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.
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 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