7 Ways Your Smartphone Can Help You Build Mental Strength

Your smartphone can help you train your brain to think better.

 Tim Robberts / Photodisc / GettyImages

While your smartphone can be detrimental to your psychological well-being, it can also be an amazing tool that can help you build mental strength. It all depends on how you use it.

Some people use their smartphones to mindlessly scroll through social media for hours on end—or even to make hurtful comments that tear other people down.

Other people use their smartphones to watch videos that teach them how to fix the transmission on their car or to take online college classes.

Clearly, your phone has the power to be as helpful or as harmful as you want it to be. Fortunately, if you’re intentional about the way you use your phone, it has the power to boost your mental strength.

Here are seven ways you can use your smartphone to build the mental strength you need to live your best life.

Press Play for Advice On Building Inner Strength

Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares how you can learn to boost mental strength. Click below to listen now.

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Download Apps That Build Mental Strength

There are many apps that can help you change the way you think. There are apps that can help train your brain to think more positively, practice self-compassion, or replace catastrophic predictions. Thought Diary, for example, helps you learn to recognize unhelpful thinking patterns so you can develop healthier, more productive ways of thinking.

Other apps can help you regulate your emotions better—which is another key factor in mental strength. Apps like Calm and Headspace can teach you how to meditate, which could be key to managing uncomfortable emotions.

Apps can also help with the third aspect of mental strength—your behavior. Apps, like HabitHub and Remente can help you establish good habits—or rid yourself of the unhealthy habits that are holding you back.

Experiment with a few different apps to find the one that you like best. If you like it, you're more likely to use it consistently.

Follow People on Social Media Who Inspire You

Whether you follow your favorite self-help author on Instagram for daily tidbits of advice or you follow an organization on Twitter who offers information on well-being, you can get helpful free information at your fingertips all day long.

Connect with the individuals, companies, and organizations who motivate you, inspire you, and support you to do your best.

If there are social media feeds that cause you to draw unhealthy comparisons or that cause you to feel worse, unfollow them. Get proactive about filling your social media feed with content that will help you become better.

Sign Up for Online Therapy

You can speak to a licensed mental health professional from your smartphone. Most online therapy sites allow you to message, live chat, or video chat with a therapist.

Speaking to a professional therapist could help you with many issues, such as managing your stress better, dealing with anxiety, improving your mood, learning how to communicate better, and dealing with an addiction.

And you can do it all from your phone. It can be a convenient and affordable way to get the support you need to become the strongest version of yourself.

Maintain Healthy Connections

Although the original purpose of our phones was to actually talk on the phone—most people don’t make nearly as many calls as they used to even though it’s easier than ever to do so.

But maintaining healthy relationships can be vital to helping you feel your best. So make regular phone calls to chat with family and stay in touch with friends.

Set up video chats with family and friends who you aren’t able to see in person. Seeing them on the screen might help you feel more connected to them.

Be mindful of how you’re using social media as well. Mindlessly scrolling through social media isn’t likely to be good for your mental health. But making healthy social connections could be really good for you.

Reach out to old friends, chat regularly with family members, and use it as a way to stay connected with people.

Attend Online Support Groups

Whether you’re going through a divorce or you are struggling to manage your anxiety, attending an online support group could help you get through times.

Online support groups can help you connect with people who are experiencing similar challenges as you—even when what you’re going through is uncommon.

Chatting with other people who understand your experiences might give you courage and help you feel less alone. You might also learn more about the resources and strategies that helped other people, some of which may also work for you.

Sign Up for Courses That Teach You New Skills

There are many online courses that can help you gain new skills. Some of those helpful skills may be directly related to self-help, like a class on mental strength or emotional intelligence.

You also might sign up for online classes that seem unrelated to mental strength on the surface—a Chinese cooking class or a fitness class, for example. But taking those courses may be a helpful form of self-care. And taking care of yourself is vital to staying mentally strong.

Listen to Self-Help Podcasts or Audiobooks

Spend your commute listening to books that support your self-improvement journey. Or, listen to self-help podcasts when you’re cleaning the house.

Gaining knowledge about mental health, relationships, healthy habits, and a positive mindset can change your life. And the ability to listen to books—rather than read them—means you likely find time, even when you have a busy schedule.

If you're not used to listening to books or podcasts, it can take a little getting used to. But once you do, you'll likely discover it's an easy and fun way to learn about subjects that interest you.

A Word From Verywell

Your smartphone can be a wonderful tool that can help you build the mental strength you need to live your best life. Apps or online courses that don’t offer individual support may not be right for everyone, however.

If you’re struggling to build mental strength or you are experiencing a serious mental health issue, seek professional help. A therapist can assist you developing the mental muscle you need to feel your best.

By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.