Friday, November 6, 2020

"Fairy Tales De-stressed" Shows - and Teaches - the Transforming Power of Learning Mindfulness

“Many characters in fairy tales are under clear stress – or else causing it to others. They badly need to meditate. And so we wondered what would happen if they did.” 

Feeling stressed? Us too! Self-care is very important right now as election results remain in flux and the results uncertain. 

But let's be real. It's still really hard to stop the stress, the frustration, and restless worry spinning in our minds. The good news is that there is one scientifically proven tool available to use to help and that's meditation and mindfulness. If you're like a lot of folks, though, that seems too hard to make happen and might feel a little "woo-woo" to get started. Thankfully, there's an app for that! 

 If you've spent any time watching media coverage of the election, there's a good chance you will have seen this pop up every now and then during a commercial break:

Easy, right? And that's pretty much how easy it is to begin.

While the above video is a commercial for a product - a subscription app called Calm - it is also incredibly welcome to see a reminder to just "stop", in the middle of the debate and contention. Calm is the #1 app for guided meditation, breathing, focus, and mindfulness and uses a lot of nature-enhanced visuals and audio to help people deal with anxiety and stress. They also. however, have a whole library of "sleep stories", including some retold fairy tales. 

(And, no, we have no affiliation with the company and are not getting any perks - we just think this is awesome.)

To us, though, the most interesting use of the fairy tales they've added is the "Fairy Tales De-stressed" series.

The shared theme of these new tales is the power of meditation, mindfulness, and other mind tools to transform lives. 
...The new tales are also loosely inspired by the Dalai Lama’s assertion that, “If every eight year-old is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” 
The four tales we are aware of in this series are "Rumpelstiltskin Learns to Meditate", "The Big Bad Wolf Learns Anger Management", The Wicked Witch of the West Learns Mindfulness", and "Pinocchio and the Sleepless Cricket". These aren't really retellings though. They are more akin to an additional chapter in the already existing story of these angry and messed up characters, in which, by learning new tools to manage stress and emotions, become transformed. 
The best part? It's not just a story. The principles are based on scientific evidence of the measurable effects that using meditation can have.
It tells what happens – and what a different turn life takes – when Rumpelstiltskin does what any creature famed for their foul temper should do – and learns to meditate.
It starts by recapping the traditional tale of Rumpelstiltskin ... or, what we might call the bad, sad and chronically ill-tempered chapter in his life before he learnt meditation.
If there's any truth to the notion that many of us possess our own inner Rumpelstiltskin in some form, then not just the Dalai Lama but plenty of scientific research suggests that meditation might be the answer. 
...“There’s a wealth of research showing that meditation can make people kinder, more compassionate and less angry," says Alex Tew. One study by Northeastern University – commissioned by another meditation app – found that as little three weeks of meditation can increase compassion by 23% and reduce aggression by 57%. 
The "Fairy Tales De-stressed" series uses celebrities Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones), Keegan Connor Tracy (ABCs Once Upon A Time) and Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) as narrators, and join the many other celebrity voices in the Sleep Stories library for Calm.
Calm website screenshot - a small selection of the manhy, many titles available
Calm is available through the Google Play Store for android and the AppleStore for iPhone and iPad products. They are currently having a 7-day free Premium access trial with no obligation exit, which unlocks all the Sleep Stories, and there's also a 40% off welcome offer for the yearly subscription. 

While the Sleep Stories are aimed at adults, Calm has just added a whole lot of stories for kids just in time for this stressful season, so there's something for the whole family.

Go HERE to check them out. If you're someone who carries your phone with you most places you go, you'll get a lot out of Calm over the course of the day, every day. Easiest personal trainer for better mental health ever.
"Introducing my new Sleep Story ‘Pinocchio and the Sleepless Cricket’ - with a special appearance by the Blue Fairy. I’ve talked a lot about my insomnia and how these sleep stories were a game-changer for me. So slide into the sheets, relax and get comfortable while I lull you to dreamland with a new twist on an old classic"- Keegan Connor Tracy

As a bonus, here is a trailer for another of the fairy tales available in the Sleep Stories library, though this one made the news not too long ago: this is the first AI-written bedtime story. While most of the stories are written by experienced and respected writers, this one is the "test story" to see if AI is able to write a traditionally-styled fairy tale, but with some contemporary updating, and satisfy listeners. (You be the judge.):

No comments:

Post a Comment