As many of us are beginning to embrace the new technological world of iPhones, iPods, and iPads, we are being bombarded with thousands of choices of apps. Apps is an abbreviation for software applications. When people think of apps today they usually are thinking of the individual software programs we can purchase for our mobile devices. These apps range from language translators to games where angry birds attack pigs wearing helmets. Pretty much any subject you can think of can be found on an app as the commercial says, “There is an app for that.” This includes apps to help us with our anxiety.
The following are some categories of apps which might help you in your quest for decreased stress and anxiety:
There are an abundance of relaxation apps to be found to meet the preferences of most every user. Do you like soothing music? Nature sounds? Sounds combined with beautiful scenery? Whatever you are looking for you will probably find it in an app. Here are some of my favorite relaxation apps.
The ambiance app gives you a selection of environmental sounds ranging from summer breezes to distant church bells. They also have meditation new-agey sounds named things like eternal sunshine or heavenly chord. An image accompanies each sound ranging from nature scenes to city landscapes. What I like about this app is that you have such a large selection of sounds to choose from and they keep adding more on a frequent basis. So you can fully explore which sights and sounds are pleasing and calming for you.
• Magic Window
This is another one of my favorite relaxation apps because of the beautiful images you get to see. Whereas ambiance is focused on sound, magic window is about the visuals. They give you a choice of scenes of places from around the world such as fog and moonlight in California or a sunset on the Pacific. What is especially cool about this app is that they use time lapse photography so you can speed up the video or else slow it down. You can control the ocean waves or the clouds from your magic window.
Mood tracker apps are designed to give you a way to record your daily moods and stress levels. I find that keeping data on my moods and anxiety gives me useful information about my anxiety triggers as well as figuring out which interventions are more effective. There are many mood tracker apps out there but the key is to find one that is not too complex (as that can add to your anxiety) and will give you the instant reward of a visual representation of how you are feeling. Here are a couple of mood trackers I like to use.
In my search for a mood tracker that was easy to use, I was happy to discover My Mood Tracker created by Aspyre Apps. The thing I like about this app is that it offers many elements you can track but you can modify it to meet your needs. For example, you can keep track of your moods, sleep, medications, exercise, stress, and menstrual cycles. This app can also be set to give you reminders about such things as taking your medication and it provides a nice visual chart so you can see changes in mood and other variables.
If you are looking for something very simple to track your mood and anxiety without lots of bells and whistles this app might be what you are looking for. This app offers a way to rate your mood and anxiety and also includes a diary note taking feature. This way you can see if your mood is affecting your anxiety levels. It also creates a visual graph from the data you enter so that you can look for patterns and trends.
Techniques to Overcome Anxiety, Stress, and Panic Attacks In addition to relaxation and mood tracker apps there are also apps which provide guided exercises and techniques for you to work through your anxiety. Here are some of the more interesting apps designed to help you to overcome your anxiety.
If you have ever wondered how to do deep breathing exercises to self-calm then this might be just the app for you. This is a very visually appealing app with guided visual animation to help you learn the techniques of deep breathing exercises. They provide a structured course where you will be trained to progress through the different levels of yoga inspired breathing.
If you don’t know how to meditate, not to worry, this app will show you how. This app offers three different levels of mediation from five minutes of breath awareness to 24 minutes of whole body guided relaxation. You have your choice of music or nature sounds in the background to a voice instructing you how to relax. I find it to be a very good app for the low price.
This is an app I have not purchased yet but it does look intriguing. Basically if you are having a panic attack, you start up this app and it can help guide you through your anxiety to a state of calm. It offers breathing techniques, reassurance about the symptoms you are experiencing and also distraction from focusing on the feelings of panic. It might be worth a try to see if it helps.
Do you use apps to help you with your anxiety or moods? Do you have any favorite mental health apps to share with us? We would love to hear from you!