Most of us are guilty of feeling a constant need to check emails, scroll through Facebook and throw out a couple likes on Instagram. Having our entire lives at our fingertips is almost too convenient. I admit, I also fall prey to this. I find myself re-loading my Mail app every 10 minutes thinking that some important news from work or school will come in. Although this makes our lives that much easier, I think it also adds a certain amount of pressure as well. Especially with the social media craze, it’s overwhelming at times. Something to note, however, is that people typically only post the best version of themselves online – would you post that one picture that your eyes are closed or share news that you didn’t get accepted into the program of your dreams? Probably not.
Living with anxiety can make this all more troublesome. It can become too much really quickly. Luckily, our phones can actually be the end of these problems too! These apps are a great way to not only manage your anxiety, but manage your life so that your anxiety doesn’t flare up. Stress-free me sometimes means less-anxious me, and I’m totally ok with that. I focus on three aspects of mental health: Mindfulness, Sleep and Writing.
OKAY THIS IS THE BEST. Calm is an app where you can practice guided meditation, listen to relaxing sounds (like rolling waves or soft rain) and even have someone read you a bedtime story! I know the story sounds weird but trust me, if you have issues sleeping because of your anxiety, it works like a charm. I have the free version right now and that works best for me, but if you want to purchase the full version, where you have options of monthly or yearly payments, you can definitely do so.
Meditation was always something I was hesitant to try but that’s because I didn’t know a lot about it. I found this article to be really helpful and informative so if you want to try it out, take a look! For me, mindfulness is the only way where I can ’empty’ my head of all the anxieties floating around. I helps to ground me and I always come out of it feeling much more focused and sharp. Sometimes I do come out feeling sleepy, but that usually goes away within 15 minutes. Take it from a girl who thought meditation was only for yoga teachers: don’t knock it until you try it.
2. Sleep Cycle
Part of my experience with anxiety is not knowing how many hours of sleep I’m going to get on a particular night. There’s only so many melatonin tablets you can take in a week. What this means is that I usually don’t get enough hours and wake up feeling tired for the whole day. Sleep cycle helps with that because it tracks your sleep. (It even tracks and records your snoring LOL)
You start by putting in a time frame in which you want to be woken up within. For example: between 7:00 and 7:30am. Based on your movements the alarm will go off when you are in your lightest stage of sleep. This is said to make you feel more well-rested when you wake up because you are not being interrupted in the middle of a dream or when you are most asleep. As you use the app more and more, it collects better reports of your sleep and you will be able to see how you are doing.
This helps me because when I’m tired and sleep-deprived, I am always so much more anxious; although YOU are the one that is going to have to change your sleeping habits and how late you rest, this can at least help you feel well-rested.
As you can tell based on this blog: I have a lot to say. However, my laptop is not always handy and I don’t always want to share everything with the world. I have a Penzu account which is basically an online diary so you don’t have to worry about anyone looking under your mattress and finding your deepest, darkest secrets. With the iPhone app, I am able to write my thoughts and feelings whenever I need to. Whether you are having a good day or a bad day, I always feel better writing things down.
A lot of the times, I don’t know where my feelings are coming from. For example, if I am at a train station and I suddenly start to get very panicky and anxious, I can write the time and place down in my journal. Later, I can come back and reflect on this moment to think about why I’m feeling this way and how I can avoid it next time. Very CBT, I know. Also, if you go to therapy, this is a great way to go through some thoughts you’ve been experiencing, especially if you don’t understand.
Of course, this is not a comprehensive list and is only composed of the apps that I have personally tried thus far. I am in the process of trying some more out and as I do, I would love to update you guys on my thoughts! Please comment below with some suggestions if you have found an anxiety-saving app that you think I could benefit from.
stay anxious & brave,