Texting, tweeting, playing Words With Friends or Angry Birds, and maybe, just maybe, making the occasional old-fashioned person-to-person call: it’s all in a day’s work for the typical Smartphone. But did you know that they soon may replace your therapist as well? Hey, we all want to be stress-free (or at least stress-reduced) happy campers who are in tune with our feelings at any moment of the day or night, right?!?
Not sure what mood you are in right now? Remember those Mood Rings from the mid- 70's (the first Me Decade)? You’d wear one and the stone would turn a certain color depending on how your were feeling: black for stressed and nervous, blue for calm and collected, green for “normal” (whatever that means). Well, now there are Mood Apps like Mood Scanner (Android) and Mood Finger Scan (iPhone). Just scan an available body part (I’m talking fingers or thumbs here) and the app will report your present emotional conditions. Judging by the customer reviews, these apps work as well as the original Mood Rings! (But hey, at least they’re free!)
Who has time to visit a therapist these days? And who really wants to talk to another human being about her... issues? Especially when you can consult a therapist in the palm of your hand. Therapy apps purport to teach you cognitive and behavioral strategies to cope with your problems.
Live Happy bills itself as a “happiness boosting positive psychology program,” based on research by Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at the University of California and author of The How of Happiness. Among the “get happy” activities that it offers are a prompt for remembering happy days, a reminder to savor the moment (take a photo of your special person, place or thing and enter a brief note as to why you value it), and a kindness journal.
By identifying forms of "bad thinking" are these thoughts, you become an expert at how your brain is affecting your mood. Often it's not your actual life situation that's causing the depression, it's those constant negative thoughts about the situation. (The psych term is “perseveration,” like when someone’s always picking away at a scab.)
Brain Freqz purportedly works on the premise that mental states can be associated with brainwave frequency. For example, a person in a relaxed state may exhibit brain waves in the frequency range of 8 to 13 hertz. Brain waves in the frequency range of 1 to 3 hertz would indicate a state of deep, dreamless sleep. Certain frequencies are associated with healing and/or enhancing specific functions. The process of bringing your brain waves to specific frequency ranges is called “entraining.” BrainFreqz audio programs use various audio technologies including "isochronic tones," "monaural beats" and "binaural beats" to "entrain" brain waves. (I am not making this crap up!) The app maker claims that this practice is very useful for relaxing, becoming more focused, inducing sleep, etc...
Current BrainFreqz offerings include Relaxation, Stimulation, Sleep, Headache Relief and Euphoria. (Wow, all for the low, low price of 99 cents! Talk about a cheap high! I want to get me a fix!)
So, are we having fun yet?
All this self-absorption! No wonder the world is going to hell in a flippin' handbasket!