In today’s fast-moving world, stress is one of the most common problems that challenges people. Stress caused due to work, relationships, or other life events can have a crucial impact on one’s mental health. According to WHO, too much stress can cause physical and mental health problems. Fortunately, in today’s age, we have many resources available including mental health apps that aid people in tracking and analyzing their stress levels and triggers. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of mental health apps for stress management, how to choose an app, and how to use it to track and analyze stress.
Understanding what stress is and how it impacts us is important before we dive into how mental health apps can help us. Stress is a natural response that humans experience when faced with a threat in our lives, which may be physical and/or psychological in nature. Stress can be helpful in some situations as it pushes people to be alert, and at times improve one’s behavioral and cognitive performance. Chronic stress on the other hand can make one experience symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and burnout. In order to manage anxiety, one of the steps is to identify the stress triggers as it allows one to build coping mechanisms to work through specific stressors. Team engagement in the workplace can also be affected by chronic stress, which is why identifying and managing stress triggers is important for maintaining a healthy and productive team.
One of the significant benefits of mental health apps is to track and analyze your stress patterns over a duration of time. This allows you to understand if your stress is increasing or decreasing. When does it go up, how well you are coping, and figure out the stressors that make you feel overwhelmed? These mental health apps are able to do this by collecting your data and then providing personalized feedback and recommending tools that may be helpful to you. This allows you to develop coping strategies that are tailored to your needs. Another interesting factor is the gamification that can be observed in some of these apps, making this process a lot more engaging and fun.
There are so many apps available in today’s day and age that it can be overwhelming to pick one for yourself especially when there are many of questionable quality. A few factors to remember when you choose an app is to research if it has been developed by mental health professionals, how the app is protecting your information, if it is supported by evidence and has a sound clinical foundation, and if it is engaging and enjoyable. It’s important to remember that no single app can meet all the unique needs that we have as individuals.
When you have figured out what app/ apps you would like to use , you can use it to assess your mental health and gain a deeper understanding of what areas you may be struggling in and need support to grow. You can also use these assessments to become more aware of your sleep patterns, energy levels, and eating habits that impact your overall well-being and ability to cope with stress. Wysa provides some of these assessments in our ‘Assess yourself’ tool pack. Setting a check-in time allows you to be consistent with yourself in taking care of your needs. With Wysa, you also have the opportunity to use tools based on your individual needs. For example, it helps you understand your worrying thoughts and stress better by decluttering your mind, finding a different perspective, relaxing by learning deep breathing techniques, and working on acceptance to cope better. You can also track your journey with stress by looking at what you have worked on so far.
Importance of professional help: Mental health apps are not a substitute for professional in-person help. If you cannot cope with the stressors, and it’s impacting your functioning as a person it is important to remember to reach out to someone who may be able to work with you to figure out your needs. Some apps can provide additional resources to help like text/AV therapy which may be helpful. Apps like Wysa can also be used along with in-person help.
In a fast-paced world in which stress is unavoidable, mental health apps are rays of hope. Using them we can track and manage our stress and take control of our well-being. Ultimately, the key to managing stress is being aware and proactive. So taking an active role in managing your mental health can help you lead a healthier and happier life.