Smiling Mind to become a mental fitness app?

The Smiling Mind mindfulness app is heading into some interesting territory. Now might be a good time to join the Smiling Mind Community.

One of the challenges of getting older is you find yourself saying ‘yes’ to participating in all sorts of different committees, networks and organisations.

One network that I am a member of is the National Network of Mental Health Promotion Practitioners (NNMHPP).

They are doing some great work for members showcasing different mental health promotion initiatives through their regular Zoom network meetings.

I was at one of those meetings yesterday and Kerrie Buhagiar from Smiling Mind was speaking.

Smiling Mind produce a free mindfulness focused app that I commonly recommend to students who might want to explore mindfulness meditation. Smiling Mind was the first app I used when I started learning about meditation.

In her presentation Kerrie talked about where Smiling Mind are headed with their app experience, and I think it looks exciting.

Put simply, they are looking to transition the app from a mindfulness focus to a mental fitness focus.

I used to talk about the concept of mental fitness a lot on this blog. The term is used increasingly as an alternative to mental health. It has some strengths in this regard:

  • People understand physical fitness as a positive outcome that can be trained and mental fitness demonstrates the same is possible for the mind
  • Mental fitness carries less stigma than the term ‘mental health’ which is often still associated primarily with mental illness

For Smiling Mind, mental fitness encapsulates improved mental health and wellbeing, arising from psychologically healthy habits and practices. Their goal is to help you identify and establish the kinds of psychologically healthy practices that will help you build mental fitness and positive mental health.

This can be visualised as follows (I stole this slide from their presentation – I hope they don’t mind).

Smiling Mind will still focus on helping people develop a mindfulness practice (i.e. “live mindfully”), but they’ll also be guiding people in how to develop other evidence-based mentally healthy habits: flexible thinking, growing connections, living purposefully, recharging the body.

In making the shift, they are looking to become more holistic and multi-component in their approach. In the same way as Apple Fitness + might be your go-to app for all things physical fitness, Smiling Mind are hoping they’ll be your go to app for all things mental fitness.

If you grab the app at the moment, you will find the original mindfulness focused app (which is an excellent start for anyone want to learn about mindfulness meditation), but I imagine opportunities will present down the track to trial their mental fitness content.

Thus, now might be a good time to join the Smiling Mind community, if developing psychologically healthy habits is a priority area for you at the moment.

If you want to learn more about psychologically healthy habits and practices, the Be Well Plan is a training program available here at Flinders which introduces you to over 30 positive mental health practices and how to embed them in your everyday life.

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