Can Our Phones Help Us Rest And Relax?

Smartphones have a dual role in our daily lives when it comes to relaxation.
On one hand, they offer access to meditation apps, soothing music playlists, and relaxation techniques that aid relaxation. These tools can help users unwind, manage stress, and improve their overall well-being.

However, smartphones also have features that can hinder relaxation. Constant notifications from social media, emails, and news alerts can create a sense of urgency, leading to stress and anxiety. Excessive screen time before bed disrupts sleep patterns and ultimately impacts relaxation.

To make the most of smartphones for relaxation, individuals should use apps and features specifically designed for relaxation purposes. Additionally, they should set boundaries on screen time and notifications to prevent overstimulation and promote better mental health.

The Impact Of Our Phones On Our Brains


Dopamine Spikes

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain which has a significant role in our relationship with smartphones. Whenever we receive notifications, likes, or messages, our brain releases dopamine, which leads to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. This may be beneficial because it encourages us to stay engaged and connected, motivating productivity and social interaction.

Dopamine Dips

However, excessive stimulation from our phones can have negative consequences. The constant stream of notifications and alerts can create a dependency on our devices, leading to addictive behaviors and decreased attention span. The instant gratification provided by smartphones can diminish our ability to focus on long-term goals and tasks, making it harder for us to obtain dopamine naturally and without our phones.

Defining Balance

To balance the benefits of dopamine and stimulation from our phones while mitigating the drawbacks, it is essential to set boundaries on screen time, practice digital detoxes, and prioritize real-life interactions. By being mindful of our usage and its effects on our brain chemistry, we can strive for a healthier relationship with technology.

Tools To Help You Relax On Your Phone



1. Aro

Aro Box
Aro is an innovative app and device combination aimed at reducing screen time and promoting presence. The app allows users to set goals, receive reminders, track time away from their phones, and even compete with others. Paired with the Aro Box, which serves as a visual cue and a reward system, users are encouraged to take breaks from their phones, fostering healthier habits and more meaningful family interactions. Developed by founders Heath Wilson and Joey Odom, Aro is designed to address the challenges of excessive screen time and help families prioritize quality time together.

2. Insight Timer

Insight Timer
Insight Timer is a meditation app dedicated to fostering mindfulness and well-being. With a community of 6 million users and 3,000 teachers, Insight Timer offers free daily meditation practices. Users can access a wide range of guided meditations, music tracks, and talks to support their meditation journey. The app prioritises meaningful metrics like user engagement and retention over download numbers or funding, emphasising its commitment to nurturing a sustainable meditation practice for its community.

3. Calm Radio

Calm Radio
Calm Radio offers a wide collection of relaxing music and nature sounds, specially made to promote calmness and relaxation. With over 700 channels and unlimited listening, subscribers can enjoy a variety of calming music from their mobile and desktop apps. Membership offers great value with easy cancellation. Additionally, Calm Radio provides insightful articles on wellness topics, accompanied by calming wellness music suggestions to enhance users’ overall well-being.

4. Calm App

Calm App
Calm App is a leading mental health app offering research-based tools to manage stress, improve sleep, and foster well-being. With over 250 Sleep Stories®, guided meditations, and stress-relief exercises, Calm aims to help its users make better habits for better mental health. Accessible anytime, anywhere, Calm continues to increase its content and tools monthly to meet user needs.

Calm has also partnered with Spotify to expand its reach. This collaboration allows Spotify’s premium subscribers to access Calm’s meditations and sleep stories within the streaming service. While some content is free for all Spotify users, premium Calm subscribers can link their accounts to unlock additional content. This move aligns with Spotify’s ‘Open Access’ programme, highlighting its commitment to offering diverse wellness content.

5. The Self-Compassion App

Self Compassion App
The Self-Compassion App offers scientifically validated practices from Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) to help users feel happier, calmer, and more connected. With over 50 tools designed for navigating stress, anxiety, and self-criticism, users are guided by leading authorities on self-compassion, Drs. Chris Irons and Elaine Beaumont, who collectively have 40+ years of therapeutic experience.

It is essential to understand the impact of smartphones on our mental well-being and relaxation, especially in the digital era we live in. While these devices offer features that can help us unwind, they also pose several challenges, such as frequent dopamine spikes and excessive stimulation. Finding balance requires setting boundaries and utilizing apps like Aro, Insight Timer, Calm, and The Self-Compassion App, which offer effective solutions for managing screen time and promoting well-being.