Science measures stress

Up until recently, all we could say about stress was that it wasn’t good for you. Maybe we could measure your heart rate and your blood pressure and so on, but there wasn’t a reliable way to measure its effects while it was going on and at other times.

Here’s a story about a new way of measuring blood flow to the part of the brain that controls negative emotions and depression–and stress. Scientists have found a way to see what’s going on during the stress period itself and afterwards as well.

But this method is one that only scientists can use. Complex equipment and lab conditions are required. There’s another way that even you, sitting at your own desk, can measure your stress–and what’s more control it. It’s called the Freeze Framer and with a simple finger sensor it records the “coherence” of your heart rhythms (electrical activity and so on that is different from the heart rate). The FF is described as an interactive learning system (somewhat like the old biofeedback mechanisms but less complicated to use).

If you haven’t read yet about how some of America’s biggest companies are sending their executives to learn to use this system to reduce their stress and boost their creativity, do so soon. It’s quite enlightening.