BY: SHAWNTAE HARRIS
The hustle of a big city makes it almost impossible to relax sometimes. Hearing the loud cars go by and running to catch the train as the doors nearly close around you can be exhausting.
The only moment you can really take a second to breathe is in the back seat of the Uber that you ordered to avoid driving through rush hour on your own.
But now the minutes spent in the back of an Uber, walking down a crowded street or on the packed subway train can be spent relaxing.
Sway is an app designed for big city living. It helps people meditate on the go with a sensor that tracks users movements. The app is a collaboration between PauseAble, a meditation app, and Ustwo, a digital production studio.
The app was created by Peng Cheng and Ustwo’s Malmo studio who created the two-year updated app. Cheng created another meditation app two years prior called Pause, which allows you to meditate by continuously moving a bubble on a phone screen.
“How can we help people distress, refocus and recharge anywhere, anytime as part of their normal lives?” said Marcus Woxneryd, head of Ustwo Malmo to Wired.
The Sway app acts as a yoga instructor as well. It tells you whether to take longer breaths or shorter breaths. It uses the phone’s rotation tracker and accelerometers to measure the attention span of a person, and suggests things to do with your body like ‘do small controlled movements’.
The app will know when relaxation is over. It notices whenever someone moves around too much that they are not focusing enough.
This new approach is called interactive meditation, which, according to Sway, is supposed to detect humans’ attention through slow and gentle movements that thrive during noisy and active environments.
The forgotten sense
Sway is developed from the movements of the sixth sense. The last sense is the control of body movement. This occurs when we have complete control of our body and complete control of our movements – and we have control of how our movements will play out.
This then allows focus, clarity and complete relaxation. The only way to achieve this is when “the person directs and pays attention to the repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or muscular activity,” according to Ustwo. “The person passively disregards everyday thoughts that inevitably come to mind and returning to your repetition.” The meditation is supposed to be done for 20 minutes every day to get the full effect.
One in three Americans feel stressed on workdays
The survey found that Americans are stressed for 60 per cent of the work week. Most people turn to television, social media, and getting into comfy clothes as a way to destress at the end of the night.
Working out is another great solution to destress since it releases endorphines. But the stress can lead to anxiety and depression with some people.
Meditation can improve decision making, creativity, personal and work relationships. Taking 20 minutes out of your day to devote to meditation can make a huge difference in improving your mental health, and subsequently your overall happiness.