Astrology is all the rage lately — who among us hasn't blamed a bad day on the full moon, or decided we're perfect for our crush because of our complimentary moon signs?
Reading our horoscope can give us a sense of peace and purpose in the world. Given the state of politics, the environment and the general uncertainty about the future, it’s somehow comforting to believe the universe has a plan for us all.
How astrology apps can help
There are a number of reasons why so many people find checking their horoscopes regularly a positive habit:
Astrology can help in finding meaning in the chaos
Let’s face it, being young can be an emotional rollercoaster. From relationships, school and work, to the big issues like politics and the environment, there’s a lot to worry about. It’s normal to feel lost at times, and to want to find meaning and purpose in the things that happen to us and around us. For some people, astrology answers life’s unanswerable questions – or at least makes them feel a bit more in control.
Horoscopes inject a bit of positivity into your day
An American study once found that 70 per cent of horoscopes in newspapers make positive predictions. This means that a daily read of your horoscope can inject a bit of positivity into your day – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Reading something positive each day can help keep negative self-talk, self-sabotage or pessimistic thinking at bay. This has a flow-on effect that keeps your mood, relationships, and performance at work or school on the up, too.
Astrology can be a source of comfort
If you’re going through a break-up, it can be comforting to read that you and your ex’s star signs aren’t very compatible. If the fault lies in the stars, maybe it was just never meant to be! Or if you didn’t land your dream job, your horoscope might hint that there’s something better around the corner. Believing that there’s a plan for you can make the hard times easier to deal with, because you don’t feel like you’re struggling for no reason.
How to figure out if astrology apps are becoming a problem
If you’re a regular user of apps like Co-Star or The Pattern it’s a good idea to check in with yourself about how you use the apps and the effect they might be having on your daily life. For instance:
- Do you use your astrology app more than any other apps?
- Do you find yourself reading multiple horoscopes until you find one you like?
- Do you get stressed out if you aren’t happy with your daily reading?
- Does your horoscope affect your day (either your mood or how you act)?
- Do you base important decisions on the advice in the app?
If you answer ‘yes’ to these questions, it might be time to rethink how you use horoscopes and astrology apps.
Dr Sarah Crawford, chartered counselling psychologist at Nightingale Hospital, in London, told ELLE magazine that while astrology can provide short-term relief, longer-term problems can arise if you become dependent on the apps and forget to practise other types of self-care. If you look to an app for all your support, reassurance and encouragement, you may stop seeking these important things in other places that are equally important. For example, if you miss out on a great job and check the app for advice on your next move, you might not think to call your mum and get advice from someone who knows and loves you.
If you become overly reliant on these sorts of apps, you may not learn to trust your own instincts or encourage yourself when you’re struggling. While a little bit of outside validation is a great thing, it’s also important that we all learn to believe in ourselves and develop the confidence to get ourselves through rough patches. It’s just as important to invest energy in taking care of your mental health, learning some coping skills for tough situations, and loving yourself when things aren’t going as planned.
Top tips for staying in control of your astrology app use
If you feel like taking a break from your fave astrology app, here are some ways to do it:
- When you get the urge to seek comfort from the app try calling/texting someone who makes you feel good instead. Share the good times, as well as the bad ones, with the people around you and feel jazzed by a bit of old-fashioned human connection.
- If you find yourself checking multiple apps because you aren’t happy with the first reading, take a breath, put down your phone and try practising mindfulness. Bringing your mind to the present will help shift your focus away from what the app might have to say about the past or the future.
- Have something on hand to help you switch off and chill out when you feel like you want to check the app. It might be a show on Netflix, a podcast, a quick yoga sesh from YouTube or a jog around the park.