30 Jun Disconnected minds: how can we use technology to improve mental wellbeing?
The evolution of technology has presented society with countless challenges regarding its effect on our mental wellbeing, particularly among younger generations. From exposure to violence through video games to cyber bulling on social media, the world’s societal issues are being amplified through how we use technology every day.
Some people argue technological advancements have made society poorer and less connected on a human level, but technology clearly holds the power to do a whole lot of good too.
So here are four ways technology can help us all improve our mental wellbeing:
Physical meetups have become increasingly hard, but it doesn’t mean the company of our friends and family cannot be enjoyed. Most social media apps now allow users to do free video calls, so you can chat for hours with the people closest to you. This has also been invaluable in the workplace where keeping colleagues connected and work relationships strong has been more important than ever.
According to the All-Party Parliamentary Group, making art helps people take charge of their own wellbeing through channelling independence and curiosity while improving overall quality of life. Technology can enhance our creativity in several ways, from social media apps like TikTok, which has been the source of multiple new dance trends, to digital art software like Procreate and music mixing software such as Ableton Live.
TikTok is also a safe haven for many users who use the app to discuss mental health challenges.
Learn a new skill
One of the greatest things about today’s technology is the abundance of knowledge we have at our fingertips. The NHS encourages people struggling with mental health to learn new skills to boost self-confidence and self-esteem and build a sense of purpose. So why not take a crack at learning the piano or sign up to virtual cooking classes? Online teaching hub, Masterclass, has practically every class you could need, taught by experts from around the globe.
Mindfulness is the act of focussing on the here and now, which the NHS claims can improve your mental wellbeing. Apps such as Calm, a sleep aiding app which reads users stories while they go to sleep, and meditation app Headspace are great for exercising a clear mind.
Take a break
In the constantly–connected world in which we live, we can use tech to be the solution to our mental wellbeing challenges. From online support groups to focus and stress-reducing mobile apps, technology exists to aid us in living more balanced, fulfilled lives – connected to the people and moments that matter most to us. All we have to do is take control of it.
If you are struggling with your mental health, the Mental Health Foundation has a list of resources and helplines which are free to use.