Could A Fitbit Help Me Conquer My Stress?

Please, little Fitbit, my heart rate needs your help.


“I’m so chilled right now.” – Me, never


“I'm so chilled right now.” – Me, never


Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed


We all have special talents, and one of mine is stressing out. Literally anything – the smallest thing – can send me into a tailspin of anxiety. This is me when the train is delayed/I say something stupid/I forget my keys/I get an official-looking letter that could be a fine/I overcook the omelette:



Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed


Things that happen to me: My heart races, and my chest feels tight. I feel like I just need to take one long soothing breath but I can’t, and then my heart beats faster. My shoulders hunch up. I get back ache.


Things I do: I get paranoid. I think no one likes me and that I’m a failure. I wake up at four in the morning obsessing over everything I’ve done wrong. I make that noise like, “Aarrrggghhhhhh!!!!”, and slam a door. Then I regret it.


All of this is a cycle: The more doors I slam, the more I stress out about being a dick, then I slam doors again.


As Professor Cary Cooper, who studies stress at the University of Lancaster, explained to me, “When you’re anxious your heart rate goes up. It’s the fight-or-flight reaction. In prehistoric times there could have been a predator heading towards you. A vicious one, so you have to get out of there. Or maybe you’d have to fight somebody to survive. Like in a war.”


Or maybe there was an omelette that was ruined because you’re a BIG MASSIVE LOSER and now you need to flee from this culinary disaster.


I was tired of living with all this stress but had no idea what to do about it. People gave me tips:


“Count to 10!”


“Breathe deeply and slowly.”


“Do more exercise!”



But when you’re on the edge of a panic attack, counting to 10 to calm down just becomes another thing to fail at.


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