If you’re feeling overwhelmed by life’s constant stressors or by a recent/past traumatic event, then you will probably benefit from the 5 coping skills taught in the iChill app by Trauma Resource Institute, Inc.
This Health & Fitness app teaches 5 simple coping techniques that can be done anywhere and at anytime to help people get back on track and more in control of their well-being. According to the developer’s iTunes description, people like “civilians, troops, veterans and their families,” and many others will benefit from learning and practicing these techniques.
The iChill iPhone app provides explanations and verbal walk-throughs of the theory and techniques. By practicing these skills regularly they will help you to be more flexible in dealing with stress and help you get back into your “Resilient Zone.” These 5 stress-coping skills are taught through a wellness model called “Trauma Resiliency Model-Community.” These skills are surprisingly practical. The 5 skills covered are: Tracking, Grounding, Resourcing, Resourcing Intensification, and Shift and Stay.
iChill starts out by providing a background explanation of how excessive stress effects the nervous system knocking us out of our “Resilient Zone.” You can choose to listen to the calm narration throughout this app or you can read it yourself. The app then moves on to explaining the 5 skills, and then to the step-by-step exercises that help you understand exactly why and how to personally use these skills to help yourself.
There are over-simplified charts like “The Resilient Zone” and “Subjective Units of Resource.” These charts show you the effects of stress and provide a useful tool to help you gauge where you’re at emotionally before and after using your “Resource” skill, which is anything that provides comfort and makes you feel better. The charts aren’t much to look at, but do give a visual representation for a better understanding of what’s being explained. One nice thing about the Resourcing area is that it provides a place for you to add whatever your calming resource is. You can type it in as a note, record as a memo or take a photo.
I tested out a few of the 5 step skills and some of the 10 tips in the “Amp Down Now” section. I found them effective for refocusing my mind, mood, and bringing down my stress level. Surprisingly, the steps were simple. A few of the “Amp Down Now” tips were things like: count backwards from 10 as you walk around the room, drink a glass of water, and notice the temperature of room. These are quick tips to help you immediately.
The overall quality of the user interface and recorded narration in this app could be more polished. However, the quality of information provided in the iChill app is great as a free resource to help people in distress learn real coping skills to better handle whatever stress life dishes out.