Local search specialist at E2M
Smartphones and mobile apps have become inseparable from daily life. (Shutterstock/File)
In today’s fast-paced world that always seems to be full of problems, the topic of mental health has never been more important.
But what exactly is mental health?
Many people think that true mental health is the absence of any disorders or diseases that affect the mind, and others believe the common myth that working on your mental health is only necessary for people with mental illnesses or issues, such as depression or anxiety.
However, the true definition actually refers to a person’s emotional, psychological and social well-being. This means that your mental health, just like your physical health, can change. Experiences and circumstances can have either a positive or negative effect on it.
Everyone needs to take care of their mental well-being, especially as more and more people are being affected by mental illness. According to statistics, 83 percent of the population will deal with a mental disorder or issue at one point in their lives.
Thankfully, there are simple steps that everyone can take to improve their mental well-being and even combat some of the warning signs of illness or disorders. Science has proven that while some gaming apps can cause addiction and negatively impact the players’ mental health, there are some great apps and websites out there that can support a healthier, stronger mind.
Here are five good ones to make note of.
1. Calm – Learn how to meditate
Calm is the perfect meditation app for beginners, but also includes hundreds of programs for intermediate and advanced users. (iTunes/Calm.com)
Meditation has been proven to support mental health, decrease anxiety and depression, relieve stress and even boost the immune system. However, many people find it difficult to not only find the time to meditate, but also figure out the best ways to do it.
The Calm app teaches you to start quieting your mind by guiding you through breathing exercises and meditations that only take a few minutes to complete. The app even has calming music for restful sleep and stress relief to help you make meditation a healthy habit.
2. Book Writer – Share your creative writing
Make your own ebook with Book Writer. Anyone can easily make an ebook. (iTunes/Good Effect)
Finding a creative hobby is a great way to support a strong, healthy mind. Some of the best creative outlets for this are journaling, writing and reading. Psychologists have found that people who write — specifically about difficulties and personal problems — are able to cope with stress and trauma far better than those who keep their emotions bottled up. Creative writing can also help to improve thinking skills and lower depression and anxiety.
If writing is a special gift or talent of yours, or one that you would like to explore further, Book Writer is an excellent program. The app lets you work with images and text to create high-quality ebooks that showcase your thoughts and creative prowess. You can also add audio, video and songs to the pages. Once your masterpiece is complete, it can be read as a PDF or in iBooks. In addition to improving your mental health, writing ebooks is a wonderful hobby to get good at. Once you start to gain some experience, you can think about getting your work published and start selling ebooks online.
Start writing today and download Book Writer on iTunes.
3. Happify – Make happiness a habit
Happify brings you effective tools and programs to take control of your emotional well-being. (iTunes/Happify, Inc.)
Releasing negative thoughts and looking at the brighter side of things is a way to start living a happier life, but old habits do die hard. Many find it difficult to change their thought patterns, especially if they tend to be naturally pessimistic.
The app Happify is seeking to change that. This app was founded by several renowned scientists, psychologists and other experts who found creative ways to combine their evidence-based research with meaningful activities. The online program evaluates each person’s positive emotional level through unique assessments every week. It then uses science-backed exercises like mindfulness activities and even fun games to form new habits and help you build a new perspective on things.
4. Headspace – Practice mindfulness in an instant
Headspace is a simple way to reframe stress. (iTunes/Headspace meditation limited)
“Living mindfully” and “practicing mindfulness” may sound a little out there, but it’s actually a practical way of viewing life that can support better mental health. Mindfulness is essentially continuous meditation throughout the day. This doesn’t mean just sitting with your eyes closed all day long. Instead, it is focusing on being present during each moment. A Harvard research team found that people who practiced mindful living had fewer mental health issues and were able to treat problems like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression and even chronic pain.
Living more mindfully can be difficult to understand and practice, especially at first. Headspace can help you learn to live in the moment with a short, practical meditation series for every situation imaginable. Whether you are having a stressful moment or you want to relax and unwind, Headspace can help you focus your breathing and attention no matter what’s going on in your mind.
5. Lantern – Find online support for yourself
Each time you use Lantern, you’ll learn new techniques proven to reduce stress, or practice and strengthen your skills. (iTunes/Thrive Network, Inc.)
Of course, many people who suffer from mental health issues turn to therapy for help and support. Talking to a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist or even a wise friend can certainly help people learn to cope or heal with problems. However, not everyone has access to help like this, and many cannot afford to seek professional help.
Lantern helps to fill this need by providing customized and affordable support plans for every person. The app uses scientifically proved cognitive-behavioral therapy to identify problems and offer effective, actionable solutions. Users participate in a simple assessment to identify their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their desired goals and areas for improvement. From there, Lantern offers suggestions and daily exercises to help reach those goals. You can even connect with coaches and professionals to support your journey and provide assistance along the way.
Vivek Patel is a local search specialist at E2M and a San Diego-based content marketing agency who specializes in content strategy, creation, promotion and search engine optimization for domestic and overseas clients. His expertise includes local search optimization, strategic planning for multi-location and link-building tactics. Find him on Twitter @vivekrpatel, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vivekrpatel and by email at [email protected].
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