Anxiety is not the most common mental health concern in Australia, the United States and other countries. It can impact your sleep, self-perceptions, productivity at work, relationships, and hold us back from things we love in life.
While there's no substitute for therapy with a professional or moving the body, there are several smartphone apps that now offer science-backed mindfulness-based practices proven to help with chronic stress and anxiety. These apps offer an array of tools to confront, dissolve and embrace your anxious thoughts while on the go.
1. Worry Watch
For $2.99, Worry Watch helps record, reflect, reason, realize, and refute your anxiety patterns. It provides you insight about triggers and also generates statistics to help you analyse thought patterns.
Get it on Apple
An app developed in consultation with neuroscientists and provides music designed for the brain to improve focus, meditation, relaxation, naps & sleep within 15 minutes of use. The first 5 sessions are free. After this, a monthly subscription costs $6.95.
This app offers both unstructured and guided short meditation breaks from 2-20 minutes, complete with soothing nature sounds and scenery. The initial 7 days are free and after this, a subscription costs $12.99 per month.
Another great meditation app that offers simple beginner and tailored meditation sessions depending on what you are after e.g. calm stress and anxiety, sleep better. There's a free version for the first 14 days after which a monthly subscription costs $7.99 per month.
5. Sanvello (formerly Pacifica)
These stress-reducing practices are based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which can help transform negative thought patterns and meditation techniques. The app provides space for you to track moods, health, habits, offering relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation. Ther are some free features and monthly premium subscription costs $3.99.
This app offers fun interactive games and activities to boost and track your happiness. Happify's techniques are developed by leading scientists and experts who've been studying evidence-based interventions in the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioural therapy for decades. A free service is offered or a premium subscription is $14.95 per month.
7. Stop, Breathe & Think
Stop, Breathe, and Think is a mindfulness app and journal. When you open the app, select your mood and it'll suggest recommendations for meditations, yoga practices and breathing techniques, body scans and visualisations. The check-in feature also allows you to track your moods to understand your anxieties better. A free service is offered or a premium subscription is $14.49 per month.
8. Dare — Break Free From Anxiety
Dare to face your fears, whether you’re dealing with anxiety, panic, worry, or insomnia. This app walks you through guided audio meditations, breathing techniques and other tools to help you sit comfortably with your anxiety rather than avoiding it.
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