An online program which takes 15 minutes time out of my day and in return promises me a more balanced and happier life. Special. Because when I think of a coach, I think of Marc Wilmots, or a muscular guy who lets me do 100 sit-ups with a whip in his hand. Upside down and next to each other. But this coaching is different: mental coaching, focused on my general wellbeing.
15 Minutes 4 Me is an online self-help program which guides people in self-reflection, where fifteen minutes of self-help per day would lead to 77% less stress. Every week, you as a participant receive an evolution report which can be shown to a treating physician or healthcare provider.
At home, from your seat, from behind your desk, from your patio, anywhere from where you can log onto www.15minutes4me.com
Fill out the free self-test on www.15minutes4me.com, even if it is just out of interest. If you are unpleasantly surprised by what the test tells you about your anxiety, tension, or depression levels, it might be a good idea to do something about these. 15 Minutes 4 Me. That self-test. After several questions about if I have felt anxious, agitated, panicky, happy, or unhappy during the past week, the results are very clear. Looking at a percentage, I am severely tense, very anxious, and mildly depressed. It is time to become my own Marc Wilmots ,and immediately at that.
The concept: by thinking about the things which we do and making certain choices, we can take our lives into our own hands. Thus, I must become aware of how I want to live, I have to develop new habits which help me with that, and I must consequently choose those thoughts as I go. That means that I need to teach myself to work more efficiently, that I must meet my deadlines instead of catching up on them, that I must make time to relax, and that I should let myself get less upset when things do not go the way I want them to. I must admit that all of those were things which I already knew. Still, they are things which I do not think about enough, not to the extent that I do something effective with them, that is. By opening the online program each day in a determine fashion, by answering the questions, and being forced to look at myself more closely, the idea that I can do better grows more and more. After just a week, my stress levels already were reduced from severe to mild, and during the two weeks that followed, these levels kept reducing further.
The conclusion: I have not only become more peaceful and stress resistant through these fifteen minutes, I have also become more self-aware. Is that very mindful? In some way it is. Poor habits like not planning my work or planning it in the wrong way and dealing with the self-hatred and frustrations which come with this, are things which I have gotten rid of. Better habits like planning and appreciating myself have taken their place. While it sounds very dumb to me as I type it, self-reflection does help and 15 Minutes 4 me is a good place for this.
This is what psychological mindfulness consultant Nathalie Cardinaels says: An online training might be too un-personal for some, while it poses an easy step to being coached for others. It is definitely useful to learn to deal with tress in a better way and to be reminded again and again that you have to take good care of yourself, but it does not replace therapy or guidance in large issues and with difficult emotions. That which is good about the program is that it, for this reason, clearly states that the software can never do any medical diagnosis, and that such diagnosis can only be given by a doctor. The self-coaching can this way be a valuable addition to professional help.
Download the full Dutch article here: Online self-help program for depression, stress, anxiety, burnout- Article in SJIEK, Het Belang Van Limburg