Pocket Enthusiasm

ISE Magazine – Volume 49 : Number 2

Need cheering up? Look to your smartphone to brighten your day

Psychologists along with international colleagues have observed that brief exercises can help quickly improve a smartphone user’s mood. Participants in an international study felt more alert, calmer and uplifted after using five-minute video tutorials on their smartphones as a guide. Some participants, recalled emotional experiences during the exercise, while other test subjects repeated short sentences or number sequences in a contemplative manner. Those participants who reported that their mood had immediately improved following the smartphone exercises benefited over the longer term as well. These findings demonstrate the viability of smartphone based micro-interventions for improving mood in concrete, everyday situations.

The use of modern communication technology to improve psychological health is more commonly known in research circles as “mobile health,” or “mHealth”. 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. A healthcare system that would be able to provide exactly the right treatment at the right time and place.