Managing stress is a very useful skill to develop, as various techniques are able to help you keep control of your mood and limit the chances of any symptoms developing into more severe mental health concerns.
Most people face a wide range of sources of stress every single day, from the commute to work, to aspects of their job itself.
Some commentators have cited the always-on culture of 24/7 connectivity as something that can be a factor contributing to stress levels – but smartphones are a tool like any other and the wide range of apps available means there is plenty on offer that can help you to keep stress at bay.
With this in mind, we've come up with a list of a few apps to get you started on finding something that can help with your own peace of mind.
Headspace describes itself as “a gym membership for the mind” – and it is easy to see why. The app offers a series of guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training that are all intended to help manage stress and anxiety, improve well-being and improve the user's general happiness.
The guided meditations are designed to train your brain in just ten minutes a day, and offers the ability to track and reward yourself for progress
There is a buddy system so you and your peers can keep each other motivated and provide some support for one another. A subscription is required for extended sessions, but a free trial offers a flavour of what is on offer.
My Mood Tracker
A key part of mindfulness is keeping track of how you are feeling throughout the day – and My Mood Tracker is designed to support this goal.
Not only does it provide a space for you to record your mood, but it also helps to track many activities to see how they affect this, such as sleep, exercise, medication, menstrual cycles, stress, pain, energy and stimulants.
A note function lets you provide more detail and a comprehensive reminder system can be set up so there will be no gaps in your records.
Given that information of this nature will necessarily be very personal, information can be protected with a four-digit PIN and stored online so you don't need to worry about losing it if you upgrade your phone.
Free Relaxing Sounds of Nature
Relaxing Sounds of Nature offers beautiful soundscapes that are intended to offer a break from the noises of city living.
While this is not necessarily a comprehensive escape from the world, it can immerse you in a relaxing ambient setting to help you relax, reduce stress, sleep better and prepare for meditation exercises. Indeed, the app has been used for ambience in spas or physiotherapy sessions.
The app comprises two components – an audio experience with 25 nature sounds and a soundboard with a further 35 sounds, where various soundtracks can be mixed together for a personalised peaceful experience.