Anxious? Stressed? Upset?
Veenu Sandhu has a handy list of apps that promise mental peace.
Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com
At a time when stress and anxiety have become a part of our lives, technology has stepped up to help out. A number of applications are available today with the promise of busting stress.
There are apps that guide you to meditate.
There are those that come with relaxing melodies to help you sleep better.
Some send anti-stress quotes your way. Some others encourage you to jot down what's worrying you so that you can later revisit the source of worry to judge whether or not the outcome was as bad as the anxiety you experienced. So, the next time you find yourself worrying, the app reminds you that the matter might not be worth the worry.
Many of these apps are available on the iPhone, iPad or android phones, often free of cost and sometimes for a charge.
Recently, a suite of mobile apps, called IntelliCare, was launched. It claims to provide relief from symptoms of depression and anxiety. This collection of 13 mini-apps is available on GooglePlay for free. You can choose to download one, two, three or the entire set of the apps.
Designed by clinicians from NorthwesternUniversity, Chicago, these are based on certified psychology techniques used by therapists.
Mental health experts, however, advise caution.
"These apps are more like guides and are not for treating severe cases of mental illness," says Samir Parikh, director, Department of Mental Health & Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, Delhi.
Prompts users to identify supportive people in their lives, and encourages them to get back in touch with those people.
Prompts the user to create mantras (repeatable phrases that highlight personal strengths and values and motivate one to do and feel good) and construct virtual albums to serve as encouragement and reminders of these mantras.
Teaches the user to manage worry with lessons, distractions, and a worry management tool. Provides a guided tool to address specific problems that a user cannot stop thinking about and provides written text about how to cope with "tangled thinking." Presents statistics about the progress in coping with worry.
Encourages the user to incorporate worthwhile and productive activities into the day. Users add accomplishments to the Feats calendar, where they can track their positive activity streaks and level up by completing more tasks.
Helps motivate users to spend their days in more meaningful and rewarding ways to increase overall satisfaction in life.
Helps the user manage the other apps from the rest of the Intellicare collection. This helps manage messages and notifications so that the user never misses anything from the other apps.
Helps the user select exercises to improve mood.
Provides access to curated exercise videos and to written lessons about staying motivated to exercise.
Allows the user to schedule motivational exercise time for oneself throughout the week.
Allows the user to send oneself inspirational messages and reassuring statements, written in their own words, to help them get through tough spots or challenging situations.
Day to Day
Delivers a stream of tips, tricks and information through the day to boost the user's mood. Prompts the user to work on a particular theme each day and every week; learn more about how to effectively cultivate gratitude, activate pleasure solve problems and challenge thinking.
Guides the user to identify the values that steer his life and the actions needed to keep those values alive. Helps him keep track of those actions and live a more purpose-driven and satisfying life.
Encourages users to select and schedule positive activities when they notice a drop in mood. Includes animated mood tracking to reveal how the person did before and after performing the positive activity. Suggests activities that helped uplift the person's mood in the past.
Designed to help users sleep better. Provides a bedtime checklist intended to clear one's mind before going to sleep. Provides audio recordings to facilitate rest and relaxation. Features an alarm clock function.
Guides the user through an interactive cognitive restructuring tool to examine thoughts that might exaggerate negative experiences, lead one to be overcritical and bring down one's mood. Teaches the user to get into the habit of having a more balanced outlook on life.
Provides a library of audio recordings to relax and unwind. Teaches a variety of relaxation practices to destress and worry less.