The best health tech for beating stress.
Our stress levels are on the rise. A 2018 survey showed 74 per cent of Brits had experienced stress that left them feeling unable to cope. Half of those people admitted feeling depressed as a result, and 37 per cent felt lonely. Almost half of the stressed Brits said they managed stress by eating unhealthy foods, and almost a third increased their alcohol intake.
Pressures to respond to messages instantly, concerns over body image, housing and debt worries are all contributing to a rise in stress rates, according to the Mental Health Foundation’s 2018 study.
We’re all working harder and longer and there’s been an exponential rise in the time we spend glued to our screens, amid the unhealthy #HustleCulture. The big players in the smartphone ecosystem all acknowledge we’re using them too much and are clamouring to build digital health tools. Facebook’s own research has shown increased smartphone and social media can negatively impact our mental health.
Burnout is real. The World Health Organisation says so. So how do we cope? How do we find a better balance?
There are many technology-free stress management tools at our disposal. Better quantity and quality of sleep, regular exercise and regular breaks from our screens can contribute to lower stress levels. We can even make a difference through diet with certain foods shown to reduce stress hormones, as we explain here.
It can be as simple as taking a minute out of your day, with many people experiencing instant relief through simple breathing exercises. Try inhaling for 5 full seconds, holding for a second at the top of your inhale and then slowly exhaling for a full five seconds. Repeat for a minute.
But if these first steps don’t help bring down your adrenaline and cortisone levels, a number of technology based solutions are giving us a much needed hand. The tech that has ironically contributed to an increase in stress, may also be coming to the rescue.
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