People are always looking for a quick fix, especially in today’s time-pressured world where we always seem to have so much to do. Sadly, when it comes to your mental health, there are no quick fixes. But, there are things that can help. Which is where smartphones and apps could come in handy.
There are apps for every type of therapy imaginable, including cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), hypnotherapy, mindfulness, meditation and more.
Choosing the right one for you can be time consuming in itself. You’ll want to find the right therapy for you, the right app for you, the one with all the good reviews. And, just to be on the safe side, you might want to go for an app that’s been developed by psychotherapists, or backed up by research.
Enter then, the Pip, £145rrp, (click here for more information), a handy little gizmo that comes with its own apps (available for both Apple and Android devices).
Designed by stress experts, the apple pip-shaped Pip is a biosensor that measures stress reactions at skin level (electro dermal activity) and collates all the information in a process known as biofeedback. This is nothing new in the world of therapy and is an actual scientific thing (click here).
The apps themselves are designed to help you control your stress and provide more moments of relaxation. The Pip sends all the statistical data to your smartphone so you can track your progress.
There’s a straight-up stress tracker app, a ‘watch the pretty scenery’ game called The Loom and dragons! But, don’t worry, as they are happy dragons, slowly soaring over mountaintops. The more you relax; the faster your dragon will fly.
The idea is that, over time and using any or all of the apps, you’ll learn to manage your stress more effectively. You can even use it with mindfulness and breathing techniques.
Whilst using it myself, I learned that although I’m a pretty no-stress kind of guy (and so I should be, considering I’m a therapist specialising in work-stress and anxiety); I do have more ‘steady’ moments (the psychological equivalent of ‘meh’) than relaxed moments. So, even I could do with some practice.
However, no single app, even one as technologically advanced as the Pip, should be used as a standalone.
As consultant and forensic psychologist Dr Ian Gargan says, “the Pip has assisted patients as an addendum to cognitive behavioural and solution-focussed therapies. It provides an external focus of control which improves self-direct attention, relaxation and goal-setting.”
Plus, it’s fun. Now, where’s my dragon?