The simpler, faster and more effective Quiet Hamster 4.0 is now available. Simply login to try the new version.
What can Quiet Hamster be used for?
In a nutshell, to replace any unpleasant feelings you might have (that are wasting your time and energy) with pleasant feelings.
Here are some day-to-day examples:
- Replace the annoyance of having to do house chores with a sense of calm and joy.
- Replace the frustration of something not working with a sense of appreciation for what we have.
- Replace the feeling of being upset because someone (or yourself) said the wrong things with a deep empathy towards imperfect humans.
- Replace the complaining of having to take the trash out with the gratitude of having a city that collects trash.
- Replace any procrastination with the thrill of trying things.
There is nothing inherently wrong about unpleasant feelings. But when you have the choice between having unpleasant feelings (which waste your time, energy and health) and pleasant feelings, the choice becomes self-evident.
How well does it work?
I solved the stress that drove me to build the app.
As the founder of Quiet Hamster, I built the tool to solve my own problems. I was trying to find a solution to my severe stress and anxiety related to cooking and cleaning the kitchen afterwards.
It came of course with even more frustration since I intellectually knew that there is nothing dangerous about the activity, but the stress would come automatically.
I tried neuropsychology, EMDR, different online groups, and not much worked. And decided to see if I could solve my own tool to find a solution.
Finally, after a few years of searching, reading, asking questions, and through a lot of iterations, I have found the right approach and the right sequence in the tool to replace that automatic stress with automatic calm and joy.
What I came to realize is that lots of solutions to anxiety and fears are about “managing” and “coping”. But the key came to me a month ago, when I realized that instead of managing it, I might be able to train myself to actually love cooking and cleaning.
Now the stress is 97% gone. And I actually love cooking. And as a side-effect, because I cook more, i buy less processed food and I am losing weight.
And I have started to apply this to other areas of my life, and it works.
What are the principles behind it?
BILATERAL EYE MOVEMENTS
Bilateral eye movements, used with EMDR therapy, is a widely known technique that works very well for people having flashbacks from single-event trauma (PTSD). It combines lateral eye movements and a list of questions that a therapist guide you through.
The challenge of EMDR is that it works when you can recall an event. If you don’t know where your negative feelings are coming from exactly, the success rate goes down.
The Quiet Hamster app includes a 90-second session of bilateral eye movements.
Studies have shown that bilateral eye movements quiets down the amygdala (1-min clip from Standford’s Andrew Huberman), the region of our brain responsible for fight or flight.
Functional MRI brain scans have shown the rapid effect of paying attention to your senses (being mindful). By doing a 30 second mindfulness exercise right after the eye movements, it helps activating the Task-Positive Network of our brain, the brain network activated when we are positive.
Here’s a 4-min clip of the documentary A Joyful Mind.
SPOKEN AND READABLE WORDS
Our app displays questions on the screen, but also speaks the words. This feature is great when we are hijacked and have a hard time focusing and reading.
Lots of mindfulness apps are audio only, our app has both the text shown and the audio playing.
Other tools are text-based, forcing you to read a lot. We have built our tool with visuals that make it faster for the brain to process the questions.
Here’s an example. Instead of using the often-used scale of 1 to 10 to understand how we feel, we use a simpler 5-feeling scale. This represents 5 feeling states most people fall into: Bad, Unpleasant, Neutral, Good or Very Good. The icons make it very easy to see if we are in the red (unpleasant) or green (pleasant). Having 5 choices instead of 10 is easier for the brain to process. Less thinking is involved, which is very important when we are trying to calm down and shift to a positive state.
SPEED AND SIMPLICITY
One other differentiator is that compared to an EMDR session that can take one hour, doing the 4-step process of Quiet Hamster takes between 2 and 4 minutes. That makes it more enticing to use. And we have removed as much jargon as possible and use simple words.
Where to start?
My suggestion is to start with a small annoyance or mild frustration. The idea is to find something you want to learn to be at peace with, enjoy or love. Go for activities first. I wouldn’t advise to start with big frustrations, anxiety or something to do with relationships, that can come later.
Get small wins first.
You can watch a 8-min tutorial here.
If you have any questions, just reply to this email, or start a live chat through the app through the help section.