The Power of Calm

Story by Isabelle Ryan, Staff Writer

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Trying to deal with the stress of academics, along with the stress that comes along with being a teenager, high school can be a very stressful environment.  It can get to be a lot, but the one thing they do not cover in high school is how to handle stress in a healthy way. However, recently there have been organizations and people who have devoted their careers to helping people learn to deal with stress in the healthiest way possible. One of these organizations is Calm.

Calm was created by two British entrepreneurs, Michael Acton Smith and Alex Tew, in 2012 with the hope of making the world healthier and happier. Their goal is to make Calm the “Nike for the mind.”  Smith and Tew began creating a library of guided meditations and got Tamara Levitt on board with the organization, who brings 2o plus years of mediation experience. Levitt became the Calm meditation instructor in 2014 and since then the company has grown greatly.

Calm was able to publish a book with Penguin in 2015, which sold worldwide, enabling the organization to get their message of a healthy mind spread throughout the world. They have also launched 10 minute guided meditations on their app that help to create a daily meditation practice for users of all ages. Their app also allows users to do quick lessons to just catch their breathe and relax even if they do not have much time to spare, which is perfect for busy high school students who are constantly on the run from one thing to the next.

With their company still growing, Calm hopes to keep expanding their digital app and are hoping to grow offline as well. Their goal and message stays the same,“to make the world happier and healthier” with guided meditations and  tips and tricks for relieving stress.

The Calm app is perfect for high school students who do not have very much time to spare but are dealing with a lot of stress.  Ms. Masson, Stonington High’s psychologist, stated, “Students are very high strung and they are told to go talk to someone about it, but when they talk about it they become even more anxious, you begin to talk yourself in a circle. The Calm app helps to redirect thinking with a goal and a purpose that requires practice. You do it when you don’t need to and then when you do become anxious or stressed you are able to calm yourself down.”

The Calm app is very popular and used frequently at the University of Vermont, where Ms. Masson’s daughter attends college, and it has become part of the curriculum to help their students. Mr. Masson added, “Why are we waiting until college when kids could use it and benefit from it now?” The University of Vermont has statistics coming out showing how it has improved graduation rates, drugs use and violence on the campus. Ms. Masson also said, “You learn how to slow down thinking and calm yourself. It works for relationships, tests, and anything that gets you a little anxious. You teach yourself to be in the moment, and in order to do anything well you have to be in the moment.”

The Calm organization is beneficial to people of all ages who are not quite sure how to deal with stress in a healthy way. It is perfect for students who are under a lot of pressure and need a little guidance on how to “live in the moment.”

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