Emotional health? There’s an app for that

Mental Health

By pH health care professionals

Emotions play a key role in decision-making, productivity, relationships and overall quality of life. Your emotions can affect your health, and your health can affect your emotions. So it’s no surprise that as technology advances, people are looking for new ways to track and improve their emotional health. And yes, there’s an app for that – in fact, quite a few!

Some apps pair with devices to measure zen levels, while others rely on self-reporting through mood mapping to give you clues about your daily, weekly or monthly patterns.

Let’s take a look at some of the potential benefits of mood mapping apps:

  •          Emotional intelligence and awareness. Mood Meter, developed by Yale scientists, is a perfect example of a mood-tracking app. You simply plot how you feel on a colorful quadrant – and do so however often you like. You may log your mood once a day, or perhaps multiple times -- before or after meals, before going to sleep or when you wake, or simply at scheduled intervals. You can even set reminders to do so. You can also log why you feel that way so you can take notice of common triggers. Then, you can select a strategy to address the mood, if desired, and view reports to identify trends. Some emotional states may be affected by obvious reasons. Others may be time-delayed after eating particular foods, exercising, personal interactions, work activities and more. By plotting certain patterns, you will gain a deeper understanding of how your body and mind are interacting. Understanding this may help you make better choices and increase overall wellbeing and productivity.
  •          Stress management. A Finnish study examined a mobile app’s usefulness for work-related stress management. Researchers concluded that the app, Oiva, was useful in understanding and even giving tools for managing stress. Overall, these apps may improve the way you handle stress and increase life satisfaction. These are promising findings for further app improvements in the future.
  •          Better productivity and focus. Even for the most disciplined people, it can be easy to procrastinate certain goals and tasks. Understanding which situations get you into the right emotional states will also help you do get things done better and faster.

These apps are even useful to monitor medical conditions so you can further discuss the data with your doctor. For example, check out this CNN report on a medical doctor who used mood mapping to understand her bipolar disorder.

Other areas that may affect your mood include: Foods, exercise and activity level, personal relationships, hormones, sleep quality, body weight and fat percentage, nutritional deficiencies, exposures to toxins, stress, sunlight exposure, work satisfaction, goal motivation, yoga/meditation, medication and recreational drugs.

Begin to pay attention to the way habits, situations and environmental conditions affect your emotions and mood in order to detect patterns and better maneuver through life. Once you take charge of your mental and emotional wellbeing, you’ll be on your way to living life to its fullest.

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.

 

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