Small Steps, Big Changes – MindShift

Posted by: Dawn Schell on November 22, 2013 4:35 pm

Imagine you’re a high school student who suffers from test anxiety.  It’s not that you don’t study – it’s just that your mind goes blank anytime you are in a test situation and you fail.  And the more that happens the more anxious you feel.  Each test is starting to feel like a mountain you don’t want to climb.  There’s a lot riding for you on the test you have today.   It feels as if your heart is going to come out of your chest it’s beating so fast and you can feel yourself starting to panic.

Now imagine you pull out your phone and open the MindShift app.  There you find tips on calm breathing, reminders about helpful thoughts and you can review strategies to manage your anxiety before, during and after a test.

Ahhh, that’s better.  Heartbeat and breathing slows.  Thoughts stop racing.  You are feeling more in charge and able to face the task at hand.

That’s just one small example of how MindShift, a new app designed to help teens and young adults manage anxiety and reduce stress, can work.

This evidence-based app was released in June of this year and was co-developed by Anxiety BC and BC Mental Health & Addiction Services.  Teens and young adults were included in the design process and their feedback was invaluable.

The app is easy to navigate and offers concrete practical support that can be personalized by the user.   MindShift is discreet in appearance and name so it won’t be immediately obvious to anyone that you are using the app for anxiety management and you can password protect it if you wish.

MindShift has several sections:

Anxiety 101 – a brief education section.

My Situations – you can choose situations you would like help with.  MindShift includes strategies to deal with everyday anxiety and also offers specific strategies for dealing with the following seven areas:  Worry, Panic, Conflict, Performance Anxiety, Test Anxiety, Perfectionism and Social Anxiety.  As I understand it they hope to add more areas as time goes on.

Check Yourself– you can rate your anxiety levels and check off the symptoms you are experiencing and there’s also space to write notes.

Thinking Right – this is a list of helpful thoughts for dealing with specific situations or you can use the “realistic thinking for everyday” to shift self-talk to more balanced, fair, realistic thoughts. You can star your favourites so you can come back to them.

Chill out tools – offers relaxation exercises, visualizations, and mindfulness strategies

Active steps – action plans you can customize for each situation.

Inspiration – quotes on courage and facing fears with the space to add your own

Quick Tips – four quick strategies to deal with anxiety in the moment.


I like this phrase…”Think of MindShift as your portable coach helping you face challenging situations and take charge of your life”.

You can download it here –

It works on both IOS and Android devices.
And did I mention it’s FREE?
Dawn M Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate counsellor with Worldwide Therapy Online Inc.

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

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