Hmmm, New Holiday Gadget? Leveraging Technology to Manage Stress
It’s undeniable; technology has become intricately integrated into our everyday lives. But it’s not all bad news like the headlines tend to claim.
You might hear about how technology is disrupting your sleep and adding stress to your life. It grabs your attention, distracting you from reality, and it provides almost constant stimuli. And this is why the idea of a ‘digital detox’ is becoming ever more popular. A digital detox offers a break for the mind and body, helping you find balance once again.
Yet, when biometric data from technology is used correctly, it can guide you toward better health and actually lower your stress levels. Usually, it comes down to your ability to properly interpret the data given to you by this biotechnology. And this requires a little bit of a learning curve, especially if you’re not fully fluent in your body’s physiology.
In this article, I dive into exactly how you can use the information offered by new biotechnology to manage stress relating to your health and your life.
…We’ll discuss relationship stress, occupational stress, your menstrual cycle, and how you can maximize your workouts.
….So, without further delay, let’s get straight into how you – the Future Female – can come out on top, decrease your stress, and use technology to the best of its and your capabilities.
Just as much as relationships can lift you up, they can also seriously drag you down.
Studies indicate that increased stress causes a lack of sleep. Meanwhile, the current state of your relationship can also impact your sleep (1).
If you or your partner are stressed, it can also impact the quality of your relationship. In turn, this may also disrupt your sleep. These aspects all play off of one another.
And it can turn into a vicious cycle. You’re stressed. You don’t sleep, so you get more stressed. Then, you snap at your partner or kids. It affects your productivity and performance at your job. Your relationships get worse, and so on.
It’s not ideal, nor is it fun for either partner.
But where the heck does biotechnology fall in all of this?
Stress has undeniable physiological responses. Your heart rate speeding up is a key indicator that you’re stressed or anxious. By monitoring your heart rate variability (HRV) in set situations, you may be able to reign in your emotions and manage them better.
Most biotechnology smartwatches and wrist monitors do this easily and in real-time. You can tell when you’re getting rallied up by paying attention to that little screen on your wrist or finger. From there, you can determine if you need a time-out to calm down or you can check yourself and act accordingly.
Some biotechnology pieces also track your sleep, which can help determine whether your stress coping mechanisms are working or not. For instance, OuraRing has one of the best technologies for tracking sleep patterns and recovery. The daily Readiness score gauges activity related to your trend of overall stress responses. Fitbit shows you how much of each sleep stage you get throughout the night. It also gives you a quality score so you can compare over time how well you’re sleeping.
And sleep is a great indicator of your stress levels. When the stress hormones are high in the body, you will wake up many times throughout the night or have difficulty even falling asleep. The good news is that you don’t need to go off of just how you feel about your sleep the night before. You can wear an Oura Ring, Garmin, Fitbit, or Whoop and get some real data analyzing how well you’re sleeping.
During times of stress, you can communicate how you feel with your partner based on this data. In a way, it can prevent things from getting out of control during stressful times. If you or your partner is stressed, you can know when you need to pull your weight more or when you need a little help on your end. It helps you better understand yourself and how you’re feeling and helps you better align yourself with your partner.
Another big stressor is work stress. Alongside this comes financial stress.
Interestingly, research shows that marital quality can significantly decline when financial stress is present (2).
There’s also the other side where many of us tend to take on many responsibilities when working. It’s hard to say ‘no.’
But it’s so important to learn how to say no, especially when your stress levels are already too high. There is power in this word – as much as we don’t want to say it. In turn, learning to decline projects or tasks politely can help improve your already existing projects or tasks. You can pay more attention to them and truly excel.
Biotechnology can help you determine when saying ‘no’ is appropriate. If your heart rate has been particularly variable and your sleep has been all over the place, you may want to consider lightening up your workload.
But you won’t necessarily know these things unless you track it with a biotechnology tools, such as Oura Ring, Whoop, Fitbit, Garmin, or Apple Watch. You can make guesses. But do you really want to guess when it comes to your health and your life? Probably not. Thus, biotechnology takes another win here. It can really help you learn more about yourself, as well as what you can do to adjust your life and reduce your stress.
Your Menstrual Cycle
Biotechnology also has begun to incorporate critical female biological aspects. As such, your menstrual cycle has become easier and easier to track and understand all thanks to biotechnology. Fem tech is helping us better understand our cycle! This is wonderful news for the Future Female.
The truth is that hormonal issues are driven partially by stress. And stress can have a significant impact on your menstrual cycle. This gives you another variable to assess for stress, but also a variable to analyze your hormonal health.
Research has shown how high levels of stress contribute to menstrual irregularities (3). If your cycle is usually fairly predictable, this can offer an obvious clue as to how your stress levels change over time.
Generally, most biotech devices require you to input information regarding your menstrual cycle. It won’t simply track it by itself. Most of these devices, like the Fitbit, learn as time goes on when menstruation will take place or when perhaps you’re more likely to experience certain PMS symptoms or not.
For many, this can provide a ton of relief and comfort. You can expect certain changes throughout your cycle, which may help you understand your emotions, feelings, and body better.
From there, you can determine how best to treat yourself through self-care or even through your gym routine (which we’ll discuss in the next section!).
Maximizing Your Workout
These biotechnology devices must be worn every day to receive accurate information and readings. The most important guides are the trends over time. But the good news is that you can use it in all aspects of your life, including your workout sessions.
These devices can help you determine whether or not your workout is going to be effective or not. For instance, you can answer questions such as: Did you sleep well? How is your heart rate variability? Will this workout add more stress to your life? How do I need to adjust my activity today to get ready for my next deadline?
Exercise is a stressor!
It can add more stress to your already stressed-out life. But luckily, these wearable devices can indicate to you if exercise is a good idea or not. Furthermore, exercise, YES, but what would be the best routine for the day: cardio, HIIT, resistance training, or yoga. You can determine based on several factors whether you require more recovery and whether rest is best or not.
Do this by:
- Measuring HRV (Heart Rate Variability – high HRV indicates resilience to stress whereas low HRV may indicate that you are in the flight-or-fight stress state.)
- Understanding your sleep.
- Tracking your menstrual cycle, if you don’t have menstrual cycles adjust for different times of day when at work or at home.
By keeping tabs on these data points, you can recognize when a recovery day is a good idea, as well as focus on improving factors that are lacking. This means you will make better gains when you do hit the gym. When it comes to exercise, it’s all about balancing your stressors and not adding too much all at once.
You can also view the efficacy of your workout based on calories burned. Devices, like the Fitbit, clearly indicate how many calories were burned during each workout and how hard you were actually working.
Biotechnology For the Win!
These biotechnology devices provide true KPIs (key performance indicators). You can’t ignore the data. But you can take action based on the data you see rolling in.
You can use it to manage your stress, especially as you take on this new year. It’s time to close the door on the stressors from this past year and make room for more positive emotions and experiences. This is all possible by using technology to drive you to do life better.
Shed those layers from last year. It’s time to welcome a new one! There’s no point dragging past stress into the future. Take back control.
If you want to learn more about how you can use these data points to decrease stress and improve your health and life, book a Discovery Call with me today. Together, we can help you achieve your full potential and make this your best year yet.
Wellness & Epigenetics Coach, Consultant, Physician, Health Advocate, Mentor & Author.