New statistics from the Harvard Business Review claim that up to 50% of Americans are feeling overwhelmed at work. With computers being a necessary evil and often the fuse that leads to fire – could they also provide the cure?
Boulder, CO -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/20/2012 -- Overworked employees now fill more waiting rooms at doctors' offices across the country than any other group. Noticing the increase in stress levels and longer working hours, one entrepreneur and spiritual practitioner believes the solution lies in an unlikely place: a software application.
Over 10,000 people in 80 countries believe the same. Calling on over twenty years’ experience of helping stressed office workers find the calm they desire, Hector Bolanos has developed “Stillness Buddy”, a software application aimed at helping those who work at a computer, achieve a sense of calm and inner peace.
“These days, most of us are working too many continuous hours, trying to juggle several things at the same time. As a result, we become overworked, stressed, get ill and we stop enjoying what we do,” says Bolanos.
Discussing why he felt an innovative solution was needed, Bolanos recalls his own experiences:
“I was a typical hard-working, fairly driven professional. I would work for long hours, without a break. Invariably, I would get exhausted and ill. I knew the importance of stopping every now and then to breathe, center myself again and then continue. I tried all sorts of things to remind to pause: post-it notes on my desk, Outlook reminders, and so on, but after a while I would forget they were even there.”
After many failed attempts at finding a way to remind himself to take regular short breaks and re-connect with his own inner peace, Bolanos came up with the idea of Stillness Buddy.
“I realized that the solution had to be something that would come directly from the computer itself, where I focused my attention for most of the day. It had to be something that I could customise, be visually pleasing and that would regularly remind me to pause, reflect and re-connect.” he adds.
The software encourages the user to take very short but regular pauses during the day, and practice some simple, but powerful mindfulness exercises.
Users have several versions of Stillness Buddy to choose from, with the teachings, practices and messages from well-known spiritual teachers, including His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, Paramhansa Yogananda and several others.
Bolanos factored two types of short breaks into Stillness Buddy, “moments of stillness” and “mindfulness pauses”. The frequency and duration of these breaks, as well as the exercises and messages that are displayed, are completely customizable by users in order to suit their preferences and workload.
While Stillness Buddy’s concept and features are impressive, can a software program really hold the key to inner peace, especially taking technology's contribution to modern day stress into account?
“We’ve had an overwhelming response from people using Stillness Buddy. Many have reported that the application helps them to remain relaxed, more focused in the present moment and less stressed during working hours,” explains Bolanos.
After finally cracking the egg of workplace stress, Bolanos and his team at MindFree Ventures have expanded the content of Stillness Buddy by adding the exercises and teachings from two well-known Buddhist teachers, Jack Kornfield and Mark Coleman, as well as a module containing several stretches which can be discreetly carried out in the office. This, coupled with a new trendier user interface, makes the application a vital tool for the well-being of those working at a computer.
“I was once at the stage where a heart attack, nervous breakdown or exhaustion were just around the corner. I learned the importance of taking regular breaks in order to renew and re-connect. We think we now have a solution that could change the statistics for good,” concludes Bolanos.
Bolanos and his team are continuing to spread the message of the importance of taking regular breaks during the working day. The hope is that the Harvard Business Review’s statistics can report lower numbers in years to come, with people enjoying their work more, while living healthier, happier lives.
A 14-day free trial of Stillness Buddy is available at http://www.stillnessbuddy.com
About MindFree Ventures
MindFree Ventures is a UK software development company, founded in 2009 by Hector Bolanos. Mr. Bolanos is a serial entrepreneur as well as a keen spiritual practitioner with 20 years of experience and training.
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