Self Improvement Made Easy With Technology

I am an advocate of personal growth. And as a psychotherapist, I sometimes assign homework between sessions. I might ask you to log your mood, read a book, practice a technique, or use meditation and relaxation to calm your anxiety. Fortunately, technology makes it easier to pursue personal growth. I have compiled some of my favorite resources here.

Meditation/Relaxation/Breathing: Put on your stereo headphones and tune into guided imagery and self hypnosis on your Ipod. Binaural beats make the human brain receive and synchronize alpha brain waves in which the brain produces a deeper state of relaxation, meditation, creativity and other desirable mental states than previously. One such app is called “Brainwave”.

Improve relationships: The Gottman Institute features the research and clinical work of Dr.s John and Julie Gottman. They have excellent material on marriage and parenting. Check out The Gottman Institute on youtube.com so that you can see them firsthand. The Gottman Institute is on face book – if you “like it” you will receive their latest posts.

Motivation: “Self Help Classics” is an app that contains a self help & inspiration library. It gives you access to the top 34 self help authors and motivational speakers. If you like to read, this one will keep you motivated and inspired.

Learn something new: If I have a long ride ahead of me, I listen to podcasts. Two of my favorites are TedTalks: Society and Culture and Stuff You Should Know from HowStuffWorks.com . They are fascinating and will add to your general knowledge as well as entertain you while on a road trip.

Find a new hobby: http://www.Pinterest.com is a site chock full of interesting things to do, see, or create. You could spend hours just browsing, or better yet, create a new garden, try a new recipe, read a new book, decorate your home, find new travel sites.

Understand your mood and personality: There are apps for screening and tracking your mood. For example, “PTSD Coach” is a very useful app. I also find that many authors supplement their books with online surveys. One that I especially like is from the work of Martin Seligman at http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/. This site offers a number of questionnaires that measure character strengths and aspects of happiness.

Eat well: http://www.thefresh20.com. This is a meal planning service for families that want to eat fresh, healthy meals, save time and money. Five meals are created around 20 fresh, seasonal ingredients per week. It even gives you a grocery list. How easy is that? And the recipes are tasty and easy to make.

Weight Loss: Lose It! This app tracks your daily calories, food and exercise. It has a social connection feature that lets you send encouraging words to your buddies that are also using LoseIt! It has calorie counts for supermarket or restaurant foods.

Exercise: Wireless tracking devises are like highly evolved pedometers that can track your activity, food, weight and sleep. There are a number of different brands such as Fitbit.

Social Networking: Who isn’t familiar with Face book and LinkedIn? You can also keep in touch with friends by playing online games such as Scrabble and Words With Friends. Create your own blog as a means of journaling and communicating with others.

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