Mindfulness apps. Are (m)any of them effective?
I read a piece from the ABC in Australia about the proliferation and ‘effectiveness’ of a variety of mental health mindfulness apps – over 700 in all, found by a Ph.D student studying at QUT. Fascinatingly only 23 of them were able to meet the criteria just to be reviewed by researchers. 23 out of 700 apps. Wow.
With the majority of the apps claiming to increase happiness and help achieve greater life balance, the scientific viewpoint of most was one of “electronic snake oil”.
So why would there even be 700 apps? Is it because tech and particularly our phones have become the first place we turn to when we feel disconnected (paradoxically) , stressed or unhappy?
Looking inward vs reaching out
I mention the app research to highlight the differences between ‘looking inward’ and ‘reaching outward’ and because what we do, why we do it and how it’s applied isn’t part of the tech world. It couldn’t be further removed. And we’re really happy about that. Heathens! I hear you cry. Well, before you use the ‘p’ word (Philistines) allow me to explain.
So much that is tech based is literally disconnecting us from the world (people) around us ..
.. regardless of whether we purport it to be social or work related. It is insular and isolating behaviour that does very little if anything to help us engage with our immediate surroundings. It hinders relationship and is a safe place to hide from the world. Sure, sometimes this is ok and needed however it has become all too prevalent for too many.
Not better or worse, just a different way
What we do and why we do it isn’t better or worse then opening an app. It’s just very different because it is about embracing and highlighting human connection. We do touch. For people. Like you. At work. Good quality touch delivered as short massage sessions that helps you feel pretty damn amazing. That leaves you feeling that much better about yourself and your world than you did before, resulting in an enhancement of prosocial behaviours.
Massage is so much about relationship.
That inexplicable innocent energy exchange that takes place between two people connecting with each other, beneficial for giver and receiver that leads us both to feeling valued and worthy and more part of the whole. And then there is the irrefutable pleasure that is experienced when Oxytocin is released in our brains as a result of being engaged in this way.
None of this can be replicated by a phone app.
An app has to be built on the ‘one size fits all’ model. Massage is malleable because you are in control: More or less, harder or softer, “ah yes, that’s the spot. Wonderful!” Try telling that to an app.
So consider us the warm handshake, the genuine smile, the touch on the arm and the metaphorical loving embrace we all need and deserve.
We can be the positive real life connection for you, between you and your people and your people to each other.
Connecting with the world, with others around us, is vital for our mental health, our physicality, our personal growth and the growth of our businesses. And there isn’t or ever will be, an app for that.
Bonus! Look Up – the very best ‘disconnect to reconnect’ video ever made with a mere 56+ million views. The second best 5 minutes you’ll spend today. My pleasure!