Everybody’s got their own battles. Life is a complicated and messy thing, and we can’t pretend to know what everyone is going through. But what we do know is that investing in mental health is just as important as physical health (and one is often tied to the other). We wish an apple a day would keep the stress at bay, but there’s no magic fruit that will make anxiety and depression disappear.
If you’re looking for new, innovative ways to cope with the lemons life throws at you, we have good news. Plenty of mental health startups are popping up nowadays that are making it their mission to help people improve their quality of life. Whether you’re looking for a portable therapist or just something to keep you occupied during your commute, there’s probably a company out there that’s already doing it. Here are a few ideas of places you can turn to for support when you need it.
Headspace provides mindfulness training and guided meditation sessions. Meditation has shown time and time again to be an amazing way to improve concentration and reduce stress. Think of it as a gym for your brain -- meditating for just 10 minutes a day with Headspace can lead to a happier, healthier you. If you decide to subscribe, you’ll get access to hundreds of hours of content. While the content might not be able to fix all your problems, it can give you the tools to address them in a calm and centered mental state. If you decide to stick to it and meditate for several days in a row, not only will you be rewarded with more mental peace, but you’ll also earn bonus gifts directly from Headspace!
Talkspace is really important. It's an online and mobile therapy company that connects you to licensed therapists around the country, which means it removes some of the barriers many of us face when we think about counseling. If seeking help has been on your mind but it always seems to be too pricey/too far away/hard to get to/awkward to sit on that weird couch/(insert another excuse here), Talkspace could be the answer. One advantage of using Talkspace over going to a clinic or in-person office is that you don’t have to worry about making appointments -- no matter where you are or what time it is, you can send messages to your therapist and receive their replies in real time. If something happens, you can process it with your therapist immediately instead of having to wait weeks to be able to tell them about what happened. It's therapy catered to the culture of instant gratification for those of us with busy schedules and hectic lives (but like, in the healthiest and best way possible)!
If meeting new people, being the center of attention, or receiving criticism spikes your anxiety, you definitely aren't alone. We all have social anxiety to some degree, but it can feel more prominent or all-consuming for some more than others. Not sure if you should seek help for social anxiety? Joyable has a free online quiz to determine if you should consider seeking extra support and offers an online solution for people overcoming social anxiety through one-on-one coaching. They use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy methods which have been scientifically proven to improve quality of life and reduce social anxiety in patients seeking help. With Joyable, social events can actually become--you know, enjoyable.
What if we told you that just playing games online and boost your happiness and self-confidence? Happify has compiled decades of research on happiness and developed a guided program to empower you to take charge of how you feel. By training yourself to overcome your surroundings and to always be able to find the silver lining, you can gain a more positive outlook on life. No matter the trigger, Happify can be a great addition to your self care routine!
Sometimes we get overwhelmed and need a minute. Lantern gets that, and has created programs to aid your emotional well-being by providing effective and affordable support whenever you need it. You can access Lantern anytime, anywhere from your smartphone, customize a plan that meets your needs, get one-on-one coaching. Their goal is guiding you to approach everything with calmness and mental stability so you can focus on doing the things that matter to you -- which sounds like a pretty good idea.
If you’ve ever been to therapy, your therapist might have said something like, “visualize yourself sinking into your chair”, or, “imagine yourself relaxing and drinking a margarita on the beach”. While some of these are easy to visualize, others...maybe not as much. So Limbix created specialized virtual reality software as another tool for therapists to use during sessions with patients. The possibilities with Limbix technology are endless, as therapists can gradually expose patients to phobias, transport them to a location of interest, or simply put them on the beach with a margarita in their hand. In addition, they have an app so patients can do assigned exercises and a dashboard for clinicians to monitor progress. If that isn’t a sign of the future, then we don’t know what is.
Mental health is nothing to be ashamed of, and we're proud to support all these awesome companies who are bringing such important issues to light. Seeking help is the first step towards improving your life and reaching your goals, whether in your career and beyond. These services aren't a replacement for more formal support and diagnoses, though, so if you or someone you know is struggling, make sure you're taking all the steps you need to feel amazing (because you deserve to!).
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Gabriela Balicas is a recent graduate of Rice University. Once upon a time, she studied bioengineering, but when she realized she couldn’t 3D print herself a perfect boyfriend, she decided to study sports medicine instead. When she’s not flexing in the mirror, she enjoys scrolling through Drake memes and puppy videos on IG and running two successful blogs.