Apps for Relieving Anxiety

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Apps for Relieving Anxiety

For many of us, the last month has brought on unprecedented stress and anxiety. With unemployment rates at record levels, the people fortunate enough to still have jobs have suffered salary cuts, reduced scheduled hours, or are at risk for being laid off or furloughed in the near future.

While different catalysts of stress always exist, most of us have developed ways to manage our anxiety under normal circumstances. Unfortunately, our go-to stress-relieving behaviors, like going to a friend’s house, traveling, or playing recreational sports, are not generally possible at the moment.

Fortunately, there are ways you can still manage your stress levels without leaving the house. Dozens of apps exist which can help you monitor, assess, and minimize the overwhelming emotions you are facing. Downloading one of these apps can help you gain control over your worries and feel less helpless in the current situation.

HeadspaceHeadspace offers guided meditation lessons, helping you learn how to focus your mind and turn off negative thinking so that you can sleep better and feel more relaxed during your waking hours. This app is available for free, with optional add-ons to download.

MoodSpaceMoodSpace helps its users acknowledge their behaviors and examine thought patterns. If you find yourself constantly going down a rabbit hole of irrational worry, this app can help you to get a grip on those thoughts. There is also a gratitude feature built in, which prompts you to “notice good things.” You can record those positive components of your life by storing them in the app for future reflection.

WeNote – This app is not strictly a self-help app. Instead, it promotes peace of mind by functioning as an organizer. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the intersection of your work and homelife, you can use this app to create separate to-do lists and calendars for the different parts of your life. Compartmentalizing work and life can help you feel more relaxed in your non-working hours.

Plum VillagePlum Village is a monastic community founded by the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. This app, created by volunteers associated with Plum Village, offers guided meditations. It also has an optional mindfulness bell feature which you can set to go off periodically. This bell reminds you to center yourself and focus your breathing.

CalmThis app is a popular one that contains strategies for breaking habits, practicing gratitude, and helping to combat low self-esteem.  It also includes music tracks that are designed to help you sleep better and to relax. You can try seven days of the app for free, but afterwards you are charged a yearly usage fee.

Cell phones can often be a distraction or annoyance if they are constantly buzzing with notifications or work e-mails. Since modern life dictates that many of us have our phones available at a moment’s notice, downloading one of the above applications can be a convenient way of working in some relaxation time any time we pick up our phone.

If you find yourself compulsively checking the news for the latest COVID updates, you can instead keep your emotions and anxiety in check by getting into the habit of using a mindfulness app to help relieve those heavy feelings.

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