We live in a stressful world today. From work place to home, from the constant rat race in the educational system to professional life, everything is becoming a source of stress. How does one handle high levels of stress every day? In times gone by, people had the time and inclination to go for morning walks or chat up with friends in evenings. But such social tools are becoming rare looking at the pace of modern life. With the advent of the Internet, relentless connectivity, and long office hours, a lot of people tend to blame technology for the stress.
There is another side to the story that is often neglected. In the good old days, it would not have been possible for you to check your blood pressure, blood sugar at a hospital, leave aside doing it at home. Life expectancy has improved threefold worldwide over the past century. Moreover, technology can actually help ease your stress using simple tools such as music and calendars. Let’s look at how technology can help us fight stress.
How Technology can help you alleviate stress
1) Extensive research and experimentation has been done in the West on the benefits of music on the brain and people are aware of it. There are companies, such as Brain Sync, making audio technologies that harness the power of music to relax your mind and trick it into going into a relaxed mode. These apps can be downloaded on phones; headphones are all you need to reap the most of them.
2) Constant connectivity can leave us feeling disjointed and disconnected. On the other hand, social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter can connect people with their peers, friends, family, and mentors in meaningful ways. A study even found that social media makes teens more sensitive towards their relationships. Although in-person communication can never be replaced by social media interaction, intentional and purposeful connectivity can improve quality of life and relationships. Studies have shown that strong social networks can reduce stress, and technology can play a part in building and maintaining those relationships.
3) There are applications that assess the current physical state of users through sensors to watch blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate—the markers of stress. The apps notify users once the parameters exceed acceptable levels. The app sends you a message which will direct you to a personalized guide to help you “course-correct.”
4) Office productivity tools can alleviate job stress by helping employees manage their time better. Calendars and task list applications can help employees stay organized and stress-free. Calendar reminders and alerts can help them keep a tab on important dates. Something as simple as emailing and messaging can help you avoid lengthy meetings and face-to-face sessions, thus improving productivity. Similarly, notepads can help you keep track of things without torturing your grey cells.
5) Grounding technologies do just what the name suggests. They are simple devices that connect you to the earth. According to a study, negative ions accumulate in the body during long periods of work or being inside buildings, leading to stress. Grounding devices such as mats made of good conductors of electricity drain away the negative ions to the earth. Earthing is one of several companies making such devices.
6) Tracking daily activities relentlessly can be challenging. Technology can track precisely how many calories you take in and burn, keep a tab on your sleep quality and activity levels, and check your stress responses. Equipped with all that information, you can make informed decisions. Though the technology is still in its infancy, the day is not far when such devices will become part of our lives.
7) Prospective digital health technologies are in the pipeline with extensive experimentation on those devices. They will help you monitor, measure and track stress levels on your smartphones. A futuristic smartphone tool even aims to measure stress hormone cortisol levels in your saliva. Using the tool, you could get a tab on your stress levels in 10 minutes at little cost.
8) With wearable technology taking off in a big way, there is news of biosensors getting implanted in your watch or glasses, giving you constant updates about your health. A number of new-age technology companies are conducting research in this promising direction.
Technology has irrevocably changed and shaped our lives for the better. This has happened to such an extent that we have become oblivious to it. It’s time to reap the rewards of the tech world.