It’s fair to say that, in 2020, we’ve all had a lot to contend with, and that has no doubt taken a toll on our mental health. Being constantly bombarded with bad news is bound to make anybody anxious, and it’s not always straightforward to know where to turn if you’re in the thick of it. A good first step can be to make small changes in your life – getting more exercise, eating more healthily, even something as simple as downloading an app.
Here we’ve gathered a list of five apps that can do wonders to help your anxiety in quick, straightforward ways, from providing a peaceful distraction to actively tracking your mood for a better understanding of your feelings. If you want to make a positive change in your life, these are all a great place to start.
The most famous app for anxiety on the list, Headspace has amassed over 2 million paid subscribers as of 2020, and with good reason. Focusing on the concept of mindful meditation, Headspace features guided activities and videos that are scientifically designed to help you feel more at ease and more in tune with your environment. It’s easy, especially at the moment, to become overwhelmed by everything going on around you. Mindfulness encourages you to take a few minutes each day to switch off from the outside world and create your own sense of calm.
But they don’t just have to be done at home in a quiet moment, as Headspace has activities for every time of day; whether you’re on your way to work, exercising, or going to sleep, you can have a calming moment. If you have any interest in tackling your anxiety through well-trusted mindfulness methods, then Headspace is worth a try.
There are many different journaling apps available on both iOS and Android, all with a wide range of functions, including lots that allow for reflection on your mental health. Worry Watch is one of these with a unique spin on the idea – you record a worry as you feel it and then review it a few days later to write the outcome. This allows you to release the tension of holding in your thoughts and feelings, letting you look at them in a different light, especially next to other worries you might have had on different days. If the outcome was better, this encourages you to think more positively in the future; if it wasn’t the best, you can learn from your experience, record your feelings, and move on.
Often, your concerns about the worst-case scenario of a situation aren’t based in reality. It can be useful to put things into perspective and remind yourself that these feelings of anxiety can pass. Worry Watch is a tool to do just that, helping you understand and overcome your worries.
A few years ago, it was common for those struggling with stress and anxiety to turn to self-help books to improve their lives. Athena: Learn From Books takes that concept and allows you to gain knowledge on a range of topics, including mental health, through simple and straightforward book summaries. With curated reading lists like ‘Stress Less Mental Health,’ ‘Sleep Better,’ ‘Anxiety and Depression’, and ‘ADHD,’ Athena has a wealth of knowledge that can help you to better understand how and why you feel the way you do.
With these lists available in both text and audio formats, it’s easy to get clear information on mental health and self-help that will assist hugely in your journey to improve your anxiety. By procuring and condensing the wisdom of hundreds of books, Athena can provide a myriad of ways to improve your personal well-being along with information on many other topics that could help you find a new hobby, improve your relationships, or learn more about a subject that interests you. In short, Athena is a gateway to a broad range of knowledge, and much of this can, directly and indirectly, help ease your anxiety and generally improve your life.
My Possible Self
My Possible Self falls into the category of mood tracker apps designed to keep track of your feelings day-by-day so you can look at your habits and patterns. My Possible Self helps place these patterns in context by looking at how your mood changes based on your activities, the places you go, and the people in your life. Much like Worry Watch, it helps you put elements of your life that you might not otherwise consider into perspective, letting you see what or who is making you feel better or worse on a regular basis.
Alongside this, My Possible Self also provides ten different learning modules that help you in managing stress levels, learning to seek out pleasurable activities, and undertaking useful breathing exercises. The creators have even worked with researchers to develop the app, ensuring that the content it provides is statistically proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels.
The shoot-em-up chaos of video games might not be the first thing you assume would help reduce your anxiety, but there is a wide range of apps available that can do just that, many functioning as a quick distraction or an outlet for some fidgeting. However, Monument Valley is a little different, providing a tranquil escape from the rush of the world through short but satisfying puzzles.
Its gorgeous visuals and ambient music create a lush atmosphere a million miles away from daily stresses, and its much-lauded sound design provides satisfying clicks when you figure out how to navigate the illusionist worlds. If you would prefer to engage with an app that isn’t directly tied to your worries about anxiety while still providing you some relief, the serenity offered in Monument Valley is a distracting and reassuring virtual getaway.
About the Author: Stephen Kelly – Athena. Stephen is a therapist and freelance writer. Athena is a guided learning experience for busy individuals who want to improve their professional and/or personal life as efficiently as possible. It’s available in the app store
Photo by Yura Fresh on Unsplash
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios only.
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