In 2018, ISMA UK established International Stress Awareness Week (ISAW) to raise awareness for stress prevention, 20 years after they founded Stress Awareness Day. Taking place this week, from 7th-11th November, the movement additionally aims to reduce the stigma associated with stress and mental health, attracting media attention worldwide. With the chosen theme this year being ‘Working Together to Build Resilience and Reduce Stress’, individuals and businesses are encouraged to join forces to help deliver ISMA’s initiatives to tackle the issue head on. This week, ISMA members in the UK and internationally will be actively engaging with businesses and individuals as well as hosting workshops and presentations in a local, regional areas as well as globally to achieve maximum outreach.

Unfortunately, stress isn’t an unfamiliar feeling for many as 1 in 14 UK adults feel stressed every single day. From a scientific perspective, stress is a primordial response which activates the amygdala, triggering a fight or flight reaction. Whilst this response was vital for our ancestors to have as a means of survival, when faced with life threatening situations, society today tells a different story. Living in the 21st century, we are prone to experiencing continued low levels of stress over a prolonged period. Whether it’s our personal lives, workload, family responsibilities or anything else, stress in immanent. But when stress levels become unmanageable, this can have a detrimental impact on mental health and productivity. As shockingly, 51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed whilst a staggering 61% reported feeling anxious as a result. The mental crisis had rapidly grown in recent years but perhaps it’s time to change that.

The solution? An app that combines all the senses to help manage stress levels and boost productivity with a touch of mindfulness magic.  One of the ways, the Zensory app can do this is through the power of auditory illusions, known as binaural beats. They function by feeding two different sounds into either ear with headphones whilst played at different frequencies. Scientifically speaking, when our brain wave states are activated (using binaural beats featuring alpha, beta, or gamma waves) our mind can be boosted into a state of focus, relaxation, and creativity. The reason this happens is because our minds are tricked into believing that we are listening to music between the frequencies, as we’re not distracted by the highs and lows of music. This helps us to focus our minds on the task at hand.

Interactive touch pads can also help our minds to destress and relax through the powerful sense of touch. Skin is the largest organ of the body which makes it very sensitive to external stimulus. This makes the sense of touch an especially powerful tool, as it aids our ability to relax, unwind and destress. Doodling, swiping, and tapping can distract the mind from worrying thoughts, whilst simultaneously stimulating the senses. This built-in feature also helps with focus and can provide a creative outlet for thoughts, which may often feel blocked when we’re overwhelmed with stress. Another mindfulness tool which is often underestimated, is the simple action of breathing. Abdominal breathing helps to control the nervous system, which lessens the body’s stress response and helps us relax. The Zensory’s breathwork sessions are designed to help users relax, reduce adrenaline and lower blood pressure. This feature is ideal for helping you get into the zone and then zone out to unwind.

In support of International Stress Awareness week, we invite you to give mindfulness a go and join us in our mission to promote better stress management. The Zensory app is still free! So if you’re curious about the unparalleled power of tapping into your senses, give it a go here.

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