We can all use a little relaxation in our life right? Well I definitely could anyway. I hear myself saying “I don’t have time to relax” all the time. Giving myself permission for 30-60 minutes to relax is a luxury apparently I don’t think myself worthy of. What I will give myself permission for is 10 minutes to relax at a time. So I started looking around for 10 minute relaxation scripts online. I found quite a few on Youtube and other various blogs but nothing that would give me any feedback on how I was going in developing my new found skills of peace and serenity.
Enter BellyBio. BellyBio is a smartphone application that is free to download. It uses sound and music to help calm your breathing and has you set your phone on your stomach whilst you are listening. By placing the phone on your belly it delivers feedback to the phone that looks a little like a heart monitor. The different colours on the graph reflect the different types of breathing and how settled you are during the session. Sounds great right? Well don’t get too excited about it all. Whilst it records your breathing and you can look at it after the session you can’t see how calm you are during the session. You can turn on the audio cues that will tell you in one of the types of music but these felt like an interruption to me. Talking of interruptions I found it quite difficult to relax initially despite lying out on a comfy area and shutting out the sounds of the everyday world. Why you ask? The sounds of the waves that Bellybio claim to have sounded more like I was on the set of Pearl Harbour or Top Gun and fighter pilots were taking off from every direction. This was muted a little with the use of headphones but overall every time a “wave” would crash my anxiety levels would rise a little expecting to see a jet fly over my head.
Once I got used to the “waves” my breathing settled enough for the music to start. Cue relaxation. It is the same music that plays in the beautician’s room every time I get a massage (ok so the 3 times in my life when I’ve treated myself to a massage). Well then I was able to reach a level of calm and maintain that for another 5 minutes. Overall I think it could use some improvements but I’m willing to try it again. I’m curious to see if I can reach a very calm level of breathing. Right now I’m at a 4 so I’ve got something to work towards.
What’s good about it: The music is relaxing (when you get to it) and it does give you log books and feedback after the session.
What’s not so good: The sound of jets taking off never really relaxed me!