Everyone gets stressed sometimes, and it's important to take some time out to restore a sense of calm back into your life. There are so many ways you can stop yourself from feeling overwhelmed throughout the week, and your smartphone can be a fantastic tool to help you relax.
Take a look at some of the very best things you can do with your smartphone to help you sleep better and feel a little more zen, day and night.
Switch to Night Shift mode
If you love to spend your evenings on your mobile, turn on Night Shift. Many people find reading blogs, watching videos and playing games stress-busters, but staring at a bright screen all evening can cause problems with sleep - Night Shift, however, is designed to combat this.
The purpose of Night Shift is to reduce your exposure to blue light, which is emitted by screens on smartphones, laptops and other devices. Studies have shown blue light can effect circadian rhythms, slowing down the production of melatonin (which is a hormone that the body naturally produces in the evening, helping you to feel tired) and making it difficult for people to fall asleep. Night Shift alters the colour of your screen, giving it a warmer hue that has fewer detrimental effects on sleep.
As the evening goes on, turn on Do Not Disturb too. While smartphones can be brilliant tools to help you unwind, they can also be the culprit for keeping you awake. Switching to Do Not Disturb mode means text alerts and notifications from apps like Snapchat and Facebook won't pop up on your screen. This way, you can put your phone down and enjoy a good night's sleep without being interrupted every ten minutes by a new alert.
To do this on the iPhone, swipe up on your home screen and tap the moon. For most Android devices, this mode can be located under 'Settings'.
Meditation has been known to reduce stress and anxiety, boost focus levels and encourage a sense of mindfulness when practiced. If you're interested in meditating, or even looking for some soothing music to help you relax, there are a handful of amazing apps available to download on your smartphone. Let go, unwind and take a look at two of the best below.
Headspace is free to download with an initial pack of 10 sessions, each lasting for 10 minutes, pre-installed. After this, you can either invest in a monthly or annual subscription and you'll unlock hundreds of exercises, including short, bite-sized sessions that are perfect for slotting into a busy day at work. Start with the basics and enjoy learning new techniques and methods as you progress, day by day.
Calm shares many similarities to Headspace, with a range of musical features included. Enjoy listening to the app's 'Daily Calm' session, select guided meditation and choose from topics like happiness, stress and anxiety, or choose your favourite sounds - from thunderstorms to bird song - and relax with timed meditation which is perfect for bedtime. Calm's Sleep Stories will also help you fall straight to sleep, where grown-up tales are read by soothing voices.
Listen to a podcast
Reducing screen time, sitting back and simply listening to something can do wonders for stress levels. Download a selection of your favourite podcasts onto your smartphone, pop it onto your bedside table and enjoy uninterrupted listening.
There's an endless supply of podcasts out there, including many dedicated to stress management. These 'self-help' kind of podcasts aren't the only type that can help people to feel less anxious, worried or strained though. Listen to something you love, whether it's a comedy, drama or educational podcast. Invisibilia, TED Radio Hour, Headspace (from the makers of the meditation app), Desert Island Discs, Sounds Good with Brenden Harvey and Motivate Yourself are all great examples.
Take some time out of your busy schedule, and use your smartphone to help you de-stress and find a few moments of calm in every day. Remember, if you're currently looking for a brand new, innovative mobile to help you enjoy the stress-busting features above, you'll find the very best deals available on Mobiles.co.uk. From the iPhone 7 to the Samsung Galaxy S8(/samsung-galaxy-s8), we've got something for everyone.
Banner image credit: Gavin Whitner