Studies Show Stress Levels Are Up In 2023 and Wearable Devices May Be The Solution

More than 1 in 4 adults (26%) reported anticipating more stress at the start of 2023, according to Psychiatry.org

The American Psychological Association's survey results show that three-quarters of adults say their stress levels have increased over the past year. The studies agree that stress levels are up. With the events of 2020 still looming, it's not surprising that many people feel anxious and overwhelmed about what is to come. Economic and environmental factors, such as a weak job market, increasing income inequality and the effects of climate change also contribute to the high stress levels Americans are facing this year. 

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The impact of stress: Higher stress levels weaken the immune system, resulting in an increase in sickness, frequent headaches and other physical ailments. It can also trigger or worsen depression and anxiety disorders. In addition, it can cause sleep problems resulting from thoughts racing through the mind; relationship difficulties caused by feelings of frustration and exhaustion; decreased productivity from lack of focus; anger issues resulting from feeling overwhelmed; weight gain from unhealthy coping mechanisms such as overeating; and difficulty concentrating because the brain is constantly on alert for potential threats.

Stress also has severe implications for long-term health. Studies have found links between chronic stress and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. A 2019 study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that people who experience strong feelings of loneliness and isolation are more likely to die prematurely from heart problems than those who don't suffer from those conditions. Chronic stress may be linked to accelerated aging resulting from a decrease in telomere length -– the protective caps at the end of chromosomes that help keep cells healthy -– leading to an increase in age-related diseases. 

Wearable devices as a solution: Stress is terrible for your health, but there are plenty of ways to help manage and reduce stress levels. One way that has become increasingly popular is the use of wearable fitness devices. These devices allow users to track their physical activity and monitor heart rate, sleep patterns and other vital signs that can be indicators of high or low stress levels. By wearing these devices, users will be able to better understand how they are feeling at any given moment and make changes accordingly. 

One company takes wearables a step further. Instead of just monitoring your heart rate, its line of devices helps you control it. 

Sensate is a startup company live on Wefunder that helps people reduce stress and improve their overall well-being. Wefunder is a startup investing platform for retail investors, which means anyone can invest in Sensate for a limited time. The company has developed a wearable anti-stress and anti-anxiety relief device backed by science. The device uses infrasound technology to calm your fight-flight-freeze response by stimulating the vagus nerve, a key component of the autonomic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system. This network of nerves relaxes your body after a stressful situation. 

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When you wear the device on your chest, Sensate emits low-frequency vibration in time with music, provided by the dedicated app. Through the phenomenon of bone conduction, these vibrations calm and tone the vagus nerve.

Studies show the benefits: Conventional vagus nerve stimulation devices are implanted under the skin and connected to the left vagus nerve — there’s one vagus nerve on each side of the body that runs from your brain stem through your chest and abdomen. Noninvasive versions of these devices have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of cluster headaches. In Europe, they’ve been approved to treat epilepsy and depression. Researchers are also studying vagus nerve stimulation as a potential treatment for various conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obesity and Alzheimer's disease. 

Research has demonstrated that wearable devices can be beneficial for managing stress levels. A study conducted by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2017 found that people who used a wearable device reported lower levels of stress compared to those who did not use one. The study also showed that when participants used their wearable device for more than four weeks, they had a greater reduction in stress levels. 

Another clinical trial conducted in 2019 revealed that using a wearable device improved perceived stress and quality of sleep in participants with mild hypertension. Participants were required to wear the device every night and received feedback on their physical activity levels and sleep quality. Through this study, it was determined that wearing a wearable device helped reduce perceived stress, which led to an improved overall quality of sleep. 

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