Can Wearable Tech Make You Less Stressed?

Can Wearable Tech Make You Less Stressed?

You know your Fitbit tracks your body’s well-being — but what about your mind? Wareable.com reports that 2017 will be the year wearable tech companies such as Fitbit will really begin to emphasize just how activity trackers can help with mental health, too. As part of this trend, a host of new devices (some from familiar brands) have cropped up, promising mindfulness and zen at the wave of a wrist or tap of a touchscreen. Pretty cool stuff.

But first things first, how does one track emotional well-being with a device?

Wareable suggests there are two main channels. One is through biometric monitoring, or tracking such stress-related metrics as breathing rate and heart rate. The other is sentiment analysis software, or tracking what we’re saying to see how that reflects on mood changes — with the latter seeming still far-off for wearables as we currently know them.

Biometric monitoring, then, is the trend to watch. WellandGood.com provided a rundown of recent innovations:

There’s the Sona by Caeden, released in August 2016 (and currently out of stock online). It tracks stress based on breathing and heart-rate measurements and then delivers users “5-minute Resonance sessions,” or research-backed meditations, to help calm nerves. (A bonus: the tracker is sleek and stylish to boot.)

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Then there’s the Bellabeat Leaf Urban, which you can wear as a bracelet, necklace or clip, which debuted a “stress sensitivity” feature in September. This tracks activity, menstruation and breathing, among other inputs, to rate stress levels. When it detects stress, it cues users to guided meditations that can be streamed and logged through an accompanying mobile app.

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The Apple Watch now comes with the Breathe app, for guided deep breathing anywhere, designed to help users navigate stress. The FItbit Charge 2 also has guided breathing exercises, called Relax Mode.

Other wearables such as Spire, Pip, and Muse also track breathing and stress while providing access to meditation, WellandGood notes. In a Wareable.com test, Spire was the reviewer’s favorite of all the options.

Next up: The test of whether users will adopt these tools — and whether they will help.

What to Read Next:

3 Simple Ways to Practice Mindfulness Every Day

A Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness

How to Combat Workplace Stress

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