Calm & Confident
Based on EMDR
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Calm and Confident is for anyone who is struggling with too much stress and not enough confidence. As the name suggests, this app is designed to help you feel both calm and confident. Feeling calm is essential for health and wellbeing and something we all desire, but without confidence its just a nice feeling. Confidence is the end-product of feeling calm, based on experiencing yourself as connected, self-aware, accepting, balanced, energized, whole, and capable. This means feeling okay about your feelings needs and wants, feeling free to express yourself and ask for what you need from life (without hurting anyone of course). Its about feeling able to become the best version of yourself – not necessarily perfect, but the best ‘you’. Feeling calm is thus the foundation for living your authentic life.
Confidence is a belief in oneself, the conviction that one has the ability to meet life’s challenges and to succeed – and the willingness to act accordingly. True confidence is more than the superficial confidence of appearing strong or ‘in control’ or likeable. Its the genuine confidence of being able to walk into a room without having to compare yourself with others, or feeling unafraid to express your needs, or being different. It comes from feeling okay about yourself as you are – your weakness, your strengths, your failures, your imperfect body etc. Its liking yourself. As Lao Tzu said, ‘Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend.’
One of the greatest obstacles to confidence is anxiety, a response that humankind has struggled with ever since we came down from the trees. Anxiety is of course, part of our fight-flight response, enabling us to anticipate and respond to danger through elevated arousal, alertness and reactivity. But some of us live in a permanent state of flight-or flight as a result of too much stress (dysfunctional families, childhood neglect or abuse etc). Its very hard to feel calm, let alone confident when your nervous system has been tuned to high alert.
Imagine if you could hijack your fight-flight response and switch off those stressful feelings? Bilateral stimulation (BLS), one of the defining elements of this app, enables you to do that. How? Well, it’s a neat trick; BLS triggers an alert response in your brain as it tries to interpret whether there is a threat (“whats that?). This is what you brain does whenever it detects an unfamiliar stimulus – remember, there is no BLS in nature. After a few seconds, once your brain has figured out its not a sabre-toothed tiger, everything relaxes. This transition from high alert to feeling calm happens automatically and quickly as a result of natural mind-body responses. Its just your nervous system doing what it is programmed to do, except that with BLS you are controlling the process. The result is that you not only feel calmer, you also feel confident (‘things are not so bad’, ‘I can cope’). Its amazing to think that you can learn to ‘trick’ your nervous system in this way – but only because neuroscience is revolutionizing our ability to harness the power of the human brain. Its also exciting because it means that you probably have everything you need within you, you just need to know how to unlock it.
This is not wishful thing or positive pep talk. The guided meditations on this app harness recent discoveries from brain science to stimulate the brain processes that maintain anxiety and tension and inhibit confidence. More than just words, the meditations in the app incorporate a unique combination of focused attention and sensory stimulus (BLS) and emotional learning. These elements appeal to the parts of the brain involved in processing memories and open the brains learning pathways to new information. The difference is that this learning takes place naturally rather than trying to talk yourself out of worrying or effortful self-help strategies. Recent research has confirmed that BLS can enhance retrieval of positive memories and facilitate development of more resourced mental states (see also; ‘what is EMDR’).
This app is based on a CD of the same name which I created many years ago and includes two original recordings from that (‘Calm 2’ and ' and ‘Calm and Confident 2’). An English psychologist rated that CD as ‘the most effective relaxation training I have heard from any audio library,’ Now 20 years later I am delighted to bring this material to you in a much expanded format with a host of additional resources, at a fraction of the cost!
See; ‘How to use this app’ for more information about the sessions and how to use them.
Amano T, Toichi M (2016) The Role of Alternating Bilateral Stimulation in Establishing Positive Cognition in EMDR Therapy: A Multi-Channel Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study. PLoS ONE 11(10): e0162735. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0162735
About this app