A life without stress is an unrealistic fantasy for most of us. No matter how well you manage your life and affairs, there are some things you simply can’t predict or control. Things in your life will change, and with that comes adjustment, before acceptance. Stress is, for all of us but the unusually enlightened, inevitable.
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to deal with stress. Classic techniques include controlled breathing practices and meditation. However, our connected modern world is ever-evolving, and one might argue there are more things that can stress you out now than ever before. As such, our tools to relieve stress evolve as well.
This article will examine four gadgets specifically designed to help you take it easy and collect yourself. And if you’re the type of person to postpone self-care because you have too much to do, this is even more important! You don’t do your best work when you’re stretched thin, so take a minute to breathe with these four innovations in stress relief.
Here is an example of modern technology teaming up with a truly ancient mental health concept. A stress monitor does exactly what it says. You clip it to your belt or bra and it tracks your breathing patterns. The monitor can give you gentle nudges to make you aware that you’re breathing irregularly, which almost always indicates stress. It can be used as a general record keeper of your stress levels through multiple situations, or even help you use guided breathing exercises.
A stress monitor falls very closely in line with the age-old idea of meditation. One of the purposes of dedicating time to a meditation routine is that you don’t always recognize when you really need to do it. We get so fixated on what’s stressing us out that we lose sight of the stress itself, which can sometimes be much more therapeutic to resolve. Sometimes, there’s just nothing we can do but accept the situation, and let the stress run its course.
A stress monitor runs on this same concept. You keep it on you throughout your day to remind you- hey, you’re stressing out, and help you break from the fixation on the cause of the stress. It can help you refocus on calming down and re-centering your thoughts.
Buddha Board (mini)
Have you ever been told you need to live in the moment more? A buddha board is just the gadget to help you do that. This is essentially an instant, self-erasing easel. Buddha boards are made from a material that reacts with water, making a mark when wet. However, when the water evaporates from the surface, the mark disappears!
This allows the user to quickly doodle, regardless of skill level, only to have a blank canvas again moments later. It is a great way to visualize your stress, whatever it is. You can draw something as simple as angry scratches or mindless squiggles, depending on your type of stress. Then, watch it fade right away.
Buddha boards are even available in a mini format to fit on top of a desk. A tool like this could be invaluable if your office situation has you down or wound up!
Known in some circles as meditation balls, these gadgets are great for anyone looking for a cheap, portable mode of stress relief. These steel balls focus on two senses to calm us- sound and touch. In our increasingly visual world oversaturated with streaming services and YouTube videos, you’d be surprised how much engaging your other senses can help.
Using these balls is incredibly simple, too. Hold them in your palm and use your fingers to rotate them around one another. The friction of the balls generates a pleasant sound. It also feels smooth and cool on your skin, gradually turning to warm the longer you use them.
Isolating these under stimulated senses is a great way to refresh your system and take your mind off the heavy burden of stress for a while.
Here’s one for people less into the philosophical side of stress relief. Take a fun yard game that activates some physical activity and miniaturize it. Now you’ve got desktop cornhole. This is another gadget that’s perfect for an office setting, as it’s specifically designed to fit on smaller surfaces.
Having to actually take aim at a target, forcing your brain to do some calculations for recreation, can do wonders for your stress level. You’ll be distracting the critical thinking parts of your brain without even knowing it. Give it a chance to unwind and relax, and it might just snap back with the solution you’ve been missing when you’re ready to work again.
The best aspect of this gadget, for some, will be how easy it is to share with a friend. Engaging with others can also alleviate massive amounts of stress. If you have a friend around, set ten minutes aside to do something fun together, and watch your stress shrink in the face of it.
Identify Your Needs and Wants
How effective the above tools will be for you is something only you can tell. Are you a visual person? The buddha board might be most effective for relieving your stress. Do you enjoy physical stimulation? Further, do you prefer solitary or group activities? A solitary person will find more value in the baoding balls, while a social butterfly would love desktop cornhole. Anyone could benefit from the tracking capabilities of a stress monitor.
No matter which tool you use to help manage your stress, make sure you actually use it. It’s harder than you might think, in our modern world, to make a minute for you. It is, however, crucial that you do so. Whether it’s in a work capacity or your mood, you’re simply not performing your best with a heavy anchor of stress tied to your ankle.