Could wearing your 'heart' on your sleeve in the form of a new wearable calm stress?

A RECENT study has led to the development of a new wearable which claims to calm stress and anxiety.

The research, carried out by a team from the Psychology Department at Royal Holloway, University of London, and published this month in the journal Scientific Reports, found that when worn on the wrist, the heartbeat-like vibration of new wearable doppel calmed users and helped lower levels of stress and anxiety.

Doppel helps to reduce stress by using the body's intuitive response to rhythm. A slower rhythm, such as those found in music, can naturally slow breathing and heart rate, leading to a calmer emotional state. A faster rhythm however can lead to a more arousing emotional state, such as joy, excitement, surprise, fear or anger.

Inspired by this idea, and the body's response to the biological rhythms of the heartbeat in particular, the team tested doppel on users in a stressful situation. They found that those who wore doppel on the inside of the wrist and experienced its heartbeat-like vibration at a slower frequency than their own resting heart rate, showed a significant reduction in physiological and psychological levels of stress.

Like most wearables, doppel also works with an app, although you don't need to use your phone to use doppel. Once you have stored your personal rhythms, each one is linked to your own resting heart rate, you can leave the phone behind, simply recharging the device every six months.

"Doppel aims to create a sensory experience to help people manage the pressures of time and stress in their daily lives," commented the company's CEO Dr Fotini Markopoulou.

"While research shows that meditation and mindfulness can help to reduce stress over time, most of us don't have this time to practice. Using doppel is a natural and distraction-free way to help the wearer to feel calmer, within moments, and when and where they want."

The wearable is now available for pre-order, with shipments expected to start over summer. — AFP Relaxnews