Between the distraction of work emails, dragging yourself through the daily Facebook quagmire and the instant gratification of Instagram, your smartphone isn’t exactly a haven for calm and well-being is it?
Of course actually switching it off would be the ultimate solution – but in this age of super-connectivity that would be like signing your own social death sentence. So let’s see how we can bring some positivity and feel-good vibes to our mobile lifestyle.
Shut down those annoying apps and download these stress-busters instead – the perfect way to help you unwind on your commute or even before bed:
Mindfulness apps like Buddhify give you a choice of different stress-busting talks depending on what kind of situation you’re in. The app also has a number of mindfulness sessions based on how long you want to listen, so if your commute is only 10 minutes, you can still take time to fully unwind and relax before work.
A 2015 study found that cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone, was “significantly lowered” in people who had been making art, even if they had no prior experience in making art or – in other words – weren’t very good at it. The app Autodesk lets you sketch and paint using 170 different brushes, while InspirePro, Adobe Photoshop Sketch and ArtRage all follow a similar formula.
This app is the brainchild of a psychotherapist and former patient who wanted to create an app to help people manage their stress and anxiety. It’s based on the basics of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and gives users tools to help them relax, including relaxing music and brain exercise games, as well as thought cards where you can write down your thoughts onto visual photo cards.
Blinkist provides short visual and audio summaries of bestselling non-fiction books. There are more than 2,000 on its database from the fields of business, psychology, sex and relationships, finance and plain old inspirational including work from world-renowned authors and figures like Malcolm Gladwell, Ariana Huffington and Bill Gates.
This app is a good one for when you want to switch off and read a long article you saw but had no time to read. Pocket allows you to store articles you want to read later – when you might have no signal, say whilst travelling – and you can also put videos to watch in there too.