Stress is a byproduct of life, but your reaction often determines its psychological impact. Nervous ticks like biting your nails or tapping your feet might be your natural response to stress, but these coping mechanisms do little to alleviate anxiety.
Lief actually trains your body to fight stress by targeting and improving your heart rate variability (HRV), which is the variation in time between heartbeats.
When HRV levels are high, you experience less stress and have greater resiliency to it, according to SweetWater Health. Conversely, lower HRV levels make you more susceptible to anxiety.
Here’s how Lief utilizes HRV as its biomarker for stress:
- Worn on the rib cage just below the heart, the Lief smart patch monitors your heart rate and HRV continuously throughout the day
- When it notices a dip in HRV, the device initiates a self-regulation exercise that causes the patch to vibrate
- By exhaling with the vibrations, these training sessions sync your breathing with your heart’s natural rhythm
- In just three minutes, Lief’s guided exercises increase HRV by an average of 140%
While it doesn’t need a screen to function, Lief also uses a companion app to help reduce stress and analyze your progress. Within the app, users can choose the focus of their breathing routines, relate movement patterns to their mental state, chart their emotions surrounding a certain situation, and more.
The 6mm patch attaches to the skin through stickers and has a seven-day battery life. According to a video on Lief’s Kickstarter page, the device also uses a medical-grade heart rate sensor that’s over 200 times more accurate than a wrist-worn heart rate monitor.
Lief is available for pre-order on the company’s website.