Sharpen your mind with these iPhone apps

Nov 6, 2009
Games

There was once a time when you had to lug around books or attend classes to benefit from exercises and services that sharpen your brain and keep you in a pleasant state of mind.  Yet the iPhone has compacted all of these books, games and services to fit right in our pockets. The ability to […]

There was once a time when you had to lug around books or attend classes to benefit from exercises and services that sharpen your brain and keep you in a pleasant state of mind.  Yet the iPhone has compacted all of these books, games and services to fit right in our pockets.

The ability to pull up a brain teaser or a positive quote at any time gives us immediate access to things that can improve our lives on a daily basis. This all ties in with mental health, including the maintenance of cognition and memory, as well as our capacity to alleviate stress.

The iPhone makes mental health a more prevalent goal, giving individuals the tools they need to keep the blood flowing in the right direction. From tranquil alarm clocks to whimsical bubble wrap poppers, mental health is as individual as the person looking to achieve a more balanced lifestyle. Here are a few iPhone apps I found particularly useful toward the improvement of my mental health.

iPhone apps for good mornings and great days

Harsh alarms start me off on the wrong foot. Relax Alarm PRO uses gentle sounds to wake you from slumber, with soothing color options as well. I could go without the optional news feed, but those that start their day with current events may appreciate the inclusion. This $3.99 iPhone app also comes with relaxing sounds to help you sleep.

Start your day with a good attitude. the Daily Affirmation iPhone app gives you inspirational quotes whenever you need one. Search by category if you need affirmations for specific stress in your life. For 99 cents, this app could use more sharing features, but its simplicity makes it easy to access motivational tidbits while on the go.

If prayer gets your mind right, iBelieve in Happiness is an iPhone app to consider. Prayer beads in this app help you track your daily affirmations. Choose an inspirational one to set as your iPhone background or send to friends. The 99-cent app can be set up to email affirmations to yourself as well, keeping you in a positive spirit all day long.

iPhone apps for teasing your brain

Number games are great ways to get your brain going. AnQ’s free iPhone app gives you a four-digit number that is really a secret code. You get nine attempts to break the code, with hints that get dropped after each attempt. I am not one for numbers games, but AnQ keeps my interest and my wheels turning.

Lumina is a memory iPhone app with great graphics and ongoing game play as the game increases in difficulty. For 99 cents, this brain teaser improves skills needed in every day life and does double duty as a stress reliever. The game increases in difficulty, but captures your attention in a calming way.

If music gets the blood flowing, the free AudioPhile iPhone app may be of interest. Match song clips from your iTunes library to their album covers to improve your memory. Multiple levels and game formats offer various playing options.  AudioPhile is interesting in that it uses familiar content already on your phone to exercise your brain.

Lumosity’s 99-cent Speed Brain app helps you improve the speed of your brain, giving you quite a workout directly from your iPhone. Work the problems to improve your cognitive process, with stats provided for your progress. Be motivated to further improve with ranks to see how you compare to others and an option to challenge friends.

iPhone apps for stress relief

Feel a bad mood coming on? Reach for the Bubble Wrap (on your iPhone, that is). This app is 99 cents, but it is entertaining and actually has a calming effect as well.  I found that I could actually sit and pop digital bubble wrap for extended periods of time. As an added perk, it is far less annoying than the real bubble wrap!

For those in need of a dedicated approach to stress relief, iStress’ iPhone app provides a workbook to track your moods and emotions on a daily basis. iStress will track changes, chart them and enable you to identify problem areas in your life. Inspirational quotes, a poem, daily humor and calming exercises makes the $2.99 price tag reasonable.

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