If you’re an avid reader here at Primal Eye chances are you’re already putting time and effort into your physical health and well-being through a primal or Paleo lifestyle; diet, fitness, sleep. All carefully controlled. So why stop there?
Mental health is a greatly under discussed topic, and yet can have the greatest impact upon our lives. It can alter our day regardless of the situation, drag us down, force us into a fearful corner or shake the very belief of who we are, and yet with the right support in place many of these daily struggles can be lessened or avoided.
Top Mental Health Apps for Different Situations
If you’re an avid reader here at Primal Eye chances are you’re already putting time and effort into your physical health and wellbeing through a primal or paleo lifestyle; diet, fitness, sleep. All carefully controlled. So why stop there?
Mental Health is a greatly under discussed topic, and yet can have the greatest impact upon our lives. It can alter our day regardless of the situation, drag us down, force us into a fearful corner or shake the very belief of who we are. And yet with the right support in place many of these daily struggles can be lessened or avoided.
There are hundreds of apps, blogs, downloads, and YouTube videos out there addressing any number of mental illnesses, from stress to anxiety to depression. Because each one of us deals with situations differently and reacts in varied ways to multiple techniques, no one thing can be pulled out as the most successful. Search around, test out different things, don’t give up on help because your first choice wasn’t helpful!
Although these online apps can’t offer a direct replacement for face-to-face sessions with a qualified and trusted therapist, they do offer a great way to try and keep your mental health in check, just like you may track your food or exercise regime on My Fitness Pal. They also provide a way around the taboo of mental illness for some and can provide follow up or support therapy for those in between sessions.
Luckily for all of us, as people are becoming more open about mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, the plethora of health apps out there are continuing to grow.
We’ve listed a few different approaches to tackling these issues just to get you started; take the time to peruse at your leisure and use them as a jumping off platform for more things that are out there.
1. Stay in Touch
Apps which put people who are struggling with mental health in contact with others who can provide support and encouragement. Apps like Talkspace, 7 Cups, and Operation Reach Out provide a support network for people to participate in a community where positive feedback is a priority and to engage in supporting others with mental health problems.
Meditation apps are now numerous; a few which I have trialled and are highly rated online for their effectiveness at relieving stress, anxiety, or insomnia are digipill, Headspace and the END anxiety/depression series. These provide guided meditation to calm your breathing, relax your mind, and help you drift off to sleep.
3. Taking Positive Steps
- 7 Cups and Secret of Happiness take you through a number of stages, encouraging you to record positive thoughts, helping to identify your problems, and encouraging a focus on the positive. 7 Cups also provides online support groups or private one-to-ones for individuals to provide positive support to other sufferers.
- Online registered therapist. There are a number of downloadable apps, including Talkspace and 7 Cups that enable you to book regular appointments with a qualified therapist online and conduct anonymous and safe appointments through Skype or over the phone. Finding the right and app and the right therapist here is completely dependent on you and what you need. It allows the removal of any stigma that may be feared from visiting or traveling to see a therapist. This sort of platform also allows for ongoing support regardless of where you are, for example if you go away on business or holiday.
- Be Positive! Positive thinking apps such as Happify and My Thoughts. These are based on engaging in a range of activities that boost your mood, such as positive messages or mantra.
- Tracking. Mood trackers such as My Mood Tracker allow you to regularly report how you are feeling and possible causes, allowing you to pinpoint triggers for certain emotions or feelings. They allow you to look back and see the positives that happened in your day or week that may have been eclipsed by a negative encounter or thought that has overwhelmed you.
Aside from apps for your phone or tablet there is also a wealth of information on the Internet in general – there are sites to read and learn about different mental health issues and many charities or organisations that anyone can get in touch with for help.
Jon Kabat Zinn: This is the man that brought meditation to the West. He has a number of YouTube videos which are very informative about the process of meditation. There are also a number of guided meditation audios which are a great starting point for beginners. However, a seasoned meditator might find the basic nature of the meditations frustrating as you are bombarded with a continuos flow of information on how or what you should be doing at that moment.
Eckhart Tolle: Popularised certain aspects of eastern philosophy, primarily coining the term ‘being present in the moment’. He has several books and is hailed as a powerful spiritual author.
If you believe you or someone you know may be at risk of harming themselves you should contact someone for help. There are many helplines which will be able to assist in your situation, you can also contact a doctor via the NHS on 111.
- SupportLine Telephone Helpline: 01708 765200
Confidential emotional support to children, young people, and adults. Also keeps details of agencies, support groups, and counsellors throughout UK.
- Bipolar UK: 020 7931 6480
Advice and information for people with manic depression and their families, carers, and mental health professionals. Supply a range of information leaflets, books, and tapes. Network of self-help groups for people with manic depression and their relatives and friends. Self-management training programme.
- Samaritans: 116 123 (free of charge from a landline or mobile)
- ChildLine: 0800 1111
ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of 19. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor about anything – no problem is too big or too small.
Have you ever used apps or online resources during difficult times or to get through a mental health issue? Have we missed anything out? Do let us know in a comment below!