Mental health and fitness is arguably just as, if not more, important than physical. However, most wearables on the market seem to be focused squarely on improving and bettering aspects of one’s physical fitness. The funny thing is, most wearables are already equipped with the technology needed to detect, track and monitor our mental state – they just need apps and other outside help to quantify and analyze this sort of data. That’s where Missouri startup Mindset comes into play.
Developed by engineering students at Washington University in St. Louis, Mindset is an app that complements wearables and fitness trackers to help users with monitoring and managing their stress levels. Tapping into the technology built into wearables, Mindset can read and translate this data to indicate when an individual’s stress levels may be rising, and then offer feedback and suggestions through its mobile app on ways to de-stress and chill the fuck out. Mindset will alert users with a smartphone notification and ping when it detects someone is becoming more stressed, a first-response system that could let you know your stress is building before you even realize it.
So, just how does Mindset know when someone is becoming stressed? Simple: Heart rate monitoring. Most wearables and fitness trackers offer heart rate monitoring among their laundry list of features, making Mindset an app that is compatible with pretty much any device out there. If Mindset detects an increase in heart rate, it takes that as a warning sign that stress may be on its way, immediately alerting the wearer that they might need to take a few, calming breaths. To help people cope with stress, Mindset offers various exercise and meditation suggestions through its app to de-stress, while a message board encouraging the posting and sharing of positive vibes hopes to foster well-being.
Mindset’s creators believe that controlling emotions and situations that cause stress at critical times is the best way to cope and reduce stress levels. The ultimate goal of Mindset isn’t to necessarily eliminate stress altogether, but rather lower the amount of time one feels stressed out. Mindset could even help you live longer by detecting stress instantaneously and delivering targeted options on how to combat it; after all, science has shown that stressful environments can strip away a few years of your life. The Mindset app is available for free on iOS and Android, but a wearable is required in order to use it. The startup recommends wearables from Mio, but as long as your wearable can monitor heart rate, you can start de-stressing and achieving zen in no time with Mindset.