You were late on taxes, your side project is slowly dying, your friends are driving you nuts, you need to hit the gym, and your cat just puked on your favorite sweater. Like in any other situation, technology is here to save the day.
When you're at the end of your mental rope, these new programs and gadgets help combat stress and build emotional strength—on your own time, without invading your space.
Founded by two Bay Area natives, Lantern believes emotional well-being is just as important as physical health and built a program focused entirely around supporting that idea. Backed by rigorous academic research on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Lantern evaluates emotional health in minutes, tells you where you can improve, and matches you with a trained professional to guide you through 8 to 12 weeks of personalized, daily 15-minute exercises you can access on your smartphone. As CBT is shown to be more effective through continued practice and focuses on maintaining progress to avoid relapse, phase two consists of exercises that keep mindfulness, meditation, reframing negative thoughts, and other coping techniques in shape.
Created with a yogi mindset, Spire is the only wearable that tracks not only activity, but also level of calm, tension and focus by sensing breathing patterns. The sleek little clip fits anywhere unobtrusively, including your pants or even your bra, and measures breathing patterns throughout the course of the day. Notifications can be sent to let you know if you’re feeling tense, guide you to achieve stillness and help you discover what makes you focused. Shown to lower blood pressure, reduce tension, and increase endorphins, breathing techniques have been used throughout history across a broad scope of cultures for stress reduction. Spire measures your respiratory patterns to detect subtle changes in state of mind and, paired with an iOS app, offers tools to relive tension and increase productivity.
After months of testing, Joyable released their online platform for overcoming social anxiety based on CBT. With 90 percent of their users reporting a decrease in anxiety from the program at an average decline of 30 percent, the blend of personalization, convenience, and privacy has opened up the space for people to take the time to investigate their mental space. When users sign up, they have an option to do a short intro call with a coach; the software then guides you through three types of activities: educational, thought-based, and behavioral with coaches checking in along the way. Joyable claims that in as little as 12 weeks, you can see and feel a noticeable difference.
SF-based SenseLabs just launched Versus, a brain sensing headset and app that trains you to stay calm and focused under stress. You begin with a neuro performance assessment to discover your mental strengths and weaknesses. Versus challenges you to “realize your potential” by training your brain in a number of situations. You train where you need it the most by playing video games with your brainwaves with activities such as moving objects by focusing on remaining calm. The app tracks brain improvement, which can then be compared to high performers around the world including professional athletes and executives.