Wellness-supportive technology is exploding. Wearables and apps are targeting everything from sleep to mindfulness. For the most part, I take a minimalist approach to using tech to cultivate health.
Ultimately, I believe the most potent wellness resources are things like nature and social relationships. Since my relationship to technology is often a barrier to me deeply connecting with these things, I try to keep it to a minimum. If I am going to leverage technology for its health benefits, it must meet a high bar for usefulness.
Below are the 3 tech-based tools that have proved themselves to be extremely useful to my well-being and not addictive.
THE APP THAT ALLOWS ME TO FOCUS - Freedom App - This app blocks distracting websites and apps from your computer and phone. I credit freedom with allowing my to write on a regular basis. When I want to focus, I set a 25 minute freedom session and block all distracting websites. This takes “self control” out of the equation and changes my computer environment into a less distracting one. You can also use this app to block you from using certain things (email, social media) until a certain time in the morning or after a designated time of night.
THE APP THAT ALLOWS ME TO PRODUCE MELATONIN AND SLEEP BETTER - F.lux - I’ve been singing the praises of F.lux for years and am shocked when I come across folks who aren’t using it. F.lux will pull the blue light out of your computer after a certain time. This is a great harm reduction strategy if you are going to use screens at night. As I’ve discussed previously, melatonin is not only key for good sleep it is also an anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety hormone, so you definitely want to be producing it!
THE APP THAT SKYROCKETS MY MEDITATION PRACTICE - Insight Meditation Timer - All the cool kids are meditating. It’s become so trendy, that there are even meditation studios you can join for a hefty fee. If you have extra cash and crave the community, more power to you! But if you want access to world-renowned meditation teachers and a HUGE library of guided meditations for free at home, just download insight timer. It’s the best. Check out any of the guided meditations by Tara Brach or Sharon Salzberg to get started.
What are some wellness apps that have improved your life?