How Smart Home Technologies Are Helping People With Anxiety

Written by Lucy Peters

Anxiety disorders make up the largest amount of mental illness cases in the U.S., affecting 18.1 percent of the population each year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Anxiety disorders can develop from various risk factors including genetics, personality, brain chemistry, life events, and the environment you live in. When left untreated, anxiety disorders can lead to other mental health problems, like depression, or even physical health problems, like high blood pressure. Thankfully, anxiety disorders are highly treatable and can be avoided by making some lifestyle changes. One thing that is changing how people deal with anxiety disorders is smart home technology. Thanks to new innovations, there are ways that smart home technologies can help people reduce their anxiety.

They take the stress out of home management

A potential source of anxiety and stress for homeowners is having to worry about whether or not some important home appliances or components are working properly. With smart home technologies, you don’t need to worry much about that. Most smart home technologies work independently and are built to work efficiently with as little maintenance as possible. For example, with a properly wired smart thermostat, you can relax knowing that your internal home temperature is always at your preferred level. You can use it to monitor or change the temperature in your home even when thousands of miles away.

You can use some smart home technologies to relax 

An anxiety attack can happen at any time when you are at home. If you suffer from an anxiety attack, you may require immediate guidance in dealing with it, which is where a smart speaker comes in. There are skills designed for smart speakers that can help you tackle some of your anxiety problems. For example, Mindscape is a free therapy skill for Google Home and Amazon Alexa that can help you relax by taking you through breathing exercises and asking you about the issues causing your mental distress. Through the smart speakers, the skill can offer you targeted advice on how to overcome what’s bothering you so that you can reduce your anxiety.

They boost safety and security at home 

Feeling perfectly secure at home is vital for people with anxiety disorders. You can use various smart home devices to boost security and safety at home. For example, smart cameras paired with smart sensors can keep an eye on your home at all times and alert you and the authorities immediately when there is an intruder. Similarly, smart fire alarms continually monitor your home and alert you when there is a fire so that you can spring into action and save yourself from property loss or injuries. Smart carbon monoxide detectors also give you peace of mind knowing that there are no traces of the dangerous gas in your home.

Anxiety disorders can make it hard to relax even in your own home. Luckily, you can invest in various smart home technologies that can drastically reduce your anxieties so that you can live a stress-free life at home.




Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program in online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.

How can Art Aid in the Battle against Cancer-Related Anxiety and Depression?

Written by Lucy Peters

Depression affects up to 20% and anxiety 10% of people with cancer, compared to 5% and 7%, respectively, of the general population – as per a 2018 study (by Alexandra Pittman), published in the British Medical Journal. Treating these mental conditions is vital, say researchers, because when they are ignored, both quality of life and survival, are reduced. Specific types of cancer (e.g. lung cancer) are thought to release specific chemicals which are tied into depression, while some treatments (such as chemotherapy) are also linked to this mental condition. Because antidepressant medications can interact poorly with some cancer treatments, health professionals are constantly on the lookout for natural ways to combat anxiety and depression, especially in mild-to-moderate cases. Among a small group of therapies (which includes yoga and mindfulness meditation), art creation is also proving powerful, as found in specific studies.

Art Therapy Can Reduce Pain and Anxiety in Cancer Symptoms

A study (by researchers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital) published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that art therapy could quell a wide array of symptoms related to pain and anxiety in patients with cancer. The study involved 50 patients at Northwestern Memorial, who took part in the study for four months. During this time, said scientists, art therapy distracted patients from their disease, enabling them to focus on a positive activity they felt in control of. At the end of the study period, patients found that eight out of nine symptoms in the ESAS (Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale) were reduced. These included depression, anxiety, drowsiness, shortness of breath, and poor appetite. The only symptom on the scale that was not alleviated, was that of nausea.

Art Therapy is Easy, Cost-Effective and Powerful

Art can essentially be practiced by people of all ages – not only those with talent. The advent of new digital technologies mean that the average tech user has many devices at hand that can help them create beautiful artworks. Those into pencil drawing, meanwhile, can find numerous tutorials on drawing faces, figures, and even nature forms – all with just a click or two of their tablet or smartphone. Therefore, art creation can extend to beyond the works created in a formal therapeutical setting. Art can become a hobby that fervent creators can get ‘lost in’ as they seize the present moment and use it to express their current thoughts and emotions.

Art Therapies and Cancer Carers

A study undertaken this year by scientists at Drexel University found that in the battle against cancer, art therapy can help those who care for those who are ill. This is true whether or not the carer is a professional – such as a nurse – or a loved one of the person battling the disease. The researchers stated that families and oncology professionals can experience negative effects while caring for someone who is ill – including compassion fatigue, not having enough time to self-care, and (in the case of family) financial concerns. In the study, a total of 34 caregivers enjoyed 45 minutes of art therapy, creating art and discussing its significance afterwards. Before and after each session, participants were given surveys to report positive and negative feelings (including stress and anxiety). After art therapy, they expressed increases in enjoyment and positivity, and a decrease in negative emotions.

Research has shown that art therapy can help cancer patients battle anxiety and depression. Art has also been found to be beneficial to carers, who can face significant stress when a patient or loved one is diagnosed with cancer. Art is increasingly being used to boost the quality of life of cancer patients, and reduce the stress associated with the disease itself and its treatment.



Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program in online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.