Scientists at the university of Basel have discovered ways in which to use brief, specific exercises on our smartphone to make us feel happier and more relaxed.
Using five-minute long tutorials on their smartphones participants in the international study felt more alert, calmer and uplifted immediately after the exercises and some claimed the use of the exercise benefited their mood overall during the two-week long period that they were assessed.
Twenty-seven health young men were assessed over the two weeks. They used their smartphones to choose various modern psychotherapeutic exercises known as micro-interventions. Some of the participants, for example, recalled emotional experiences during the exercise, while others repeated short sentences or or repeated numerical sequences in a contemplative manner.
The subjects answered short questions, before and after the sessions, and recorded their answers on their phones. The questions were asked on a six-step scale.
Associate professor Marion Tegethoff of the University’s Faculty of Psychology said;
“These findings demonstrate the viability of smartphone-based micro-interventions for improving mood in concrete, everyday situations,”
“Now we need to carry out more extensive studies to help us understand the extent to which smartphone-based micro-interventions are responsible for the improvement in mood, and also perform studies on patients with psychological disorders,”
Using modern technology to improve psychological health is a current topic of research known as ‘mobile health’.
The use of the internet in therapy sessions has been studies by academics in recent years. Until know however researchers have not looked into the possibility of utilizing smartphones with micro-interventions.
The professor also made note of the fact these modern tools, which can be utilized anytime, anywhere. This is in line with modern thinking about personalized medicine. A step towards a health care system that in the future will be to provide personalized care to the individual at exactly the time and place that they require it.