Our phones have become an integral part of our lives from morning until bedtime. Being on call 24/7, mindlessly scrolling through social media and wasting time searching information can be a drain on your mental health. However, smartphones can also be used to boost mood, reduce stress, and give you a lift with a tap of your finger.
According to Eat This, Not That!, here is how to use your smartphone to improve your mental well-being:
• Provide an instant time out. By downloading a meditation app, such as the free Insight Timer app, you can take a relaxing break when you need it. Many of the apps, including Headspace and Calm, offer customized meditations to reduce anxiety or stress as well as improve your self-esteem.
• Listen to mood-boosting music. Music does calm the savage beast and downloading tunes that make you feel mellow can help relieve stress and brighten your mood. “Music streaming allows you to create specific playlists based on your mood. This can be highly beneficial for your mental health,” says Alexander Burgemeester, a neuropsychologist.
• Book a teletherapy appointment. Burgemeester tells Eat This, Not That! that getting a virtual therapy appointment has never been easier and more convenient since the pandemic. You can speak to a counselor from the ease and privacy of your own home. If immediate assistance is needed, text the Crisis Text Line or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
• Text or talk a friend. Experts say it is always better to talk things through rather than bury them inside. Sharing your experiences with a close friend can also bolster the relationship.
• Be selective about social media. Lauren Schapiro of Liz Morrison Therapy says that it’s important to avoid social media accounts that depress you or make you feel bad about yourself. Instead, the therapist advises following uplifting and supportive accounts.
• Leave your phone at home. According to mindful.technology, the next time you go for a walk in the park, leave your phone at home to minimize distractions and allow you to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of nature. This is a great way to boost mental health.
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