Anxiety and anxiety attacks can happen anywhere. Even if you are in public, you may feel the rapid heart rate and uncontrollable thoughts that accompany an anxiety attack. Thankfully, in the digital age, there are many apps on your phone that can help you decrease anxiety. So no matter where you are, you can help control your anxiety more easily.
What Exactly Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is classified as a reaction to stress. This can include thoughts of worry, fear, and even physical symptoms. Headaches, increased heart rate, accelerated breathing, nausea, and difficulty sleeping are some ways anxiety can affect us physically. Anxiety is not considered life-threatening, however, panic attacks and anxiety attacks are serious and should be treated. Affecting over 40 million people as of 2020, anxiety is the most common mental illness. It’s important to know if you can narrow down the source of your anxiety. This can help personalize treatment as well as potentially identify if you may have an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder refers to when anxiety interferes with daily responsibilities. There are a few different types of these disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety disorder.
How to Treat Anxiety (Or Anxiety Disorders)
Since anxiety is so common, people have developed numerous ways to treat it. Some of these include:
- Taking medication
- Avoiding unhealthy habits (for example, smoking, drinking alcohol, doing drugs, etc.)
- Having a good sleep schedule
- Deep breathing
- Establishing a healthy diet
One of the most effective ways to decrease anxiety is to treat your body and mind better. After all, anxiety is considered a mental illness.
Phones and Anxiety
Surprising as it may seem, using a phone affects your anxiety. People gravitate to it to escape stress and tension in the real world. Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact. Anxiety is actually a healthy response to life’s stressors. It allows for good problem-solving, helps with productivity, and encourages consistent brain function. Avoiding anxious situations or thoughts prevents growth. You are able to grow when you overcome difficult or stressful situations. However, too much anxiety is what leads to this avoidance. So how do you decrease it? You take what you already use, your phone, and use them in a better way by creating apps that help improve your livelihood. Some of the most popular types include coloring apps, apps that play calming nature or background music, journaling apps, and sleep-promoting apps.
Apps That Help Decrease Anxiety
Here is an initial list of the apps mentioned below:
This app is dedicated to helping people get better sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental health, and achieve an overall better lifestyle. Through meditation and games, this app helps you to focus on yourself, rather than your anxiety. It has won a few awards for its effectiveness and enjoyability.
Solely focused on coloring, this app has a wide variety of pictures, allows you to upload your own, and has an AR feature as well. Since the arrival of adult coloring books, apps like these have become increasingly popular. Coloring the pictures on this app can help you decrease your anxiety levels and focus on simply coloring the picture. This can help you to cool down before moving on to a different task.
This meditation app takes you through deep breathing exercises proven to help reduce anxiety and stress. It’s simple to use and relatively distraction-free, which is important for effective meditation.
Happify is more than just a mood tracker. It takes what you record in the app, gives you a score, presents you with activity suggestions, exercises to improve mental health, and shows you statistics of other people in similar ranges who may be struggling as well. This app is recommended for people looking to develop a better outlook on life.
Similar to Happify, this app contains the tools you need to track your mood while improving your overall health. It also has a community section for positive messages and a meditation function that can be tailored to different situations.
MindDoc (formerly MoodPath)
MindDoc is classified as a mood tracker and is simpler than Pacifica or Happify in appearance. It does ask questions to gauge your overall mood, which it categorizes in a visual report. You can look at your statistics over time as well and there are resources available on emotion regulation, stress, and anxiety.
This app takes a more technical approach to addressing anxiety, stress, and fear. It uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help people overcome difficult thoughts, feelings, or situations. Its design is simple but there are multiple useful features used by professional psychologists and counselors.
Rootd is specifically focused on anxiety and panic attacks. It helps you understand and deal with them. There are lessons as well that provide important information about the physical effects of anxiety. It’s recommended for people who have these attacks and people who want to learn more about them.
In terms of using an app to help with anxiety and anxiety attacks, a great one is BetterHelp. If you haven’t heard about it before, BetterHelp is an online counseling platform. It enables you to see a counselor through video call, text message, or phone call. The BetterHelp app can help you do all this, plus find a counselor online. A counselor on BetterHelp can give you a diagnosis on if you have an anxiety disorder, if you haven’t already taken an anxiety test, such as the one on Mind Diagnostics.
There is No Shortage of Apps for Anxiety
Thanks to the countless number of smartphones, there are several software developers creating apps. With anxiety levels being higher than ever, many software developers are creating apps centered around treating anxiety. This means that there is no shortage of useful apps like those mentioned here to help reduce anxiety. Most of these apps are free (with some in-app purchasing available), which is another reason you should check them out! Maintaining good mental and emotional health can save you in the long run, and maybe make the world a little brighter for you along the way.