The Benefits of Smart Technology for Depression and Anxiety
There are myriad exciting innovations that can help business owners reach peak performance.
The following article is based on excerpts from Ben Angel's book, Unstoppable: A 90-Day Plan to Biohack Your Mind and Body for Success. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBound. And stay tuned for The Unstoppable Journal, the only journal of its kind based on neuroscience, psychology and biohacking to help you reach your goals. (Coming January 2020.)
Chronic stress can cost us more than just productivity and performance; it can trigger digestive symptoms, headaches, anger, anxiety, insomnia, sadness and depression. When you're under chronic stress, you are more susceptible to severe viral infections, which is why you may find yourself getting sick more often than not. The problem is when we're stressed out, we've switched on our fight-or-flight response. We lose our ability to access our prefrontal cortex, which is in control of rational and executive thinking.
So what can we do to take us to the next level of peak performance and productivity? Read on to learn about the biotechnology devices that I tested during my 90-day mission to become unstoppable, and see if they can help you gain that extra edge in business and life.
Brain Entertainment: Building a Better Brain With Braintap
I recently interviewed Dr. Patrick Porter, a leader in the field of brain entrainment and founder and inventor of Braintap, a wearable device that uses the benefits of light therapy, neurolinguistic programming and binaural beats to improve mood, memory and sleep. Braintap is a powerfully effective tool designed to help people achieve balanced brainwave states that enhance the production of all the necessary neurotransmitters needed for optimal function of body and mind.
"This exclusive, copyrighted technology has been extensively tested to create the perfect symmetry of sound, music and spoken word for the ultimate in brainwave training and relaxation, providing your mind and body with all the benefits of meditation without the disciplined effort," states Dr. Porter.
Understanding how your brain works is the key to unlocking your potential. One area of interest of mine is brainwaves, which are created by synchronized electrical pulses from neurons communicating with one another and can be measured through an EEG. Light and sound can change our brainwaves to produce a different psychological state. In one study, brain wave entrainment usage was shown to produce average IQ increases of 23 percent. In cases where the IQ was lower than 100 to begin with, the average IQ increase was 33 points; a true game-changer.
Related: Smart Tech for Smarter Business
How to De-Stress in 30 Seconds Flat Using TouchPoints
Another device I experimented with for my book was TouchPoints. It's a pair of watch-like looking devices that provide bilateral alternating stimulation tactile (BLAST). These devices have been shown to reduce excessive brainwaves and stress within 30 seconds. They were created by giving the user a gentle vibration that affects the brain and alters the body's stress response to restore calm. This also relieves the associated body sensations that often accompany stress (i.e. stomachaches, headaches, or tightness in the chest).
Neuroscience has shown that this technology switches off your stress response without needing to meditate or stop what you're doing to rationalize the situation. TouchPoints immediately eradicate that fight-or-flight response and brings you to a calmer state of being, creating new neural pathways to help de-stress. TouchPoints can even be preset to help you with cravings, calmness, anger, sleep, focus and performance.
Life-Changing Benefits of Meditation Using the Muse Headset
When you think about meditation in general, most of us don't know if we're doing it right. We don't have any type of feedback to show us that we're able to get our brain into a meditative state. We call this biofeedback, or real-time data that reflects how our brain is reacting to stimulus.
Research has shown us that the benefits of meditation are more relaxation, deeper focus and calmness, as well as increased gray matter density, reduced thinning of the prefrontal cortex, decreasing amygdala activity (associated with stress response) and increasing resilience. Basically, an overall beneficial change of the brain's structure and function. When I discovered there was a device that could give me that necessary biofeedback, I jumped on the change to test it out.
The way that the Muse device works is via an EEG monitor built into its sci-fi looking headband, while you wear your own headphones attached to its app on your phone. It then transforms your active brain waves into sound waves. We then get biofeedback in the form of nature sounds of calm waves, all the way to a thunderstorm effect depending on what's occurring in our brain. Birds will also chirp when you are lowering your brain waves to a neutral or calm frequency reassuring you that you are doing it correctly. So, practically speaking, it's designed to train our minds to shift our focus from a busy, hyperactive state to one that's calm and focused allowing us to get into the zone and be more productive and focused.
Scientific research found that after we get disrupted at work, it can take up to 20 minutes for us to get back into that zone, so using a device to retrain the brain is crucial. The Muse headset gives you that necessary biofeedback as it's observing what your brain is doing while meditating. It makes you super aware of where your focus is or not and helps you refocus on your breathing and thoughts.
Taking Your Fitness to the Next Level With Halo Sport
Regardless of whether you want to succeed in business or career, you can't optimize your mind without first optimizing your body. Fitness plays an integral role. The Halo Sport is an expensive-looking pair of headphones with softly pointed foam pads under the top band that touch your head, right above the part of your brain called the motor cortex. Based on 15 years of scientific research, the Halo Sport provides electrical stimulation during movement-based training helping build stronger, more optimized connections between your brain and muscles.
What excited me about using the Halo Sport was that it also received $60 Million funding from the Pentagon and garnered much praise from Olympic medalists, Major League Baseball and NBA and NFL players. I knew this was a device to take seriously. For 30 straight days, I electrically stimulated my brain 20 minutes before my CrossFit sessions designed by a friend of mine, Dean Haynes, an Olympic lifting and CrossFit coach from Adelaide, Australia. I realized that this noninvasive brain stimulation device could make my brain and body work harder and faster than it ever did before.
Where does Halo Sport fit in with obliterating fear and overcoming failure? Well, it's pretty simple. It showed my brain what my body was capable of. It broke the old neural connections that said, "I can't lift heavier or train harder than this," and it also rewired neural pathways that helped me lift heavier in the gym even after I'd stopped using the device for several days. You can see my incredible results in my book, Unstoppable.
No matter where you are in your professional career, there are ways to help yourself out of depression and anxiety by taking the necessary steps to better health and wellness. What better way to prove your efforts than through scientifically proven devices that can give you the data you need to grow and change?
Related: 7 Steps to Peak Performance in Business and Life
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