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Mindful : August 2014
OVERHEARD “The corporate ladder, the ladder of life, social strata. Really? Do you think, truly, that what is up there is going to be so much more meaningfully different than where you are right now?” Arthur Rosenfeld, author of The Truth About Chronic Pain A teen recounts an upsetting conver- sation. Her therapist realizes something: the conversation never happened aloud. A twenty-something comes in and frantically searches for a place to plug in his phone, so as not to miss a text. A middle-aged man lets his buzzing phone bug him for the entire session. Moments like these spurred psycholo- gist Leora Trub to create a mindfulness app to investigate how the medium impacts the message we’re tex ting. The Mindful Messaging app, which was co-created by Pace University and Inward Inc., mixes podcast-style discus- sions with shor t and long meditations over a 21-day period. It’s not just about having mindfulness conveniently at your fingertips—it’s targeted at our relation- ship with the gadgets that are making life so “convenient.” For instance, the app asks you to compose a message to someone you’ve had tension with lately, take a few deep breaths, and identify your feelings from a checklist. It then asks you to visualize the receiver as they’re reading the text: how would they feel? The app assesses your response. “It forces you to think about whether this message will authentically give you what you want for this relation- ship right now,” says Trub. As texting becomes a medium for messages more subtle than LOL, people struggle, “but those who are high on impulsivity and low on emotional regula- tion are struggling even more.” A final prototype is now being tested. The app will be available soon for iPhone users. ● Texting: When LOL Just Won’t Cut It For a sample of the Mindful Messaging app, go to mindful.org/ mindfulmessaging August 2014 mindful 17 August 2014 mindful 17 IMAGECOURTESYOF(+)INWARD