Comes down to one thing...

Whether a product or idea is successful or not, really comes down to one thing. The amount of attention it receives. Attention is worth money. Especially in the age of the internet. This includes the self-help genre. When it comes to tech, look at how successful the social media giants have become due to the amount of attention their platforms receive. This has been true, technologically speaking, since the printing press was invented. Flash forward to the radio, movies and television, then all the way to present times… The dawn of the internet. The time people spend on the internet, especially social media has exploded!

What fascinates me...

I spend most of my day researching things that interest me. Subjects, and ideas to write about concerning self-help. The focus of this website. Other leisurely activities as well, including learning cryptocurrency trading (which I share about), and monitoring and engaging on my own social media are also part of the day. What really fascinates every time I think about it is how all that information i.e. videos, images, words, stories can be almost instantly accessed by a handheld device. Wireless immediate access to any available information, regarding any subject. It’s truly amazing really.

The app market has exploded

When it comes to technological advancements, handheld devices and what they offer, the app market has exploded as well. Seeing as how we spend so much time on these devices (laptops and tablets included!), I feel it’s important to point out some apps that are self-help related. Giving a few minutes here and there using these same devices, we can do wonders for lowering overall stress levels if necessary, improve mood, and help to stay grounded in a fast-paced world, full of things seeking our attention. There are a lot of apps out there, so it’s important to find the ones that are most beneficial versus the ones that are just a lot of hype.

Three main self-help categories

I have linked to an article that was published on verywellmind.com that lists some of the better self-help apps and gives a bit of insight about each of them. They are broken down into 3 main categories.

General stress relief apps

"The following apps can help with just that—learning vital stress management techniques and working them into our daily lives: • Personal Zen: This app was made by a neuroscience researcher to create games backed by research on anxiety reduction and resilience development. Track your progress and build a happier and less stressed outlook in just a few minutes a day of gameplay. • Pacifica: This app provides breathing exercises to help you quickly de-stress, a mood tracker to enable you to measure your state of mind and track what affects you most in your life, and other features based on cognitive behavioral therapy. • GPS for the Soul: This app is pretty amazing in that it uses your phone's camera and other tools to measure your heart rate and heart rate variability to measure your stress levels and bring you back (hence the GPS) to a centered place through pictures of your loved ones, music, poetry, and more. This app is interactive and helps you to relieve stress in multiple ways, making it a useful and versatile tool worth trying.

Meditation apps

• The Mindfulness App:

This app provides many options for learning and practicing meditation, from beginning to advanced. You can choose a meditation from 3 to 30 minutes in duration, meditations of many different types, mindfulness notices, meditation tracks, and more. In the paid version, there are meditation courses, guided meditations, and constantly updated content.

• Calm:

This app promises a "journey to a calmer mind" and it has many ways to lead you there. It boasts guided meditations and breathing exercises as well as bedtime stories to aid relaxation and promote sleep.

• Headspace:

This app is "like a gym membership for the mind" in that it offers many guided meditation classes including hundreds of themed meditations and many "bite-sized meditations" for those who are very busy. There are even "SOS activities" for when you're feeling overwhelmed.

• iOm:

This is more of a biofeedback app than a meditation app, but it's an app that should be tried in either case. It can help train you to relax your body and your mind with relative ease.
General Apps That Can Be Used for Stress Management • My Fitness Pal: This app helps you to track your eating patterns and provides articles and recipe ideas for staying in shape as well as a tracker to enable you to track your weight,
caloric intake, and more. Because healthy nutrition can affect your mood and your stress levels, this one can really be helpful.

• Happify:

Because a happy mood and a positive outlook have both been linked to decreased stress and increased resilience.2 This app helps you to minimize stress and anxiety by managing your thoughts.

• Fitbit:

This is a fitness tracker but that can be helpful for stress management. Because physical activity can affect your mood and because sleep is so important, this activity tracker and sleep monitor can be used for stress management by helping you to see what you're doing well and motivate you to sleep more and move more, both of which can be mood boosters" (Scott).

During a workout

The apps that aid during a workout can help you hit your goal of sustained heart rate for “x” amount of time, etc. Any type of physical exercise is great for self-help, and can be a great way to relieve stress, help us to be more relaxed, and stay in shape too!

Aiding with daily stressors

As the name suggests, the general stress management category is for aiding with the daily stressors of life. Meditation apps are a great aid for stress too, and can help to stay centered. They can help us keep our emotions in check by helping to maintain a certain level of calmness and a brief escape to get us back into the game!

Renew the day...

Breathing exercises are also an important self-help tool we can use to renew the day. Everyone has heard the term, “Just take a deep breath…” There is obviously a reason for this! A lot of times we can take the simple, yet vital act of breathing for granted. It’s an involuntary action. We don’t HAVE to think about it. But focusing on the breath and doing breathing exercises is a very refreshing experience. This can be especially beneficial in a stressful work environment, not feeling overwhelmed during a period with a heavy workload. I came to understand the power and importance of all three of these activities in prison. It’s where I learned how to meditate, do breathing exercises, and came to appreciate a good workout. I still do all three activities because I know the benefits are real!

Readily available

In conclusion, apps that are made to aid us with general stress relief, meditation, breathing exercises, and working out are readily available. Listed here are a few of the better rated
ones. It’s also important to note here that these types of activities i.e. meditation and breathing exercise are learned behaviors. Working out too. It’s something we can spend a little time each day, or every other day, honing and coming up with what suits each person best. The main point is that there are very beneficial self-help techniques available that we can give a little attention, and ingrain that activity, or activities into our lives. And some of the best aids in doing just that are right there in the phone we always have with us!

Sources:

Scott, Elizabeth MS. verywellmind.com. Using Stress Relief Apps to Transform Your Life. 24 Sept. 2019. https://www.vehttps://www.verywellmind.com/stress-relief-apps-that-can-t.... Accessed 10 August, 2020.

Author's Bio: 

Eric Thompson- Self-help, wellness, & tech blog. New & timeless strategies... @ www.ethos1974.com

I am currently a student at Long Beach City College working towards a degree in Addiction Studies. Attached is a link to my “about me” section.

www.ethos1974/about-me/