Forget tracking the number of steps you've walked around your kitchen - there's a bevy of wearable tech products, just waiting to calm you down and help your mental health, too
When you think of wearables there are probably a few things that come to mind – fitness trackers, Apple Watch and pacing around the kitchen in attempt to reach your designated number of steps without actually having to go outside. But what if we told you that a steady stream of devices designed to keep your mind calm and your head healthy have emerged on the market too? We asked the experts in wearable tech at Wareable to give us the low down on the most interesting devices designed for your mental wellbeing – rather than burning calories.
Launched in June, this headset (which looks like an eye patch) connects to an accompanying app on your smartphone that delivers ‘Thync Vibes’ to your brain. Sure, it sounds scary, but these signals are meant to make you feel calmer and give you more energy. Now here comes the science: The wearable tech company behind Thync claims that the headset is able to alter your thoughts by using neurosignalling, which sends low levels of electrical energy to certain neural pathways, which in turn changes your mood. Clever.
This little disc, that clips to your waistband, monitors your breathing and posture with the idea being that the better your posture is, the more controlled your breathing will be, resulting in a healthier and happier you. Prana tracks the in and out movement of your chest and diaphragm whilst you breath and also the position of your body. It then works out the quality of your breathing and encourages changes through basic movements, simple games and breath patterns. Your yoga teacher will love it.
Who knew wearable tech could be so pretty? LEAF from Bellabeat is a sophisticated piece of smart jewellery that tracks your sleep, steps and, er, ovulation, with an additional focus on reducing your stress levels. By monitoring your breathing, LEAF teaches you to calm your mind and reduce your stress by taking you through a series of breathing exercises, which you can visualise using the accompanying app.
Like Thync, this is another headset-style device. Muse senses what’s going on in your brain and allows you to change what state it’s in yourself rather than using electric signals. With seven sensors that are positioned along your scalp to measure your brain activity, you’ll receive audio cues alerting you to stressed out moments. Muse then takes you through a series of exercises to help train yourself and identify distractions to keep your mind balanced, with the idea that you can then apply the calming techniques to your daily life.
Another one for the deep breathers among you, Spire monitors your breathing but it also has the added bonus of tracking steps and calories burned making it a great all rounder.This small, clip-on device uses sensors to monitor your inhalation and exhalation and pairs with an app that gives you tips for calming yourself down when it detects your breathing is shallow and hurried.
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It might look like a fitness tracker, but WellBe is built for wellness – not just to help you shed a few pounds. As well as detecting stress, it also provides you with ways to reduce it through exercises such as focused breathing and meditation. Plus, the built-in heart rate monitor detects your stress levels based on the people you meet, location and time, while the accompanying app focuses on the things that trigger your stress levels, so you can handle certain situations better in the future. Wow!