When it comes to mental health, cell phones get a bad rap. They’re to blame, we’re told, for many of society’s current woes…. but what if phones can support our mental health?
Tech giants see their devices completely differently. From their perspective, they’re just tools. And however much they might be damaging wellness in some cases, they are promoting it in others.
Remember, smartphones aren’t just about comparing who has the best bubble butt on social media. They’re also a way for people to check on their families, get into meditation and stick with their exercise plans.
In this post, therefore, we take a look at some of the high-tech wellness options offered by mobile phones and how phones can support our mental health.
Connect With Licensed Therapists Without An Appointment
Imagine being able to fire off a text message on your favorite app and for a licensed therapist to respond and work through your problems with you. That would be amazing, wouldn’t it?
Well, it’s no longer science fiction. It’s actually a reality. It turns out that there are now apps, like Talkspace, that let users going through mental health issues connect with people with specific training.
The idea is pretty simple. You pay a fixed subscription fee every week. And then therapists will chat with you anonymously to help you through your problems. This way, you can get the best and most validated advice, instead of just relying on hearsay or the things that your friends say.
Track Your Mood
Some people are really interested in tracking their mood throughout the day to see whether it correlates well with anything in their environment. But doing this in a reliable way was difficult in the past. You either had to keep a mood journal with you all the time, or scribble it down on a notepad and type it up later when you got home.
Fortunately, those days are now long gone. Major medical institutions, such as the Johns Hopkins University have developed apps that monitor your moods throughout the day through simple text messages. You just respond how you feel and then it all gets entered into your personal, secure database. You can then use this information to track how you feel and share your progress with anyone you choose.
Improve Your Character
There are even apps out there that claim to be able to improve your character (or at least coach you so that you can strive towards your goals). How do they work? Well, relatively simply.
The typical setup goes something like this: you pay a subscription fee and then the service provides you with daily coaching sessions depending on your needs.
So, for instance, if you’re traumatised and that’s preventing you from getting on with life in the way that you please, then you can opt for cognitive behavioural therapy as an option.
The best apps provide you with an introductory assessment. The idea here is for you to express what you think is wrong and what you want to do about it. Then you’ll be given a list of options and plans that are personalized to your specific circumstances. Many of these apps operate over the cloud, so you can consume them via your mobile. Or you can just get them on the computer and run with it.
Boost Your Optimism
It can be difficult to know how to feel good in our world in the present day. There are apparently so many problems and conflicts, the average person feels like they are living in a dream world. The future has never been so dim.
But that’s just a matter of perception. In fact, today, we have the tools to build a far more beautiful and vast future than we ever had in the past. There are so many incredible companies and initiatives out there. And the world is becoming fabulously rich, meaning that many of the traditional problems – such as people not having enough to eat – are going away.
Once you learn how to activate new iPhone apps, boosting your optimism is easy. You just download the app which then detects patterns in your behavior and suggests healthier alternatives.
Become More Zen
We would all like to become more zen. That is, we’d love to be in a perpetual state of relaxation where nothing, no matter how cataclysmic, can faze us. However, becoming more zen is difficult. And unless you happen to live in a Japanese buddhist monastery, it can be hard to achieve.
Or so you think. It turns out that being zen is something that app developers are codifying. They’re finding ways of putting buddhist techniques into easy-to-digest therapies that can literally transform your mind.
Many incorporate games into their apps. The idea is to teach zen ways by altering your state of mind. Instead of constantly being in the adult “analytical” frame of mind, these apps help to shift you over to a radically new mental state where you feel much better about yourself and your surroundings.
Get Music To Complement Your Moods
Music is a powerful wellness tool and, incidentally, something that humans have been using for thousands of years to keep their spirits up. It works because musical sounds are able to bypass many of the fear and rational centers of the brain, essentially shutting them down. This way, it can be a powerful tool for generating wellness and helping people to feel better about their circumstances.
But now modern app developers are getting clever about it. They’re developing tools that track people’s moods and provide them with sounds that can help. These suggestions are tailored to how they feel, allowing them to maintain a balanced state of mind and, hopefully, equanimity.
It sounds like a gimmick, but many of these apps are based on decades of research. Science appears to back up the idea that the sounds we hear can have a direct influence on our moods.
So, there you have it: some of the high-tech ways that our phones can support our mental health. You read it here first.