of the meditation lengths and updated some meditation names.

 

Daily FREE Meditation
Each day, a different Premium meditation/relaxation activity will be featured and will be available for free. 

New Meditations
These new activities will help you to build new coping skills and think differently.

  • Building PositivityUse mindfulness to identify wins, focus on the upside, and savor moments of joy.
  • Getting Motivated: Use this meditation to build initiative and move towards your goals.
  • Eating Mindfully: Be fully present while eating to savor the experience.
  • Coping with Physical Pain: Use mindfulness to help you manage pain.
  • Defusing Anger: Use mindfulness strategies to cope with frustration.
  • Falling Asleep: Release your stress from the day while relaxing into sleep.

Updates to Existing Meditations
We’ve improved and updated our existing meditations, particularly those designed to help you coping with anxiety-provoking situations, like taking a flight or being in social groups. Be sure to give these a listen!

Meditation Reminders
You can now set up daily reminder notifications for meditations, to help you build a mindfulness habit.

Do you have suggestions or requests for meditations you’d like to see in the future? Send us an email at info@thinkpacifica.com with your ideas!

Cognitive Distortions are All Black and White

My favorite color is grey.

OK, not really. But perhaps it should be, considering what I’m about to say.

I believe that we live life in the grey area. That nothing is black and white, right and wrong, cut and dry. I’ve been working on writing new content for Pacifica (look for exciting stuff soon!) and have found myself coming back to this idea several times. Often when we are struggling it’s because we’re looking for things to fit into boxes, to be neat and clean, and they aren’t. Life is full of exceptions to rules, qualifiers, maybes, and “that depends”.

One of the key points of Cognitive-behavioral therapy, upon which Pacifica is largely based, is that our thoughts have a major role in determining our emotions and behaviors. CBT holds that negative thoughts or cognitive distortions are one of the most important factors in maintaining mental illness.

A cognitive distortion is an error in thinking which can lead you to perceive the world inaccurately. Cognitive distortions are often negative self-statements and typically reinforce negative beliefs you have about yourself, others, or the world. One example would be telling yourself “I’m a loser. No one likes me.” You probably don’t have evidence that this is true, and this thinking trap will undoubtedly make you feel worse about yourself. If you are able to recognize that telling yourself “I’m a loser” is an exaggerated negative thought, you might then be inclined to try to convince yourself of the opposite: “I’m fantastic. I’m great. I’m the best.” But you may or may not have evidence for that either.

The fact is that, for most of life, we are in the grey area. Sometimes we are great, other times, not so much. Everybody has off days and makes mistakes. We also all have days where we feel like we’re doing well and things are going our way. The sum total of all this up-and-down is that we are all somewhere in the middle. In the grey.

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The key to accurate, non-distorted thinking is to recognize that nothing in life is simple or absolute (there’s probably even an exception to this!).

Finding Balance

One of the most innovative and helpful aspects of CBT that we’ve integrated into Pacifica is the ability to identify and challenge your thoughts. Once you notice that you are engaging in black-and-white thinking, you can take a step back and start to question whether the event or issue you are thinking about is really all one way or the other, or if perhaps you’ve made an inaccurate interpretation. Reframing or restating those extreme thoughts can be very helpful when trying to find emotional balance. It’s not always easy, but with practice you will get into the habit of seeing your thoughts and recognizing when you’ve fallen victim to a distortion. This often decreases the intensity of negative emotions and makes it possible to move forward.

So the next time you are trying to swing your views of yourself strongly one way or the other, remember that, probably, the truth is somewhere in the middle. An excellent goal would be to identify those balanced, realistic views.

Hacking Your Mood with Pacifica

Hi, I’m Ross Nelson, Clinical Psychologist and Pacifica’s Digital Health Consultant and Advisor. In this blog post, we are getting emotional. Okay not exactly getting emotional per se, but I will be examining the function and benefits of answering the seemingly simple question, “How are you feeling?” We will be touching on: what emotions are, the benefits of monitoring mood, and how to begin noticing and keeping track of your feeling using the Pacifica App.

So, let’s kick this off with that question: how are you feeling? It might be a bit of a challenge, but take a moment to ask yourself “What emotions am I experiencing right now?” Am I happy? Sad? Angry? Tired? Confused? or Skeptical?

How are you feeling?

If you were able to identify a feeling…great! If not…that’s okay too! In fact, for most of us, the process of identifying our current emotional states is challenging. Particularly because many of us were never taught (or encouraged) to notice how we are feeling and/or to talk about our feelings. We may also have been taught that emotions are “bad” and that we shouldn’t express them.

So briefly, an emotion (also sometimes called “mood” or “feeling”) is a complex, but natural psychological state or reaction involving one’s own subjective experience, a response occurring inside the body, and a behavioral or expressive response. Over the course of time, emotions have served the purpose of pushing us to either take action or to avoid it. For example when our prehistoric ancestors crossed paths with dinosaurs, they would experience an emotion (such as nervousness), which would then propel them to take some sort of action (i.e. attempt to fight or possibly run away). So emotions, while at times unsettling, serve a wonderful function!

So here are the top 3 reasons why you might want to begin tracking your mood:

  1. Identify Patterns. By consistently documenting our mood, we can start to identify both positive and negative life influences on our emotions.
  2. Helps With Goal Setting. By identifying your mood, you will be able to establish goals for emotional change and choose specific goals tailored to alleviating a specific mood. (i.e. the Pacifica Deep Breathing techniques help with anxiety, but less so when feeling depressed).
  3. Regaining Control. Research has shown that the process of simply checking in with current mood states can helps us feel better about our lives.

So here is how you can start to identify (and monitor) your own mood using the Pacifica App. Like building any new habit, repetition can be very useful. To help remind you to check your mood, Pacifica will send periodic push notifications encouraging you to touch base with how you are feeling.

How is your mood?

These helpful reminders direct you back to the app where you note your current emotional experience. Pacifica offers common mood states that you may experience in a day, but you can also enter in your own identified mood state (by clicking “NEW”).

My mood is great!

If you are having having trouble identifying your mood, try to distinguish if you are feeling on the “Great” end of the spectrum or “Awful” (or somewhere in between). This can be a nice starting place for identification of what it is you are feeling.

This first step of becoming aware of your mood sets the foundation for you to start utilizing tools to help you overcome your stress, anxiety, depression, or any other distress you may be experiencing. We encourage you to practice often and to not judge yourself for having emotions. Simply become aware of what is already taking place.

How have you enjoyed monitoring your mood using the Pacifica App and do you have any tips/tricks for how you become aware of your own emotional states? Please comment and share below!

For questions about mood monitoring, please feel free to contact me on twitter @RossNelsonPsyD.

Pacifica 2.0 has Launched!

We’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the response to Pacifica over the past 6 months. We launched the app because we know personally how difficult anxiety, stress and depression can be. Providing a convenient and effective way for folks to access relief on a day-to-day basis was incredibly important to us. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness Meditations, we did just that – we built Pacifica to include tools that can be used daily for stress and anxiety relief. Whether you’re a college student overwhelmed by tests, or a young professional anxious about your career path, or a mom stressed out by the busy bustle of raising children – Pacifica can help you!

Over the past 6 months, we’ve gathered helpful feedback from the community (you!). Many have provided valuable suggestions for improvements. And we listened carefully. Taking that feedback and learning from you, we’re happy to announce Pacifica 2.0!

Pacifica 2.0

Without removing any of the tools that users love, we modified the app and streamlined a few key areas to make it even easier, helpful and enjoyable. Here’s what’s new:

  • After your first MOOD entry each day, we’ll suggest a corresponding activity to help. You can also set a reminder for later in the day.
  • You now have the ability to comment on COMMUNITY posts. We are excited to watch how the conversations unfold!
  • We revamped GOALS (formerly EXPERIMENTS) with hundreds of daily challenges for you to pick from.

Download Pacifica 2.0 today, available on both iOS and Android. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or feedback at chris@thinkpacifica.com. We hope you enjoy the update!

PS – Most of the tools in Pacifica are available every day such as MOOD, HEALTH and now GOALS. In Pacifica 2.0, access of some of the activities rotate each day as well, such as RELAX, THOUGHTS, and MEDITATIONS. If you want to ensure that all the tools are available whenever you need them, upgrade to premium. We made the cost $3.99/month because we want it to be easy for users to afford.

Chris’s Weekly Update – Mindfulness

Weekly Update - Mindfulness

Hey everyone,

This week, I wanted to talk about mindfulness. Heard of it? It’s been in the news a lot lately.

It’s been said that anxiety is worrying about the future and depression is dwelling on the past. Well, mindfulness teaches us to stay in the present moment. How does this help with anxiety? When you’re mindful, you learn to put space between your thoughts/feelings and observe them without judgement. In other words, instead of immediately reacting to a thought, you can respond more sensibly. Remember, just because you think something does not make it true.

We recently introduced three mindfulness meditations for our premium users within the RELAX activity: Senses, Observe and Breathe. These are designed to help you get familiar with mindfulness through very simple meditations.

Have you tried these yet? Next time you’re feeling anxious (or curious), give them a try and let me know what you think. Our monthly upgrade includes a 7-day free trial, so what are you waiting for? As always, you can reach me at chris@thinkpacifica.com with feedback.

Until next week,
Chris Goettel
Designer & Co-Founder

What We’re Working On

This week, Dale and I are working on…text thoughts! You’ve all been asking for them, and we’ve been listening. I think you’re really going to dig this.

We also have a release pending approval that includes custom feelings for tracking your mood, the ability to reorder health items, and private chat within communities. Email me at chris@thinkpacifica.com if you want to test this before it goes live.

This Week’s Community Playlist

In our second week of Music Community song suggestions, Twenty One Pilots continues to dominate. Here’s a Spotify playlist we put together based on your suggestions (keep them coming).

Pacifica Top Songs June 19

This Week’s Reads

Mindfulness Meditation Benefits: 20 Reasons Why It’s Good For Your Mental And Physical Health
by Amanda L. Chan via The Huffington Post

Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain
by Christina Congleton, Britta, K. Hölzel, & Sara W. Lazar via Harvard Business Review

Mindfulness Meditation May Ease Anxiety, Mental Stress
by Julie Corliss via Harvard Health Publications

June 14 – Chris’s Weekly Pacifica Update

Weekly Update - June 14, 2015

Hey everyone,

This week, I wanted to answer some common questions I get about Pacifica. Check these out below. Remember, you can always reach me at chris@thinkpacifica.com.

Meanwhile, Dale and I have been listening to your feedback/ideas within the Communities and are hard at work on the next release. Stay tuned…

If you haven’t downloaded the update, what are you waiting for? Get it now in the App Store or Google Play Store.

Until next week,
Chris Goettel
Designer & Co-Founder

Your Pacifica Questions

What do I get by upgrading?
A premium subscription gets you full access to Thoughts & Experiments each day. You also get additional mindfulness meditations in Relax as well as unlimited private groups.

Can I get a 7-day trial?
Yes, our monthly subscription comes with a free 7-day trial on both Android and iOS.

How do I remove Health habits?
To remove a Health habit, just swipe the row left to reveal a delete button. Health habits can always be re-added again later.

Can I customize my Health goals?
Yes, you can. From the main Health screen, just tap the gear in the upper-right corner. From here, you can set your own daily goals.

I forgot to enter my Health data yesterday. Can I still enter it?
Yes, you can. On the main Health screen, you’ll see a left arrow at the top. Tap this to move back a day (or however far back you need to go).

Can I add text note to a Mood entry?
Yes, you can. When completing a Mood entry, look for a note icon in the upper-right. Tap this to add a note describing any specifics you’d like.

Can I edit/delete Mood entries?
Yes, you can. From the Mood History view, just swipe a mood row to reveal delete and add note buttons.

Can I turn off the goal sound?
Yes, you can. Just tap the Account gear on the Home screen. Then tap NOTIFICATION SETTINGS > GOAL ALERT > Off.

You can also check our support site at help.thinkpacifica.com for common questions, discussions, and upcoming features.

This Week’s Community Playlist

We introduced the Music community this week and the response was overwhelming. Here’s a Spotify playlist we put together based on your suggestions (we’ll be doing this each week so keep posting).

Pacifica Top Songs June 11

This Week’s Reads

9 Things I Wish People Understood About Anxiety
by Kady Morrison at VOX

‘Coming Out’ as Anxious
by Scott Stossel at The New York Times

Mindfulness May Be As Good as Meds for Staving Off Depression
by Linda Searing at The Washington Post

App Update: Private Groups and Public Communities

It has been a very exciting couple of months for us here at Pacifica. We launched at the end of January and the response has been overwhelming. Over 215k people have signed up to use Pacifica, and we can’t get enough of what they’ve been saying about it:

Your comments and feedback have been inspiring. There truly is a movement underway in how people are starting to address their daily health. Fitness is no longer just about our physical wellbeing. It’s about our overall health and happiness, both body and mind. And an important part of that is in having personal support groups that can help when you need it most. We’re excited to say that these support groups are now coming to Pacifica. Today’s release focuses on two specific pieces of functionality: Private Groups and Public Communities.

new-group

Private Groups

Create support groups with your family, friends or confidants. Stay connected through chat and sharing (i.e. your mood history, thought records, and experiments).

Public Communities

Share your daily accomplishments, anecdotes, or inspirations, no matter how small. Or just browse and like your favorite content across our 12 communities (ranging from “Your Stories” to “Gratitude” to “Depression” to “Work Stress”).

Mindfulness Meditations

We have also added a few new exercises for our premium users. You can now calm yourself with three new mindfulness meditations: Breathe, Senses & Observe.

As always, we continue to try to fix as many bugs as we can every release as well. Here are a few of the bigger ones this time:

  • Recording Positive Visualizations on Android works correctly now.
  • Health data is correctly showing alongside your mood entries in progress.
  • Pauses during playback of certain relaxation exercises should work correctly now.
  • Relaxation audio should play correctly when phone is locked.
  • Delete mood entries and edit notes in the progress view.

We know we haven’t fixed everything or addressed all of your feedback but please do keep letting us know if you have any comments. We’re always striving to make Pacifica as good as it can possibly be and we can’t do it without your input.

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

Version 1.1: French, Spanish and so much more

FeatureImage-FR
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