Ironically enough, there’s a host of smartphone apps to encourage you to switch off from the perils of too much technology and develop your mindfulness and resilience. Here’s our review of the best*.
Building resilience and doing what you need to do to make your business succeed can take time. And it’s time that can be easily wasted by spending too many hours on smartphones and social media, lost in unhelpful recurring thoughts, disappearing by just trying to keep up or worrying about the wins chalked up by your competitors.
Switching off from the stresses and strains of your busy workday can help strengthen your resilience, reduce anxiety, help you sleep better and give you more time to spend with friends and family.
There are host of smartphone apps designed to help track and limit usage, develop useful meditation and mindfulness skills, and gamify your quest for resilience. We’ve reviewed the best.
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Taking time off
Designed to help fight smartphone addiction and promote a healthier balance between real life and staring at a small screen, Moment gathers data on how much you’re using your device, and which apps are taking up your time.
Founder Kevin Holesh was concerned how much of his days were spent using his phone for work and his social life, so developed an app to set workable usage limits and notify him when he was in danger of going overboard.
Taking an approach influenced by a healthy approach to physical fitness, Moment is like a Fitbit for phone usage, letting you know how you’re tracking, and providing access to “bootcamps” to help you break the cycle. There are even features designed to monitor a family’s phone usage and keep the clan together in person.
Taking an alternative approach to monitoring phone usage and encouraging offline time, Flipd gamifies the process, setting up a user-controlled lock screen designed to keep you out of your device or away from problem apps for a certain period while you’re working on something pertinent.
If you struggle to play by the rules, the app will – with your pre-authorised permission, of course – lock you out of all apps and functionality on your phone apart from making calls and texts in case of an emergency.
Flipd also can connect you with friends, family, colleagues or 400,000 users worldwide who are also working to curb constant checking of their mobile devices. You can even join a group and share stats on your usage. Those that use their time most efficiently get top spot on a leaderboard.
A not-for-profit organisation set up to aid all Australians manage life’s challenges and live to their full potential, Smiling Mind originally focused on teaching mindfulness skills to those in the education system. They’ve now broadened their reach, and have a range of programs designed for the modern workplace, sporting teams and the general public.
Just as healthy eating and exercise work to keep the body fit and healthy, mindfulness and meditation practices work to benefit mental health, and can help us all better deal with the pressures, stresses and challenges of daily life.
Developed in partnership with psychologists and mindfulness experts, the Smiling Mind app comes packaged with a selection of meditation sessions and other daily activities aimed at a range of audiences. The app can measure progress and set daily meditation reminders. As your skills develop, the sessions become more advanced.
Teacher Hugh van Cuylenburg spent a year volunteering his services at an underprivileged school in the Himalayas. When he got back to Australia, he turned what he learnt during the experience into The Resilience Project, an organisation designed to help us all realise just why practicing gratitude, compassion and mindfulness leads to a happier and more fulfilled life.
Designed for adults of all ages wanting to improve their mental well-being, and featuring programs specifically-tuned for primary and secondary students, this daily well-being journal encourages users to focus on what they have as opposed to what they don’t have, and aids in their understanding of the benefits of helping others and staying healthy and active.
As well a host of schools across Australia, several AFL and NRL clubs and the Australian national cricket team are using the app.
In 2009, game designer Jane McGonigal suffered a serious concussion after hitting her head at work. Laid up with serious symptoms, this active businesswoman became bored and depressed, and decided to gamify her resilience and recovery – asking her friends to provide her with tasks to complete that could give her back her sense of purpose.
A big believer in the power of games to teach and drive positive behaviour, she turned her strategy into SuperBetter, a tool designed to develop optimism, creativity, courage, and determination – and the resilience to tackle greater and more difficult challenges.
Backed by research into positive psychology and behaviour choice, the app – which is paired with a web platform and a book – encourages users to identify their goals, choose their allies, get outside in the real world to undertake real-life quests, and track their successes and newfound skills afterwards.
* This is our review of the best apps available, however the XYZed takes no responsibility for the content.