Between the hundreds of things that demand our attention (especially now), it’s no surprise we find ourselves in a ball of stress some days. That’s why we must set aside time to reset. Stimulating the senses is a simple, surefire way to realign the mind and body; in fact, sensory stimulation is a scientifically-proven way to reduce stress. By helping you shift your focus to your surroundings in the present moment and away from what’s causing you to feel anxious, you can instill a sense of control and calm.
While a trip to an esthetician or acupuncturist can bring comfort and pampering, there are also some healthful gadgets that may be worth your investment. From eye-massaging masks to light projectors, we’ve rounded up ten innovative products that show healthy tech exists, and that it’s actually worth the investment.
Your Own Personal Ocean
Love the ocean? So do we. Looking at water can be one of the most calming experiences. You can bring that feeling to your home with a simple light projector. Natural-like sounds and visuals such as ocean waves are proven to promote relaxation and wellbeing by reducing the “fight-or-flight” signals in the brain. We like the Jusale Ocean Wave Projector which has rotating lights you can project onto smooth walls and ceilings to create an entirely new atmosphere every time you lay down to relax. It’s so easy to use, you can share with the kiddos…or keep it all to yourself (we won’t judge).
Jusale Ocean Wave Projector, $21.99
Take a Virtual Vacation
Our brain can be busy—and slowing down can be hard. Have you ever just wished to be transported to a peaceful island for a moment of peace? Well, we found smart glasses that can bring you there (virtually of course)! The MindPlace Kasina glasses are named from the “Pali” term referring to an ancient system of meditation that uses visual objects to focus the mind. They can be used in a similar manner to induce positive mood-shifting effects. All you have to do is get yourself into a comfortable position, put on your earphones, choose a session, put on the frames—then your mind will naturally attune to the same frequency as the session you choose. It’s designed to be a completely interruption-free experience. A pricey purchase for sure, but who wouldn’t want to be in their own relaxing universe?
Kasina DeepVision Bundle, $399.00
Sunshine in a Box
Staring at Zoom all day will do a number on your vitamin D levels…and your mood. Research has proven that natural lighting helps people to be happier, healthier, and calmer. One study found that optimal amounts of daylight reduced eyestrain and headaches for office workers by 84 percent, if you don’t have the time to bask in the sun all day. The Verilux HappyLight is a luminotherapy lamp that brings daylight indoors without the harmful UV rays. It provides signals to the body to help you feel energized, focused, revitalized, and is perfect for rainy days and the upcoming winter months.
Verilux HappyLight Lumi, $49.95
A New Kind of Nightcap
When feeling extra stress, try sound meditation. It can help the body downshift into its natural relaxation response resulting in lower blood pressure, improved heart rate, and better breathing. Now, you can do it anywhere with your phone. We like the Atmosphere app which has 100 different sounds ranging from rain to household sounds like a running dishwasher. Set the self timer to remind you to wind down for bed. The best part…it’s completely free.
Atmosphere App, $0.00
Your Personal Meditation Instructor
Want to destress in a matter of minutes? Meditating has been shown to reduce anxiety in really impressive ways. But, it’s truly a skill—and most need a little help with our wandering minds. You can get your own meditation instructor at home with the Muse 2 Brain Sensing Headband. We struggle to stay focused and wonder if we are actually doing it right; so, this little gadget gives you real-time feedback on how your mind and body are reacting—helping you to recognize calm and stay there. Essentially, its technology measures your brain signals with calibrated sensors tracking your progress with each use. The Headband looks at things like heart rate, breath, and body posture.
Muse 2 Brain Sensing Headband, $249.99
Make Your Home a Garden
Aromatherapy is a proven (and fun) way to reduce anxiety levels—and a diffuser is a great (and pretty) way to experiment with aromatherapy. There are many to choose from depending on your style and space, but we like the Moodo Smart Aroma Diffuser. You can switch up the room fragrance through the Moodo app. Try scents like lavender and citrus, both shown to ease stress.
Moodo Smart Aroma Diffuser, $119.00
Take Scents on the Road
Planning a trip? Traveling right now may be a little more stressful. But, you can bring some relaxation with you (and make your car or hotel room smell amazing) with a travel aromatherapy diffuser. You probably never thought about adding scent to your packing list, but if you start getting stressed about traffic, a little whiff of lavender maybe just what you need. It’s a little luxury to make your trip a little smoother.
Gaiam USB Aromatherapy Diffuser, $24.98
Try Fashion with Function
All jewelry can make you look good, but these bracelets make you feel even better. Touchpoint Bracelets use micro-vibrations that alter the body’s stress response to restore calm. Vibration therapy is helpful because it is a predictable, consistent form of sensory input that relaxes the nervous system. Throw them on (wrists, socks, tank top straps) for 15 minutes before, during or after a stressful situation to produce calm in real time.
Touchpoints Bracelets, $159.99
Upgrade Your Cucumbers
We are all staring at our screens more than ever before—and it’s wreaking havoc on our eyes. Maybe you’re even experiencing more headaches than before. The Breo Eye Massager (created specifically for headache sufferers) could help you ease some of that tension. It uses air pressure to stimulate blood circulation around your face and eyes, and heat compression to relieve tension. Try it when you feel a headache coming on—or for a much-deserved break from your computer.
(photo credit: Shutterstock, Getty Images)