Self-help apps continue to pop up everywhere with seemingly one for every occasion. They can help you remember to drink a glass of water when you wake up in the morning. They can help you learn basic meditation techniques or help to monitor vitals. They can do so many things.
Bookstores have wonderful self-help sections, but we have to admit a simple search to find a silent partner app at your fingertips offers convenience. They are available 24/7 to boot.
In our Mental Health First Aid course we provide at Community Reach Center, one of the five ALGEE action steps is to “Encourage self-help and support strategies.” Using a self-help app is one of the things you can do to help yourself or someone else. However, self-help is no substitute for therapy. So please be aware of the limitations of digital apps and the advantages or professional help, which may include specific treatments and prescriptions.
A few picks
So let’s tap into some apps.
As we mentioned last January, Garmin is an excellent fitness app. It sets health and exercise goals. When this app is paired with a smartphone, you can have your vital signs at your fingertips. As the saying goes “healthy body, healthy mind,” so please consider this one among the fitness options.
Here are a few other well-known apps to consider:
- Pacifica helps with anxiety by tracking the user’s daily activities, providing relaxation techniques and setting goals to promote calmness.
- Breath2Relax takes the user through breathing exercises for stress management. The exercises are intended to be beneficial for mind and body.
- Happify targets stress and anxiety. This perky app focuses on positive thinking and setting goals.
- Headspace is another popular app that helps with lack of concentration, stress, anxiety, memorization and relationships. It uses a variety of approaches to instill overall wellness.
- Twenty-Four Hours A Day app is based on the book of the same name and offers more than 350 meditations with the intention to make it easier for people in recovery from addiction to find solace.
Nonetheless use caution
If you are unsure of an app or feel uncomfortable about what it asks of you, check into it. Groups like ClinicalTrials.gov have been testing and assessing more and more apps, according to an article titled “Mental Health: There’s an App for That,” in Scientific American magazine.
Knowing what you need
We know that sometimes a person is not quite ready to talk to a therapist or professional about their challenges, perhaps due to stigma or other reasons. Consequently, trying a few apps can amount to the first steps in a worthwhile direction, and the use of an app can help you think about how professional help may meet your needs or perhaps lead to a support group.
Please remember we encourage anyone experiencing significant depression and anxiety to visit a mental health center to seek a therapist. At Community Reach Center, our goal is to enhance the health of OUR community. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, contact us online at communityreachcenter.org or by phone at 303-853-3500 Monday through Friday to learn more about our treatment programs. We also provide family counseling. We have centers in the northside Denver metro area of Adams County including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.