Life can get pretty stressful at times. But for people with anxiety disorders, stress goes beyond trying to juggle a full schedule. Regular stress veers into anxiety-disorder territory once it starts to interfere with you living a normal life like when you’re constantly messing up at the office because you’re so nervous about a presentation, or you don’t leave your apartment because the thought of socializing inspires too many negative feelings.
A full 40 million Americans have anxiety disorders, says the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. These illnesses don't always take the same form. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, three of the most common types of anxiety issues are Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which is a pattern of fretting about everyday things, Panic Disorder, which involves sudden and repeated attacks of fear, and Social Anxiety Disorder, which is when people are afraid of being embarrassed or judged during social interactions.
No matter where you fall on the anxiety spectrum, there’s an entire arsenal of apps to help you curb anxiety, bring about more mental peace, and be an all-around happier human.
Everyone can benefit from carving out a little time to relax. This free app offers guided or unstructured meditation breaks ranging from two to 20 minutes, complete with soothing sounds and wanderlust-worthy scenery.
This free app offers a variety of interactive games and activities that not only boost your happiness, but track your progress with an overall happiness score. By flexing your muscles in different science-backed categories like Savor, Thank, Aspire, Give, Empathize, and Recommend, you’ll get to see how your overall positivity increases after each activity and over time.
This meditation app offers a basic set of 10 10-minute meditation sessions for beginners looking for a little peace of mind.
Through a series of mini-podcasts to help you master your anxiety (think audio sessions like “Focus on Reaction” and “Letting Go of Pain”), helpful tips for calming down in the middle of a stressful situation, and encouraging messages from the app developers, you can track your behaviors and reactions to see how your coping skills progress.
Anyone who’s ever had a panic attack knows just how scary they can be. This free app was designed by psychiatrists to help walk you through bouts of fear, anxiety, and panic. In a pinch, the series of short animations might help you stay calm through a combination of breathing exercises and body movements that can counteract some of panic attacks' unpleasant physical sensations.
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