The use of technology today has far surpassed just daily phone calls and text messages; we now use our phones to track daily life activities and can even use them to better our mental health. Technology can be extremely beneficial in many different ways and is constantly expanding. For instance, mental health apps, blogs, podcasts and online assessments have been developed to assist with tracking symptoms along with helping to cope with mental health related concerns such as anxiety, depression, stress, trauma and sleep. This may come as a shock to many people, who view technology as a distraction, but for many mental health related concerns, technology can combat these symptoms.
In more recent years, apps have been developed to guide self-care and to focus on emotional health. The National Institute of Mental Health believes that “technology has opened a new frontier in mental health support.” Some of the benefits of utilizing technology for mental health are its convenience, anonymity, lower cost, 24 hour service, support, consistency and the ability to service more people. Here are some suggestions on different types of technology and apps to utilize if you are looking to improve your mental health:
- Muse Headband: This is a brain sensing headband that assists with your daily meditation practices. The Muse headband utilizes sensors and provides feedback to help you clear your thoughts. This can be connected to most forms of technology such as a telephone or an iPad.
- Calm App: Allows the user to engage in meditation, deep breathing sessions and can even provide calming bedtime stories.
- Headspace App: This app only takes ten short minutes and can help decrease anxiety, while mastering meditation. You can choose from hundreds of themed sessions to guide your relaxation.
- Fitbit’s Relax App: For the individual on the run, the Fitbit has an app that assists with deep breathing exercises while assessing your heart rate. These exercises take a short 3 to 5 minutes and can reduce your heart rate and improve your mental health.
These are just a handful of the apps created to assist with emotional wellbeing. If you are looking for a more detailed list please go to https://medicalfuturist.com/improve-mental-health-with-technology and learn about your online options.
By: Kelsey Russell, BSW, Capital Counseling Intern
Technology and the Future of Mental Health Treatment. (n.d.). Retrieved July 24, 2019 from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/technology-and-the-future-of-mental-health-treatment/index.shtml