Breathe in, breathe out.
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I'm an anxious person. I dislike wading through crowds of people, and flying makes me nervous. And though I consider myself an advocate for mental health, I know firsthand that it's tough to be in touch with your feelings all the time. That's why I was excited to learn about Spire, a wearable gadget that helps keep track of your stress.
Spire measures your breathing patterns, respiration rate, steps, and calories to identify when you're calm, tense, or active. Just strap the device (which looks like a small stone) onto your torso and the companion app will show you a live feed of your breath. The hope is that by making you aware of any tense breathing, Spire can help you identify stressful situations and remind you to stop and calm down. The app also offers short meditations and exercises to aid in relaxation.
The product currently retails at $129.99, and the app is available for both iOS and Android phones. It's about the same price as a fitness wearable and does measure steps and calories, but what sets this one apart is its focus on mental health.
However, though I like the idea behind the gadget, I'm reluctant to believe that it paints a complete picture of what's going on when you're anxious. Sure, breathing patterns can alter when you're stressed, but there's more to it than that. Still, mental health is important, and if the Spire can truly help you understand your triggers, then it's worth every cent.
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