A couple of months ago I ran into a colleague of mine at the Startup-dojo at the Tech hub FooCafé in Malmö, Sweden. While talking about my book “I’m a Cebra on the digitized savanna – How to succeed in the digitized work life”, and me mentioning it being about leadership, creativity, and health, my colleague excitedly started to talk about Muse Headband that he had supported in a Kickstarter-campaign. The headband measures your brain activity when meditating using the app that it comes with. Some days later my colleague lets me try it out and I then ordered my own Muse Headband to see if it would be of any help to me in my, for the time being, stressful life. A hectic life that I know many of us are living on a day-to-day basis and that, in the long run, is devastating to our health. With a background in physiology and an exam in Medical Science from the medical school Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, I know the harm that an increased, continuous physiological stress reaction takes on your body and health.
For years, I have used meditation in various ways to focus, relax and rewind so I was curious to actually measure and visualize the effects it has on me. I have by now tried Muse Headband for about a month, not every day but at different occasions with different purposes to see how I could use it to benefit from it to decrease stress and to keep and increase my health.
Muse Headband comes with an app that was quick to install and very easy to use. Adjusting the headband and to get it connected to register the headsignals to the app was quite easy. Instructions were easy to understand and the display in the app easily read and understood. The next step was to chose the length of the session and I put it to last for 7 minutes. Then I had to choose if I wanted to count breaths or to sense the breathing during the session. I chose the last option, Sensation of breath. I put down my device and put myself in a comfortable position, relaxed and focused on my breathing. The session started with that I hade to do a couple of simple tasks so MUSE calibrated itself to take a snapshot of my active brain. This since your brain is different every day. The result is used as a reference to help MUSE understand your brain signals. It takes 60 seconds.
During the whole session I listened to waves rolling in on a beach, and depending on my level of calmness it changed the pace and the weather conditions. The calmer I was the calmer the waves became andI heard birds, dogs barking etc. When the brain activity increases so does the pace of the waves and it starts to sound like a storm is coming in. So far I have reached at the best a level of 44% Calmness. The other measures are Normal and Active. I’m still working on increasing my level of calmness and try various pre- and post activities to get to a 100% calmness. An utopia? No, I don’t think so. If I don’t have it as a goal I’ll never reach it. I’m aware of that it’s probably pretty tough to get there, but one step at the time, one step at the time…
The graphs are easily understood, encouraging and you may share your results on social media. No, I have not done that, so no meaning to look for it 🙂
I have learned a lot about my patterns and level of brain activity. This has helped me to raise my awareness on situations that stresses me and recognize when I really need to and benefit extra from meditating. I often say that “I have to take a walk to clear my mind” and I have used Muse Headband to measure the activity before and after a walk, and have seen with the help of the graphs in the MUSE app that it’s actually what happens for me. My brain activity decreases after taking a walk, so it’s not just a saying anymore because it’s actually what happens. I can see the effect of physical activity and increase in calmness of my brain. A good friend of mine was eager to try the headband and for her as well it had a great effect. She really liked the meditation to the waves and her decrease in brain activity was even more pronounced than for me.
By having my MUSE headband laying around at home it reminds me of calming down. I also have formed a habit of when I see the band and think “I really should need to use the headband, but right now I don’t have the time” I actually stop and sit down, even if it’s only for 3 minutes, put on the headband to rewind. Because that’s when I really need it when I think that I don’t have the time. It makes me calmer and more efficient at work and makes my life overall better. Yes, I’m very happy that my colleague mentioned and let me try Muse Headband, and I do recommend to try it out. Worst case scenario is that it will still be the same, so it can only get better.
Note I received the MUSE Headband for free to try it out when I reached out to the MUSE-team after trying my colleague’s headband out. It’s my honest opinion that I’m posting. I decided to enter the affiliate program after I tested the headband since it responds to my high level of quality requirements to recommend products and services that I want to write about on CebraHealth Inspiration.