Cellphones and other mobile devices have gotten a lot of bad press recently for keeping people tethered to stressful workplaces. But a new study suggests that mobile technology might also help tense people chill out. Playing a smartphone gaming app for 45 minutes can reduce anxiety levels in tense individuals, researchers reported online this month in Clinical Psychological Science. Participants who scored high on anxiety surveys were asked to play a game based on attention-bias modification training (ABMT), a treatment that’s been shown to reduce stress by teaching individuals to ignore threatening stimuli and focus on positive ones. Those who played the ABMT game displayed less nervous behavior and negative feelings afterward when they were required to give a short speech. The study suggests that mobile technology may be an alternative delivery method for mental health treatment.
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