While many like to point out the negative relationship between technology use and mental health, there’s no sign that phone use is slowing down, or even should. Instead, we should reframe the way we think about our phone’s role in our mental health. Here are four ways you can actually use your phone to improve your mental health.
Use your phone to get better sleep
Harvard researchers note that sleep and mental health are closely connected’lack of sleep can exacerbate anxiety and depression, and those with insomnia are more likely to experience mental health struggles. While research suggests you should limit phone use an hour before bedtime (the blue light is not sleep-friendly), your phone can be an ally in your quest to get better sleep.
Apps like Bedtime and NightShift (for iPhone) can limit those stimulating blue light waves and can help you monitor your sleep and adopt a better sleeping routine.
Start a meditation routine
Regular meditation can alleviate anxiety, depression, and can produce an overall feeling of wellbeing.
Meditation apps like Calm, Headspace, and Breethe are great for helping you establish a regular meditation routine and destress. These apps offer short, guided meditations that can be done in as little at 10 minutes, so you can do them anywhere, no matter how busy you are.
Make healthier food choices
Apps like VNutrition and Noom can help you monitor your diet, while apps like Fooducate and Substitutions are helpful when navigating food labels and menus while you’re shopping at the grocery or eating out.
A growing body of research suggests that there is a strong link between food and mental health. Your diet choices affect your brain function and health, and can greatly affect mood as well, especially if you have a food allergy or sensitivity.
Get more exercise
Physical exercise is a great way to enhance mood, fight anxiety, and improve physical health as well.
Apps like MindBody can help you take better care of your physical health by helping you find and book yoga classes nearly anywhere in the world, Pocket Yoga lets you take your yoga practice with you wherever you go, and the Asana Rebel app will even offer custom exercise coaching for a fee.