One of the values that we at Kindaba uphold is self-growth. As Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get.” It’s in our values to focus on improving ourselves so we’ll always be equipped to handle whatever is thrown our way. Stress is unfortunately unavoidable, and it can be triggered by many different situations. Whether it’s an unexpected pop quiz, a fight with a best friend or even someone not returning your texts, stress is… well, stressful. Keeping up with our mental health is an important way to combat it.
We live in the digital age. This means we have a host of nifty tools to help us out when we’re having a rough time. From AI apps to cat memes to sleep trackers, we have so many tools available to us to make it easier to keep our mental health thriving. We can use these not only get us out of our lows but also to help prevent us from having them in the first place.
Here are five reasons technology can help your mental health:
#1 It makes it really easy to reach out
If you find yourself stuck in a never-ending rut, you or a friend may have thought of therapy. While that poses many benefits, some people don’t have the time or energy to set up an appointment. Thankfully, human interaction is only a click away. Apps like TalkSpace get us in touch with real people at the click of a button. These services are often affordable, anonymous and convenient, and if you’re willing to sacrifice the level of personal intimacy that comes with a face-to-face counselor for those benefits, then this may be a flexible way to keep balance in your life.
#2 It helps us to stay grounded
If you would still like an extra sprinkle of calm in your daily life, try meditation apps. They’re more than just a trend for busy mums. Common favourites are Headspace and Calm, both of which allow us to reach a state of serenity and mindfulness.
Mindfulness, or living in the moment, is a crucial part of maintaining our well-being. Rooted in age-old meditation tactics that have been shown to reduce anxiety and worry, it’s the real deal. These apps force us to stop living in the future, or past, and to centre ourselves in the present. So if you’re the kind of person who can’t enjoy a cup of tea on a winter night because you’re worried about something at work or your children’s wellbeing , mindfulness techniques can definitely help. If you’re in urgent need of a little zen, these apps are there to support you, short or long term.
#3 It makes it easy to surround yourself with positivity
With technology such an integral part of our daily life (only 4% of UK citizens have never used the internet!), it really is one of the biggest influences on the way we think and the way we feel. It can definitely be an inspiration, but sometimes it is just too much. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your feeds, consider a digital detox.
The beauty of social media — like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat — is that we have the ability to follow, unfollow and prioritise the content we see. Is something making you upset? Unfollow it! Did something make your day, perhaps a cute photo of a kitten as shown above? Follow, get notifications, and surround yourself with more of that positivity. One of the best ways to improve your mental health is to change the content that pops up on you feed. Don’t forget, you are in control of what you follow.
#4 It gives us a creative outlet
Pursuing a hobby doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy tons of supplies. If you want to paint, but don’t want the mess that comes with a canvas and easel, use technology! Hop on your phone, grab a stylus and get drawing. If art isn’t your thing, try writing a short story– it’s easier with a keyboard than with a pen. You can even upload your works to online websites such as FictionPress to share them with the world and get feedback and criticism from others.
#5 Technology bridges gaps
We’ve all been away from home at some point in our lives, and thus have dealt with the struggles of homesickness. It’s not easy, and can worm its way into the heart of all of us. It’s inevitable! Thankfully though, it’s not as bad as it used to be. Even one century ago we’d be left high and dry if we had any desire to contact our loved ones while away on work trips or visiting friends, having naught but the existence of snail mail to bring us comfort. Nowadays, the people we hold near and dear are only a click away– especially when more people than ever are now using the internet.
So, next time your professor gives you a harsh critique on a project and you find yourself wanting to cry, call your best friend in Canada. If you feel the stress of your workload getting to you and you need to take a breather, pop on a relaxing app and go through a meditation cycle. Technology and social media may be the source of a lot of anger and sadness, but for the variety of emotions and sensations they can make us feel, I’ve always found nothing makes me feel better than a good writing session on my trusty laptop.