The age of social media comes with great benefits, but similarly great harms. One of these is anxiety, with research showing a direct correlation between phone use and social anxiety disorder, be it because we compare our lives to others and feel inadequate, because spending time on our phone makes us increasingly lonely, or even because we get anxious when we’re not able to check our Instagram for more than an hour. Here are 4 apps that ironically may help you solve the issue that technology helped exacerbate.
1. Happy Not Perfect
The co-creator of accessories brand Pop&Suki, Poppy Jamie, launched the HappyNotPerfect app to “help you feel good from the inside out”. With beautiful imagery and a great user interface, the app asks how you’re feeling (wobbly, sad, heartbroken etc.) and uses subsequent activities to help you reach a happy (not perfect) place. Activities include breathing exercises, writing down 5 things you’re grateful for, and a “mindful” maze game. It’s a great app to use throughout the day at any point in which you feel your anxiety rearing up.
Meditation app Calm is one of the leaders in the tech/wellness space. It offers soothing, guided meditations which can last for anywhere between 3 minutes to 8 hours and even offers open-ended meditation. Its focus on breathing and, as the name suggests, calmness, follows in the teaching of all meditative practices. And, as research has shown time and time again, meditation is great for helping calm the mind and stabilise emotions. As with anything, meditation is learned, so daily practice will help you get better at it and hopefully soothe your anxiety.
The benefits of journaling have long been documented, and keeping a diary or some sort of record of your thoughts, emotions and triggers can do wonders for stabilising your mood and understanding your own emotional psyche. Moodpath makes it easy to do this as it’s right there on your phone. The app asks you a series of questions (such as “are you feeling up to your tasks?”) and asks you to select your mood before allowing you to jot down your thoughts, add in any emotions you’re feeling and any experiences you’ve had that day. Apart from the immediate relief you get from expressing how you feel, the act of documenting your emotions allows you to look back and see any patterns that may have built up and perhaps deduce what it is that triggers happy or sad emotions. Through this, you get to understand yourself better, and isn’t that the best knowledge of all?
Often times, the source of our anxiety comes from a nagging voice in our head that tells us that we’re not good enough. The Shine app seeks to remedy this by sending Shine Texts – a daily affirmation sent to your phone each morning to remind you how great and deserving you are. This can help with any esteem issues that may arise due to your anxiety and can help lift your mood each morning before you start your day. Along with the texts, the app also allows you to record your thoughts and feelings every day, letting you track any emotional patterns and make sense of what can sometimes feel like muddled feelings. This, as explored, is a great way to help bring clarity and calm.
Finally, remember that you’re not alone! As one of the most common mental disorders, anxiety affects much of the population (which is why I’m writing this!) But it’s also important to remember that while these apps can be used to help ease anxiety, should you be feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to talk to someone and reach out for help.