In my continued quest for biometric insights and stress management, I recently picked up a Spire Stone. It monitors respiration and it can give you real-time feedback on your breathing patterns. Very handy for identifying and managing stressful moments throughout the day.
Breathe less than 14 times in a minute? You are calm. Your breath is full and consistent. Feels pretty good, doesn't it?
Breathe more than 22 times in a minute? You are stressed. Your breathing has become quick and shallow.
If this happens, the Spire device gives you a small nudge in the form of vibration to let you know.
The great news? You can do something about it. Take deeper, more normal breaths and help your body relax and feel less stressed-out.
I like it because, like FitBit, it gives me a way to impact my health that I can make conscious choices about. Breathing? There's always time for that. And improved awareness leads to small changes that can have a big impact.
With the HRV, brain wave, and sleep devices I've tried, you just don't control those things as directly as breathing or steps.
Spire gives you control over your stress level. Changing your breathing helps you feel less anxious and it can help you BE less anxious by sending a calming signal to all the other systems in the body.
It is a really good device. I've noticed that I don't always agree 100% with its breath count. During meditation I think it over counts, slightly, depending on the position of the device.
I also have had a few false positives on the 'stress vibration'. But not more than 1 a day.
These are very minor flaws in my opinion, and the value it provides more than outweigh these (small) negatives.
The additional awareness it provides to your current breathing pattern is very helpful.
They also have an app with some nice features. They have helpful guided breathing exercises and stats on how much time you were calm, anxious, active, and focused.
Spire has a new product coming out called the Health Tag which is designed to be attached to clothes, more or less permanently (it can be washed). In addition to respiration it also monitors HRV.