As Buddha said: “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
But sometimes you just need a little help refocusing.
Stress not only distracts us from the task at hand, but it also leads to poor decision-making, a snowball of disorganization that leads to even poorer decision-making, and it all comes with a deleterious impact on our health. Workplace efficiency is reduced under higher levels of stress, and the negative correlation has been the focus of many scientific studies.
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Still, we often let stress control us. And we don’t always have time to hit up a yoga class every time we’re stressed.
So, don’t give up everything else that reduces your stress, but for all the times in between, here are 10 gadgets that can help you refocus your thoughts and regroup. There should be something for every personality in this collection:
The latest zen gadget fad is the fidget spinner—and it was actually designed back in the 1990s by a chemical engineer for the express purpose of relieving stress.
When Forbes magazine decided in December that these decades-old gadgets are simply wonderful, marketing went ballistic and now there is hardly a school kid who isn’t spinning one in class. It might be getting a bit out of hand in the classroom, but we like them for the workplace, and we love them for traders. While there’s no scientific evidence to prove it, they are being used far and wide to reduce anxiety and to curb the all-American condition of ADHD. There’s just something intoxicating about the quiet, steady noise of the smooth ball-bearings that spin your mind into peace.
Its cousin is the Fidget Cube—an alternative for the eternal pen-clicker. Fidget Cubes are more involved because they 6 ‘distractions’, each for a different purpose: breathe, click, spin, slide and roll.
A roll of banknotes–definitely an ideal gift for the stressed-out trader. Made of synthetic leather, this is a simple squeeze-and-release gadget designed to relax muscle tension in your hands. It’s also good for a laugh.
According to the Stress, Anxiety and Depression Resource Center, this process will help you release stress. In addition, if you pay attention to deep breathing while you’re squeezing and releasing (in harmony), relaxation will be more complete.
This innovative gadget will help you to track your stress levels. The skin pores on your fingers are sensitive to changing levels of stress. This gadget accurately captures these changes and through bio-feedback allows us to visualize them. It will help you realize when you have reached a critical level of stress, and warns you to slow down or take a break. Overall, it is designed not to immediately relieve your stress, but to give you the tools you need to understand when you’re stressed and when you’re not, so you can manage your stress.
It’s also said to help with sleep problems, and to have been effective in reducing anxiety for people suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder.
For those of you who prefer to find your zen through meditation, the Muse is your personal meditation assistant. Meditation is one of the best ways to relax and find your inner peace. The Muse uses brain sensory technology to determine whether the mind is calm or active, and then guides you on calming your thoughts.
When you are calm, you will hear peaceful, relaxing sounds of nature. If your mind wanders, the sounds of nature intensify and then gently guide you back to a state of calm. This might not be something you can do in the office, but it’s definitely a brilliant gadget for the day-trader who works from home. This could be a great morning meditation routine to find your zen before you start trading.
There’s nothing like a little greenery to bring us back to nature and restore our inner peace. But we don’t always have time to step out into the garden. And we don’t always have a garden to step out into. The answer? A Biorbair Terrarium—a little piece of nature on your desk. Regardless of the flora you choose to put in it, this gadget replicates the right weather conditions and ensures the right lighting, humidity and air circulation. You get a 360-degree view on the plant world you’ve created, and then just sit back and enjoy your own personal tropical paradise in micro form.
This stress relief ball is a fun, squeezable toy for your work place. Created by Japanese designer Makiko Yoshida, this ball expresses change as you squeeze it. And as you squeeze it, you will see the moon’s many moods, and can also express your own. The is a great way for relieving anxiety and to remind yourself how you feel and why that might be. The first step toward relieving stress is identifying it, and this gadget helps you do that.
Just breathe. When it comes to managing stress levels, breathing is one of the most critical exercises. This gadget will help you control your breathing to maintain an optimal level by measuring your breathing patterns and notifying you when you’re your breathing reflects tension.
When you use this gadget, you will learn what makes you calm and focused, and hence more productive. It’s designed to be attached to your belt or elsewhere on your clothing so you can take it with you everywhere you go and maintain a focus on your breathing en route.
But it also warns you when you are inactive and encourages you to stand up and move around.
So you can’t go to the beach today. Or CAN you? This zen garden desktop beach is, like the terrarium, a personal micro-paradise of beach. If you can’t GO to the beach, take your mind there because it’s always willing to travel. Remind yourself why you’re working so hard—and what the rewards will be. Hard work is food for the soul—it’s not an end in itself, and we often lose track of the meaning of it all.
You could also add your own miniature trinkets to this beach and really personalize it.
When you feel that stress is overtaking you, just swipe your fingers into the sand and imagine you are on the real beach.
Maybe you have just received a call from a boss who thinks he can call you after working hours, and that you are at his bidding day or night. Maybe the call brought bad news. Maybe the caller is just highly annoying. In all likelihood, you are tempted to throw your phone across the room in a mad rage. But why ruin a good phone when you could take your anger out on a Stressberry? Squeeze it, jump on it–you can even run over it with your car. Anything you need to relax.
This gadget is designed—as it is shaped—for your heart. You place the pillow on your chest and feel heart-rate-simulating vibrations that help calm your nerves. This pillow replicates a phenomenon observed for centuries: Our hearts naturally synchronize with the hearts of others we embrace. The moment you feel the vibration, you will start to relax.