RIYADH: How much would you be ready to give up to gain an entire life-time of emotional wellness ahead of you? though it doesn't cost that much to gain the benefits, more and more people are willing to take or find the time to invest in their minds.
We are living in the age of easily-available distractions, and the prolonged nature of the pandemic has made us even more addicted to technology. Even if it has eased hardships of repeated lockdowns; we picked up some unproductive tech habits, and our phone became a magnet pulling us to check for missed work emails or breaking news, or even social media updates. The pandemic has increased our dependence on technology but as with food intake, a planned consumption can help. According to research, an average individual spends more than five hours a day on a device. Someone working or learning from home, much more.
Though hard to visibly identify or quantify with medical readings, Mental health affects a person’s overall wellbeing and stability. And as technology companies are increasingly criticized for their role, whether real or perceived, in damaging our mental health, there’s pressure to find solutions.
To that end, Apple already has a comprehensive line-up that promotes good health, including Apple Watch, Apple Fitness+, and the Health app, but it would seem the tech giant is placing even more importance on wellness and in particular, mental health with new features. Some of you might already be familiar to some of the existing "wellness" features like Screen Time, an iPhone app that keeps tabs on the amount of time a user spends on their device, and Breathe, an Apple Watch app that guides users through a brief deep breathing exercise.
We are highlighting here for you interested new Health and wellness features pertaining to iPhone and Apple Watch that will help you keep your sanity!
The latest operating system from Apple brings “new ways to stay connected, and powerful features that help users focus, explore, and do more with on-device intelligence”. This bring major updates to FaceTime, a new ‘Focus’ feature to reduce distraction, and more ways to explore the world using Maps, Weather and Wallet.
“Focus is a new feature that filters notifications and apps based on what a user wants to focus on. Customers can set their device to help them be in the moment by creating a customised Focus or selecting a suggested Focus, which uses on-device intelligence to suggest which people and apps are allowed to notify them,” Apple says.
Apple also revealed a new notifications experience that allows you to filter notifications according to how important they are for each individual user. Of the new features, Apple says: “To help reduce distraction, a new notification summary collects non–time-critical notifications for delivery at a more opportune time, such as in the morning and evening. Using on-device intelligence, notifications are arranged by priority, with the most relevant notifications rising to the top, and based on a user’s interactions with apps. Urgent messages will be delivered immediately, so important communications will not end up in the summary, and it’s easy to temporarily mute any app or messaging thread for the next hour or for the day.”
Health for the Whole Family
The health app already allows you to set up emergency contacts, and note important information like your blood type, allergies, heart health and sleep. Now, you’ll be able to share this data with your family with a “new sharing tab that lets users share their health data with family members, caregivers or a care team”. That should bring you a certain peace of mind
Apple Watch users will be excited to hear of updates that offer “greater access with Wallet, more capabilities with the Home app, new workout types and an updated Breathe app”.
Apple Fitness+ is an incredible personal trainer on your wrist, but two new workout types are set to make it even better for both your body and mind. Tai Chi and Pilates are much-loved practices for balance, breathwork and mood-boosting. Apple says: “These new workout types are supported by powerful, validated, custom-built heart rate and motion algorithms to provide users with accurate metrics.”
Breathe and Reflect
Apple Watch users will be familiar with the Breathe app, but in the future, this is set to become a whole new mindfulness offering. “Now more than ever, people are recognising the importance of finding small moments in their day to be more mindful. In watchOS 8, the Breathe app becomes the Mindfulness app, featuring an enhanced Breathe experience, plus a new session type, Reflect.”Like Breathe, Reflect lasts one minute but instead of merely pausing to inhale and exhale, the app will pose a mindful and thought-provoking question designed to remove you from the distractions around you and help you feel centred and refreshed, for example: “Reflect on one thing you’re grateful for and think about why you appreciate it so much”.
Sleeping Respiratory Rate
You can already track your sleep and heart rate, but the new software will help users reach sleep goals further by tracking sleeping respiratory rate, which is the number of breaths per minute.