4 WAYS TO USE YOUR SMARTPHONE FOR MENTAL HEALTH
Did you know you can actually use your smartphone for mental health? Most of what you read these days about the connection between smartphones and health is pretty negative. You’ll hear about phones making us more disconnected, less in the moment, disrupting our sleep, etc…
And while it is a good idea to spend regular time away from your phone, there’s actually a positive side to that little device! You have a lot of convenience at your fingertips—and access to FREE content—that can help you when you need it. (Always focus on the positives, right?)
Now, I love my iPhone. I’ve found many things that aid me in my wellness journey. Check out some ways I’ve discovered you can use your smartphone to your advantage regarding your mental health:
#1 Health and Wellness Apps
One of the great features of smartphones is the ability to download free apps. And there are some fantastic ones for health, wellness, and overall mental health. Here are a few top ones to try:
- Stop, Breathe, & Think: This app provides you with free guided meditations (plus an explanation of how meditation works) that makes it easy to take a moment for yourself when you need it—to slow down for a few minutes, to breathe, and to calm your mind during or after a stressful day. A great daily use of your smartphone for mental health.
- Insight Timer: Here’s another free app that features a soothing timer for your meditation or relaxation. You can choose the different timer sounds and the length of time.
- MyFitnessPal: If you’re looking to track your health progress, this an app many people enjoy for logging their food and exercise (which can help your mental health, too—it’s all connected!).
- Mood-Log: This app acts like a mobile version of journaling throughout the day—fantastic! You select your current mood from a list of emoticons or adjectives and can add your own comments and thoughts, stress level, energy level, etc. This allows you to vent about your daily life while also becoming aware of patterns that might be causing problems.
#2 Wider Range of Connection
If you struggle with lack of support or understanding in your everyday environment, having access to the internet on your phone lets you connect with others in similar situations. For example, you can find fantastic free Facebook groups for just about any type of support. You can participate in Twitter chats. You can join online forums that are mobile friendly.
We have access to more people than ever before at any time, thanks to mobile technology. This widens the range of support we can find and reminds us we aren’t alone in our feelings.
#3 Access to Your Music Library
If you know me, you know I love music–all kinds. It’s no secret I believe music can also have a powerful effect on your mental health. With smartphones, you can store a large amount of music on your one device, making it easy to listen to (or sing or dance to!) your favorite songs whenever you need them. Turn up the volume, or plug in your headphones, and go. It’s an instant mood boost.
#4 Access to Podcasts
Ooh! I love these things. Podcasts can make you laugh, make you smile, inspire you, and uplift you. A smartphone lets you download them through a free app so you can listen on-the-go. I personally use podcasts to keep me continuously learning and growing. Download your phone’s podcast app and browse through the categories that interest you—who knows, you might just find something life-changing!
Of course, it’s important to remember that technology can only get you so far. Sometimes it is better to unplug, so be mindful of your needs. And remember, there is no substitute for speaking with a professional—one who can work with you based on your personal struggles and goals.