Improve your mental and physical well being with these great apps
It’s no doubt that our smartphones have become an essential part of our lives. Unfortunately, this increased connectivity can take a toll on our well-being and lead to increased stress, disrupted sleep and social anxiety, amongst other concerns.
That said, one of the biggest paradoxes in our plugged-in life is that we can actually use technology to beat the stress and anxiety of city life. If you’re looking for a little assistance to reach your inner zen, help is right at your fingertips. Here are 5 free apps that will help you to keep calm and manage your stress.
A version of this article first appeared on www.herworld.com.
Photo: ammentorp /123rf.com
Sleep deprivation can cause stress and anxiety to spike. When you do not get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. Over time, this lack of sleep can also contribute to depression and anxiety. A study by Tan Tock Seng Hospital found that people diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to sleep less than six hours a night. Hence, if you want to manage your stress and anxiety, get to the root of the problem and clock the recommended seven hours of sleep. The simple remedy is sticking to a set sleep schedule, doing so is much easier said than done. Enter the Sleep Cycle app.
In a nutshell, this app figures out where you are at in your sleep and wakes you up at the optimal time. Since we go through different phases of sleep throughout the night, there are times that are naturally more ideal for waking up. With your phone’s built-in microphone and accelerometer (Android and iPhone), the app will monitor your sleep and will wake you gently when you are at your lightest sleep. The app even comes with an “intelligent snooze” feature that helps you to transition gradually from so sleepy to wide awake.
Errands To-Do List
If you are under constant pressure and tend to be forgetful, consider downloading organisational apps that will help you to gather your thoughts. When you aren’t bogged down by your scattered schedule and emails, you will spend less time obsessing over the details. If you have a lot of details to attend to and are anxious about forgetting something, download the Errands to Do List app.
This app gives you unlimited customisable folders and your monthly calendar with all your upcoming events and things to do can be seen in full view. There is also an excellent checklist function to create lists that can be saved and reused.
Another way to tackle stress is through meditation. By taking just five to ten minutes out of your day to clear your mind, it can actually help you to forget about your troubles and regain a sense of peace and calm. If you struggle to find the time to meditate, download meditation apps like Headspace.
This app that has found a fan in mogul Richard Branson and Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow has over ten million users. The app features a “Take10” programme that will get you started on the journey of meditation for ten minutes a day in ten days. It’s a great way to take a mini-break in the middle of a hectic and busy day.
7 Minute Workout App
Exercising helps to reduce levels of the body’s stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also helps stimulate the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that triggers a positive feeling in the body. No time to hit the gym? Download the 7 Minute Workout App and get your heart racing with simple to follow exercise routines. The app also tracks your workout history, which shows your successes.
Whether it’s your overdemanding work schedule or your self-inflicted jam-packed social calendar, maintaining your cool and composure is one of the most important yet underrated soft skills. That is why you should download wellness apps like Breathe2Relax that offer exercises and skills to manage your stress and anxiety.
The app features tried-and-tested stress-relieving practices like deep belly breathing which can arm you for your next meeting by stabilising your mood and reducing your stress hormones.