The busy schedules, never-ending to-do lists and always-on mentality of modern life mean that many people are dealing with higher levels of stress and anxiety than ever before. This makes it difficult to find time to switch off and relax. Luckily, there are a number of apps available to help you manage your stress and find time to focus on yourself.
Headspace aims to help users deal with stress and anxiety by using audio-guided meditations and mindfulness exercises. The app can also help you develop better sleep habits. These meditation sessions usually start off small, from as little as three minutes, so you don’t have to worry about being forced to try to keep your mind clear for long periods of time. As you become more familiar with meditation, the app will give you longer audio-guided meditations to try out.
Pacifica allows users to track their mood, health and thoughts over time to keep tabs on their general emotional wellbeing. The app also includes audio lessons and activities that can help you manage your anxiety and stress levels. The support group feature is a unique one – it provides the opportunity for you to discuss your stressors with other users of the app.
Depending on your settings, the app will suggest activities for you throughout the day to help you reduce your stress levels. Some of these activities include spending a few minutes outdoors and taking a break to do meditation exercises.
If you feel like having a chat is the best way to reduce your stress and anxiety levels, Wysa can be a useful tool. The app uses an AI chatbot to help users open up. It guides users through exercises and meditations based on therapeutic techniques to help them feel better. The app also offers users questionnaires and tests to help identify potential issues, such as depression, and the paid version of the app allows users to speak to therapists and coaches if they need further help in managing their stress.
4. Prana Breath
Prana Breath focuses on deep breathing exercises to help users cope with stress, anxiety and cravings. The app contains simple timers aimed at achieving different types of results. For example, there are breathing timers for managing stress, reducing cravings for cigarettes and clearing your mind. The timers show you when to inhale and exhale, with some favouring deep breaths in, while others focus on slowly breathing out. Exercises usually take a few minutes.
For people who want to reduce stress levels but struggle to focus on deep breathing, Prana is very useful since the timer helps keep you focused. It uses specific chimes and music to indicate when to breathe in and when to breathe out so you don't have to glance at your screen throughout the exercise.