A new app promises to measure and help alleviate stress by turning your phone into mental health coach, according to its developers.
STORY: As a successful news anchor, mother, wife, and daughter to an ailing parent - Carol Daniel knows stress - she just isn't always aware of how much it affects her. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CAROL DANIEL, NEWS ANCHOR & TRIAL PARTICIPANT, SAYING: "Being aware of it and acting on it, not just feeling it and letting it overtake me, but being aware of it. Ok right now I am a little frustrated about what's happening but I don't stay there. This has allowed me to move past that." 'This' in Carol's case is a new phone app called Mindset. She was part of a trial to test out the new technology. Unlike technologies like Fitbit that warn of physical stress, Mindset gauges the psychological kind - by continuously monitoring heart rate. SOUNDBITE (English) RAVI CHACKO, CO-FOUNDER, MINDSET, SAYING: "We take the signal that comes out of these monitors and we built algorithms that process the information to bring the stress measurement out of it." When an increased heart rate registers, the app notifies you and asks how you're feeling. SOUNDBITE (English) RAVI CHACKO, CO-FOUNDER, MINDSET, SAYING: "It's a combination of bringing that awareness to where you are but also right at that same moment giving you the tools to make things better." … tools that gauge your psychological state and offer mental exercises that range from cognitive behavioral therapies to journaling and meditation. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CAROL DANIEL, NEWS ANCHOR & TRIAL PARTICIPANT, SAYING "I went in desiring a way to deal with what I knew was very real in my life and it gave me that." There are many start-ups in the burgeoning field of wellness apps. While this app isn't a replacement for mental health care, Chacko says the programming of the exercises was overseen and approved by a board of mental health professionals. Currently the app is available on Andriod and in beta testing for iOS. In a world where your phone can be the cause of much stress, this App aims to make you feel a little bit better.