Technology is given a bad rap in damaging our already fragile mental health. But what if we looked at technology as a help rather than a hindrance to daily struggles associated with anxiety and poor mental health?
For people with anxiety disorders, stress goes beyond juggling a hectic schedule or managing deadlines. Stress occurs as a result of external causes such as a tight deadline at work or having an argument with a friend while anxiety is internal and is a person’s specific response to stress. According to Mental Health First Aid, “Anxiety is typically characterized by a “persistent feeling of apprehension or dread” in situations that are not actually threatening.” Stress slips into the territory of anxiety-disorder when it starts interfering with your day to day life.
Hopefully, over the course of the last few days, you’ve been able to take some time to relax and reset, to take necessary measures to care for your mental health and relieve some of the pent up stress associated with working life. Upon returning to work after a break, we all aim to maintain levels of reduced stress and anxiety and incorporate healthy habits that help us to do this.
While there’s no substitute for advice offered through professional help when it comes to your mental health, making meaningful changes to your daily routine can help to manage anxiety and stress levels. In a world where there’s literally an app for everything, app developers have created several platforms that help us in making these meaningful changes.
Headspace is the app focused on encouraging mindful moments and meditation throughout your day. Alongside exercises encouraging ‘mindful moments’, Headspace also offers mini meditation courses for a quick mental reset. The basic course, available for free, offers beginner level instructions to help you to think more mindfully about everything from social interactions to your sleeping patterns.
“Headspace has one mission: to improve the health and happiness of the world. And with millions of users in more than 190 countries, we’re well on our way.”
Happify offers interactive solutions that not only work to boost your happiness but also offer a measurable approach to build a happier life in the long run. It’s scientific approach to measuring joy allows users to keep track of things that improved their mood and that make them feel good. Over time watch as your score continues to increase along with your overall positivity with every game or activity you complete.
“Our vision is to use cutting-edge science and innovative technology to empower individuals to lead happier, more fulfilling lives.”
This app is built on the simplicity of addressing anxieties through journaling. Based on five simple steps (record, reflect, reason, realize, and refute) the app allows you to track your mental state over time. First, you’re asked to write down the cause of your stress before being prompted to return to the worry, reflect and make note of whether the outcome was positive or negative. The app then uses your responses to generate charts and tracking tools to analyse your thought patterns and adjust appropriately. Through this method, the app allows you to come to terms with the realities of these worries at your own pace.
“Built on the foundations of cognitive science.”
SuperBetter, designed by game designer and New York Times bestseller author, Jane McGonigal, is the app that takes challenging situations and turns them into a game about resilience. Through its framework SuperBetter allows users to frame life’s challenges as part of a tough but rewarding game where players move through ‘quests’ towards larger goals.
“Resilience training: backed by science, validated in studies”
Calm offers a selection of guided or unstructured meditations that range from two to twenty minutes and include a range of soothing sounds and scenery. Since their launch, they’ve become one of the top apps for meditation and sleep and have expanded features to offer better sleep techniques and mindful movement sequences. Whether dealing with a stressful meeting or an issue on the larger scale of anxiety, calm is perfect for carving out some time to relax.
“Our mission is to make the world happier and healthier.”