In the first quarter of 2021, the popular meditation and mental wellness app, Calm, was downloaded 7.52 million times worldwide and it is officially number one on the list of all health and fitness apps.
Its impressive sales figures are testimony to the ability of technology to bridge important gaps in unique times like the present.
It may be tougher to attend a group yoga or meditation class but thanks to apps like this (as well as Headspace, Breathe, and more) it is possible to harness the benefits of stress-busting activities without leaving home.
How else is technology coming to the rescue to lower human stress?
Neurofeedback a Powerful Stress Buster
Neurofeedback—a technique that gives participants a readout of their brain activity and teaches them techniques to utilize calming brainwaves—’manipulates’ brain networks to help them function in a healthier way.
Because participants can physically see the way in which their thoughts and emotions affect their brainwaves, they can learn which strategies work to calm them down, focus, or feel more motivated.
In recent research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, it was found that neurofeedback was much more effective than self-generated strategies.
Tech to Soothe the Vagus Nerve
Around 57% of workers in the US and Canada report feeling stressed on a daily basis. Chronic stress is linked to a host of serious diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, depression, and anxiety. Stressed out workers can calm down without taking too much time from their workday with tech like Sensate—a tiny gadget that uses near-infrasonic waves and relaxing audio material (via headphones).
Simply place the device on your chest while lying down. Allow it to soothe your vagus nerve and help you achieve greater balance. Balance the use of this technology with a healthy diet, exercise, and time spent in green spaces to achieve even greater calm.
Stress Notification Tech
One of the worst things about stress is the way it creeps up on you. Many people who experience panic attacks say that it often feels like their anxiety has ‘appeared out of nowhere’. Of course, there are subtle signs that stress is getting in your way.
For instance, your breathing rate rises and you begin overloading on oxygen (which is one of the main reasons why, in the midst of a panic attack, people are advised to breathe into a bag).
There are many devices you can choose from that will alert you to high-stress levels quickly. Look into devices like the Apple Watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch, and various Fitbit trackers.
Garmin and Whoop devices are also good choices, as they measure your heart rate variability. The higher your variability, the better. These devices will let you know if yours is low, indicating you might be stressed, dehydrated, or tired.
These are stressful times and it is showing in the number of employees who report feeling tense and worried at work.
To ease your stress, opt for a sound diet, regular exercise, and good sleep. You can also try out technology that is specifically created to help you reach a state of calm in a relatively short amount of time.
Gadgets, trackers, and neurofeedback sessions can serve as a type of ‘rescue’ during high-tension moments of your life.