Technology is a big part of our lives. But we tend to think of it as something which pushes us forward. Technology is something to use for work. Or technology might be something that keeps us multitasking throughout the day. We don’t often think about the flip side of technology. But there are a number of ways that healthcare related gadgets can reduce anxiety. While there’s many examples out there, we’ll look at the best of the best.
Biofeedback based meditation
You’ve probably heard about meditation before. You may have even given it a try. But the amount of people who try meditation is far lower than the number who stick with it. There’s good reason for that too. Our culture just isn’t set up very well for people who want to learn the practice.
Meditation is traditionally done under the guiding eye of a teacher. But in the Western world people usually end up going it on their own. This means that people are often unaware of whether they’re doing various things right or wrong.
But technology offers a way around this problem through the use of biofeedback. Biofeedback is essentially the use of technological feedback to describe our own unconscious biological processes. In the example of meditation, biofeedback can monitor brain activity to show what effect meditation has on us.
This isn’t simply honing in on meditation as a pass or fail scenario either. Biofeedback can help people focus on specific aspects of meditation in order to fine tune their practice. This can help one more easily use meditation as a tool to cope with specific types of anxiety.
Water anxiety relief
Everyone can agree that simply spending time in water can prove relaxing. But water based therapies have come a long way in recent years. An isolation tank uses carefully mixed water to ensure one can cleanly float within it. The tank itself is designed to restrict sensory input. The end result is an environment perfectly tuned for relaxation and inner reflection.
Another take on using water comes from infrared saunas. Many of the infrared sauna benefits come from how it operates. A sauna normally works by heating an entire room. The only reason it’s pleasant is that people generated a protective layer of sweat. It’s an inexact process which often goes from relaxing to rough thanks to the movement of sweat on the body.
But an infrared sauna maximizes relaxation and helps us relieve anxiety by directly working on one’s body. The infrared lights create a lower overall temperature while still providing that relaxing feeling. To further illustrate this point, consider how hot a standard sauna is. They typically operate at 150 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. An infrared based sauna can operate at 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that one isn’t at risk of getting an accidental blast of extreme heat.
Brainwave entrainment to reduce anxiety
One of the ways meditation works is through modification of someone’s brain waves. We’ve already looked at biofeedback as a way of helping this process. But one can also use something called brainwave entrainment. This makes use of light or sound to essentially influence brainwave activity.
The systems usually use colored LEDs or discordant sound played through headphones. The brain focuses on either the light or the sound. And eventually one’s brain waves start to follow along with the beat. This can essentially lead the brain into production of brain waves associated with relaxation.
Smartphones are often seen as a source of anxiety or distraction. But a smartphone can also offer relief in the midst of a hectic day. There’s a number of apps which can help one relax and relieve anxiety.
Meditation apps are among the most popular. They usually just ring tones every set number of minutes to aid a meditation practice. But there’s a wide variety of other healthcare apps designed to tackle specific issues. Even scheduling apps can help relieve one’s anxiety. The trick is to discover where anxiety comes from and how to use apps to help.
Don’t limit yourself
Keep in mind that most of these gadgets can be used in combination. One doesn’t simply need to rely on one of these gadgets while ignoring the others. In fact, using them all together can often create exponential growth in one’s results.