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♦•habitat you've got connections

When technology drives In her days as a you to distraction, tune in Wall Street trader, to your inner channels. yoga teacher

Chrissy Carter used to sit in front of five computer screens tracking stock prices. But Carter says her technology use now—staying in touch with students via text, email, and social networks—is actually more stressful. "Being so available all the time, and feeling obligated to respond quickly, can leave me feeling pulled in a thousand directions," she says. "I use my BlackBerry so much, my thumbs hurt."

With the explosive growth of smart phones and social networks in the past few years, people's lives are more saturated with technology than ever, which is a challenge if you want to stay connected with your peaceful nature as well as your text messages. Constantly checking your computer and phone for updates isn't just distracting—it also induces anxiety, according to Linda Stone, a former technology executive at Apple and Microsoft, who has researched the effects of computing on human health. "The desire not to miss anything, along with our poor posture and compromised breathing, can evoke a fight-or-flight state," she says.

When your gadgets start to feel overwhelming, Carter suggests reconnecting with something that uplifts you. Close your eyes for a moment before composing a message and focus on the exhalation to soothe your nervous system; pause and repeat a mantra; or set a timer on your phone or computer and do a one-minute meditation. "You need that moment to step back and to press the reboot button on yourself," she says. "Give yourself a chance to come back to the task with a shift in perspective." JENN SHREVE

is there an app for that?

The same tools that so often distract us can also offer ways to remain mindful in the face of technology. A growing number of awareness-building software applications-often referred to as "Zenware"-are designed to help you reconnect with you.

) Meditator for ¡Phone. A timer with bells and interval settings reminds you to take short meditation breaks; simpletouchsoftware .com. Or try the Mindfulness Bell on your computer;

'indfulness Meditation for iPhone. Stephan Bodian offers this guided meditation; mentalworkout .com. Or, for Android phones, try Simply Being;

Pranayama for iPhone. Visual animations and tones guide you through simple breathing exercises;

□ ¡Mantra for ¡Phone. Choose your mantra and your virtual mala (prayer beads), and start chanting;

□ White Noise for iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry. Sounds from nature let you tune out noises and tune in to yourself;


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