Do you suffer from Doomscrolling? Do you know what Doomscrolling is? As we get into it, we’ll talk about Doomscrolling, the effects it has on people and some focus apps that you can use to combat it.
What Is Doomscrolling?
“Doomscrolling” as a term is fairly new, but its actions have been around since, well, forever.
Have you ever spent countless amounts of hours on social media, or on the internet in general? Has the majority of said time on the web consisted of taking in a plethora of bad news? If so, you have definitely participated in the habit.
Especially with how things went in 2020, doomscrolling lives up to its name as it isn’t the most positive thing for any of us to do. In a discussion with the Cleveland Clinic, psychologist Susan Albers-Bowling, PsyD said that if you’re feeling down, reading negative news could help reaffirm how you feel. The same goes with depression, she says, and that it’s all the same mindset.
Additionally, doomscrolling for long periods of time can be detrimental to our mental health and has been linked to creating fear, anxiety, stress and sadness.
Focus Apps to Help Reduce Doomscrolling
Looking at negative news and events for long periods of time can create an unhealthy habit, but you may not even know that you’re doing it. Luckily, there are several meditation and focus apps out there that can help with breaking the pattern. Here are four of them:
The Calm app is the number one app for meditation, sleep and relaxation. You can choose how long you want your meditations to go, ranging from three minutes to over an hour. It also includes a large library of soft-spoken stories to listen to; some of them are even narrated by celebrities such as Harry Styles and Nick Offerman. It also has a wide music selection, as well as a breathing timer.
Flipd Focus & Study Timer
The Flipd Focus & Study Timer mostly serves to help in the scholarly aspect when it comes to students and studying for exams, but it can be used to restrict usage of social media or news apps by setting a timer. It also includes several music tracks to keep you focused and alert on your tasks, as well as ways to join global communities so you don’t feel alone in trying to focus.
An app similar to Calm, Headspace also focuses on meditation and mindfulness, allowing its users to relax and get away from whatever may be bothering them. There are over 350 spoken word exercises for you to choose from, and the app’s encouraging words and messages will leave you returning for more. The best part is that if you’re new to meditation, Headspace will help guide you through by starting with the basics.
Space is another app that helps with restricting phone usage if you’ve noticed that you’ve been using it too much. It allows you to the chance to find balance between your everyday life and teaches you about how your phone usage affects you. In addition, you can invite your friends or search globally to see how everyone’s usage behavior compares with your own.
Forest is a focus app that helps you stay off of your phone while you need to be doing other things. The interactive app lets you grow a virtual forest simply for staying off of your phone. Think of it like Animal Crossing but for studying. You can pick which types of cartoon trees you want to grow in your forest, and they get more elaborate the longer you’re able to stay off of your phone. You can mess with the settings in the app to allow you to do things like check your text messages while your tree grows, but the real incentive is in putting the app into deep focus mode. If you exit out of the app, your tree dies and stays in your forest. The best part? You collect points for growing virtual trees, and can exchange those points within the app to plant a real tree out in the real world.