Our relationship with technology has gone from fun to reliance, research has even been conducted to find out if we’re addicted to the internet and our phones. Digital technologies are impacting our mental health, for example, there are increasing warnings and reports that social media can lead to depression, cyberbullying, sleeplessness, feelings of social isolation and anxiety.
Not all tech is equal though, in this blog post I’ll share 3 great ways digital technologies can improve our mental health.
1. Online support when you need it
You can use online platforms and apps to manage your symptoms before you seek professional help. They can also be a supplement to therapy, if you’re not able to get as many sessions as you would like.
Online platforms give you more control over your treatment. You can access support whenever you need it, which means less time off from work, study or enjoying life.
There’s a platform/app for most mental health illnesses, though we encourage you to do your research before using one:
- read reviews
- find out who is selling the app e.g. university, hospital, association – ensure they’re credible and the data you put in is secure.
Some recommendations to try are:
- Headspace – learn to meditate and live mindfully
- Calm – relax, meditate & sleep
- Pacifica – for stress, anxiety and depression. Based on cognitive behavioral therapy & mindfulness meditation.
- Happify – reduce stress, overcome negative thoughts, and build greater resilience. Use science-based activityes and games to elevate happiness.
2. Exercise makes you feel good
Physical exercise is good for your body and it’s great for your mind too. Digital technologies such as YouTube and fitness apps have made exercise more accessible. With thousands of free workout videos on YouTube, you can work out anytime, anywhere, on your own or with friends.
Try one of my Total Body Workouts – there’s lots of variety to keep you entertained.
3. Face-to-face connection
We can talk to our friends and family by voice call, video call, group chats, sharing pictures – yet nothing feels as good as when we give them a hug or have a chat in person. For times when they’re not around, you can find new people to share experiences with.
Here are some apps designed to bring people together:
Maybe you need a Digital Detox?
While I’ve talked about ways tech can improve your mental health, it’s important to use tech as a supplement and not something to become reliant on. Having a digital detox every few months will help to recharge your batteries. Here are some ideas:
- Delete social media apps for 1 week
- Delete work email account off your personal phone
- If you have a separate work phone, leave this at home on weekends and going on holiday
- Have a tech-free night in your house, once a week
- Set a cut-off time each night before bed, at least 1 hour before bed could work wonders on the quality of your sleep too
Articles for further reading:
- The impact of digital technology on psychological treatments and their dissemination
- 6 ways social media affects our mental health
- How to quit your tech: a beginner’s guide to divorcing your phone
Comment below how you found the apps, or let me know of your favourite ones that you use regularly.