We've all felt it: life gets out of control, and we get stuck in a cycle of stress, and all the negative symptoms that come with it. And stress can be helpful; it's our body's way of responding to any kind of danger or threat, real or imagined.
The body kicks into defense mode, sometimes called a "fight or flight" response. But over time, chronic stress can hurt your health, productivity, mood and quality of life.
While there are many ways to lower stress, a new type of technology claims it help you press the "re-set" button on your brain. It is called Cereset, and it uses sound feedback.
The technique of neurofeedback, which has been around for at least 50 years, works by teaching your brain to regulate itself using some form of brain wave display in real time.
The people with the company that makes Cereset says their device detects brain rhythms and plays them back in real time, using special sounds or tones which enables the brain to naturally re-balance itself. Since it's considered a "wellness and relaxation system' it doesn't fall into the area of FDA approval.
Jodi Whittemore says it helped get her back on track after several stressful years dealing with family health issues.
"I couldn't sleep well, I didn't feel well. I wasn't motivated. I wasn't productive." Whittemore said
A client services director with the company compares the sessions to tuning a piano.
Sonya Crittenden explained, "They listen to that and their brain is able to perceive its own activity and use that information to balance itself or recalibrate it."
There have been some studies of the technology, which is also known as high-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring, at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Early results show using this technology was associated with "reduced symptoms including insomnia, depressive mood, stress, and anxiety." Further clinical studies are underway.
Whittemore says she noticed changes three weeks to the day after her sessions started. She said she "started setting new goals, started exercising again, taking care of myself better, just had a whole new hopeful outlook."
The Cereset system, including the home headband, costs about $2,000, depending on your location.
But there are other ways to figure out what is your major source of stress and you can tell when you've got stress overload. Check out this helpful guide to managing stress, and recognizing certain symptoms that may indicate chronic stress is having a negative impact on your health. It also offers tips on changes you can make to lower your stress level.