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We all experience stress in our lives. This stress can be triggered by both positive and negative situations and events. For example, we can be just as stressed about getting a new job as we are when faced with a major health challenge. When we experience stress, no matter its cause, our nervous system sends messages to our bodies to flee or defend themselves. In response to this stress, our bodies secrete cortisol and adrenaline. When the body is in this state for long periods of time, it can become problematic. Therefore, reducing stress is crucial to preventing the body from working unnecessarily and burning out.  

Sometimes we can improve our mental health by getting some exercise, doing some meditation, or getting outside to soak up some sunshine and go for a walk. On the other hand, sometimes that isn’t enough, and seeking help through technology can make the process of taking care of our mental health much easier. Today, we have a wide variety of mental health apps at our disposal. These tools can really make a difference in how we access mental health care. Technology can encourage us to connect with professionals when we need support. Technology can also help us learn how to implement small but meaningful changes in our lives.

Apps Help Connect Us with Professionals

Sometimes we discover that when we are dealing with our mental health, we need to find extra support. This support frequently comes from a comprehensive range of mental health professionals. Today, we can find a psychiatrist from the comfort of our own homes. We can set up virtual appointments with a therapist so that we can access support whenever we need an extra bit of help. Easy access to healthcare professionals can significantly impact our mental health outcomes. 

Apps Help Us Manage Our Lives  

The term “self-management” refers to situations where we enter information into an app so that it can provide feedback. For instance, we may set up phone reminders to help us deal with stress, anxiety, or sleep issues. Some applications can also help us track our heart rate, breathing patterns, and blood pressure. This can be useful for tracking progress and receiving feedback. These apps help us to be able to understand what impacts our mental health and what we can do when we find ourselves struggling.

Apps Help Us Learn New Skills

Skill-training apps may feel like playing games, but they help us to learn coping skills and develop our thinking skills. We might watch an informational video about anxiety management or the importance of social support. Next, we might pick some new strategies to try and then use the app to track how often those new skills are practiced. These apps help us learn the tricks we need to manage our lives in a healthy and fulfilling manner.

Apps for Disease Management and Supported Care 

Apps can also allow us to interact with other human beings. Apps can assist us in connecting with peer support or sending information to a trained healthcare provider who can offer guidance and therapy options. Researchers are working on learning how much human interaction people need for app-based treatments to be effective. These apps are a convenient way for us to bridge the gap between accessing our mental health professionals and receiving the care we need. If we find ourselves in an emergency, having someone available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, can be extremely beneficial. 

Apps Can Track Symptoms for Us

A lot of effort is being put into designing apps that collect our data from smartphone sensors. These sensors can track movement patterns, social interactions (such as the frequency of texts and phone calls), behavior at various times of the day, speech tone and speed, and other information. Apps may be able to utilize this data in the future to determine our current mental state. These apps may be able to detect changes in behavior patterns that indicate a mood episode like mania, sadness, or psychosis before it occurs. While an app cannot replace a mental health expert, it can alert caregivers when we may require additional assistance.

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