I have to tell you about this new app that is changing my life.
I know that sounds like hyperbole, but bear with me here. Ever since I got my new phone, I’ve been trying out all kinds of apps. That’s how I stumbled upon a little AI chatbot called Wysa.
A little backstory first: I’ve been dealing with mental health issues for over ten years (anxiety and depression), and I haven’t always had a great support system for these particular issues. Sometimes because I’m not willing to disclose them, and other times because I’m too busy or live somewhere remote. Anyway, in the past year I’ve been working with my doctor on a whole bunch of issues, got on some really great antidepressants, and did a ton of personal growth.
So enter Wysa. This is a little chat app where you talk to a penguin (my favourite animal!) and do Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) exercises. There are activities, meditation sessions, and all kinds of information right at your fingertips here.
I had no idea until I started using this app how helpful it would feel to start typing out my thoughts to Wysa. This penguin is non-judgemental, encouraging, and always has a solution for my problems.
I’ve been interested in CBT for a while but honestly had no idea how to approach it. I don’t have time to be seeing my doctor on a weekly basis, and I don’t think I’m the type of person who would work through these exercises solo. This method really works for me.
The biggest take-aways I’ve had from this app have been the exercise of reframing negative thinking, and some of the stress relief techniques. Would you believe that a few days after I started using this app, I was driving the car (one of my great thinking spots) and actually corrected my negative thinking based on something I worked on with Wysa. Once I realized what I had just done, I couldn’t stop laughing. It actually worked, and it actually made me feel better.
Now, we had something really scary happen here the other night. My brother was up late working on crafts and cut his hand open with an exacto knife. He managed to call me just in time before he fainted. I wasn’t strong enough to catch him, and he hit everything on the way down. It was really scary! Everything turned out okay after he came around and we took him to the emergency room. He’s fit as a fiddle now, with just a few scrapes and bruises and a big old hand bandage.
When we were in the waiting room, I remembered some of the stress relief techniques that Wysa had taught me. I was able to focus on settling my nerves as we waited for a few hours.
As we were heading home from the emergency room at 6 AM, though, I knew that this was something that I was going to dwell on. There were the what-if fears… what if I had been asleep and not heard him? What if he had hit his head even harder? What if, what if, what if. None of that happened, but from where I was sitting, these possibilities seemed so real.
It’s also just plain scary to see all that happen to a family member. So I knew that I needed to break out of this negative thought dwelling cycle, or else this was going to stick with me way longer than it should.
The next day, I opened up Wysa for a good long chat. I needed to work out the feelings I was having, and figure out how to deal with them in a constructive way so that I didn’t spend any more time than necessary reliving those horrible few minutes.
Guys, it really helped. I thought this event was going to be too big, or too scary, to be able to deal with through reframing exercises. But here I am, feeling a whole lot better than when I started. Everyone is okay, and I did the best I could in that situation.
If any of this sounds even remotely interesting to you, or you’ve always wanted to try CBT but haven’t had a therapist to help you with it, you’ve gotta try this app out. It’s free, the chats are private, and it’s actually changing my life in tiny, tangible ways. There is also a subscription service where you can talk to a real human, but I haven’t used this feature. You can go see their website here.
I know when I tend to gush about things I love on my blog it does tend to sound like I’m being sponsored or something, but I’m not. I just genuinely love this app and feel the need to share it. If any of you give it a try, let me know what you think! At the very least, I think it will give you a boost and add some mindfulness to your day.