Thync – Can A Gadget Really Help Reduce Stress?

What happened when we tried the new stress-busting device

May 24, 2016

Do you often feel that it takes several cups of coffee a day to stop you falling asleep at your desk? Well, you are not the only one. In fact, a recent statistic from Schwabe Pharma Ltd, said that at any given time, one in ten people claim to be 'tired all the time', and women are more likely to be affected than men.

Most would cite lack of sleep as the main cause for needing that 5th cup of coffee, however it may surprise you to know that low energy is due to a combination of factors – and most of these factors are actually emotional rather than physical. In particular, stress and worry are the main culprits that will have you constantly feeling exhausted.

Why Is Stress So Tiring?

Stress simply means that you are experiencing too much pressure. A certain amount of pressure is actually beneficial for the body, and different people can handle different levels of pressure, however when you are being over stretched, the body reacts by entering 'fight or flight' mode. This is a primitive, automatic response to help us stand up to or run away from a threat. 

The stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol course through our bloodstream, our heart rate rises to increase blood flow to our muscles and our senses sharpen. Yet this response is supposed to be temporary, and continually putting your body through the 'fight or flight' strain causes a huge drop in energy as the body works harder for longer.

How To Reduce Stress And Get More Energy

Luckily, as stress and energy are so closely linked, there are many ways to kill two birds with one stone – and we've discovered a new one. Want to know how to reduce stress and give yourself an energy boost?  

One low effort solution when you are feeling stressed or tired is to go for a walk, preferably outside, but if not a few laps of the office or going up and down the stairs will do the trick. The Psychological Bulletin published a study in 2006 that showed that exercise actually decreases fatigue more than a nap will, and it has the added benefit of neutralising the negative effects of stress hormones. 

However, nowadays we are offered more high-tech solutions that fit into our busy work schedules to help reduce stress. There is a whole host of ‘stress tech’ products designed to use neuroscience and technology to reduce your stress levels and get your energy up with a simple gadget. One such product is made by Thync, a new company started by a team of neuroscience and gadget specialists in the US. 

Thync is a product that attaches to the head and neck to give the user ‘calm’ or ‘energy’ vibes. It uses a selection of 10-15 minute sessions, chosen and controlled by a clean, well-designed app, to calm you down or up your energy levels.

The Thync device works by stimulating nerves on your head and neck with safe, low level, chemical-free electrical pulses that either give your brain an adrenaline boost (energy vibes) or reduce the production of stress hormones (calm vibes).

We tested this product for a week and although reactions from the team were mixed, some of us felt that the 'calm' vibes worked for us better than the 'stress-reducing' vibes. One observation 1 or 2 of the team noticed though was that the constant itchy feeling from the vibrations of the device on our forehead didn't really help take our minds off of stress, rather added to it a little more, especially when we first started trialing the device, but after a few sessions this gradually reduced. However reviews from publications such as Wall Street Journal and CNN claim that the Thync device has actually helped reduce stress and improve sleep and general energy levels over a longer trial period.

So if going for a walk, meditating, or practicing yoga don't kick your anxiety to the curb, have a go at stress-relieveing gadgets. Thync could just be the start to a myriad of 2.0 tech devices that overtake seeing a professional to help treat health issues like insomnia, stress and anxiety for good! Now that is something to stress about...

Read next: 5 Ways Social Media Is Affecting Your Life.

How to beat 'brain fog' by Dr. Dani Gordon 

A surprising 'at-home' Ayurvedic health tip to curb anxiety

2 things that will help you sleep, live, and exercise better than ever