A Spire Stone Review? Wtf is that? And why would you even care?
Well, let me tell you why you might want to care.
Are you frequently stressed out?
Do you struggle with anxiety?
Do you get tension headaches?
Is your life a pendulum that swings from “too fired up” to “total exhaustion”? Back and forth… Back and forth…
In not too distant past, I fit that profile to a T. Relentless stress that eventually morphed into generalized anxiety. Tension headaches several times per week. Always tired.
Climbing out of that hole took more than any one miracle cure. It took a holistic approach discussed in the various articles listed at the bottom of this one and outlined in step-by-step fashion in my Conquer Your Anxiety eBook Bundle.
BUT, with that being said… One very important component of overcoming all my stress- and anxiety-related issues has been mindfulness. And by mindfulness I simply mean noticing – as soon as humanly possible – when tension is starting to rise in my body and then doing something about it.
The sooner you notice when your stress response is triggered, the easier it is to put a stop to it. And the more you manage to intercept the stress response, the less cumulative wear-and-tear there is on your mind and body.
It works great, but there is one major obstacle. And that is simply the act of noticing. When you are in the middle of a stressful situation, your brain is hyper-focused on the stressor and hell-bent on not paying attention to anything else. It’s kinda like when you are drunk. A foreign force takes over your brain and makes it harder for you to see straight.
In Conquer Your Anxiety, I teach an old-school method of using reminders to overcome this obstacle and get in the habit of noticing tension and shallow breathing. And it works. It really does. But I recently discovered something that has the potential to make the whole process quite a bit easier: the Spire Stone.
The Spire Stone is a piece of wearable technology that you clip on your pants where it measures your breathing based on the movements of your belly. And get this… It alerts you when you are getting tense or when you haven’t taken a deep breath for a while!
When I first learned about this thing, I was more than a little skeptical:
- I’m not one of those people who gets excited about new technology. I’m pretty sure I was among the last five people in the United States to get a smart phone. And I only learned what the word “app” means, like, maybe six months ago.
- I was wondering if it would really work. I mean, can it really?
- I was wondering if I actually still needed this. Since I’m already pretty obsessed with checking in with myself, can this thing perform better than my old school methods?
In the end though, I was more curious than skeptical, so I ordered one. And after experimenting with it, I’m more than convinced that this little gadget has beaucoup potential. So I decided to write this review to help you decide if it might be right for you.
Spire Stone Review
What Does The Spire Stone Do Exactly?
So here’s what the Spire Stone does.
1. IT MEASURES YOUR BREATHING
The Spire Stone measures your breathing and categorizes it as:
Data from the Spire Stone gets sent to an app on your phone, which tracks how much time you are spending in each zone.
2. IT ALERTS YOU OF CHANGES IN YOUR BREATHING RATE
This is where the real magic happens… It alerts you when your breathing changes, so that you can take immediate action. The Spire Stone itself will buzz + you get a notification on your phone.
3. IT MEASURES YOUR ACTIVITY LEVELS
In addition to measuring your breathing, the Spire Stone also contains an accelerometer, which tracks your activity levels and number of steps taken.
4. IT GIVES YOU “BOOSTS”
The app has a feature called “boosts” – short videos with tutorials on calm breathing, meditation, mindfulness, and so forth.
Does The Spire Stone Actually Work?
Now the big question you are probably asking is whether this thing ACTUALLY works. Does it do what it promises? Does it accurately detect tension?
And the answer is YES. In my personal experience at least, it accurately detects when I’m getting tense and alerts me. Here are some examples of situations when it has “caught” me getting tense:
- Watching a violent scene on TV
- The kids “helping” in the kitchen
- Sending a mass email to thousands of people on my email list
- Putting ear drops in my daughter’s ear
And quite often the Spire Stone alerts me before I’ve become conscious of the tension myself. And sometimes, we work in tandem. It buzzes right at the same time as I start realizing that I’m getting stressed. 🙂
Now, I wouldn’t go as far as giving it a 100 percent accuracy rating. Every now and then I feel like I’m getting tense and the Spire Stone does NOT alert me. I don’t know if this is because my tension is manifesting as something other than breathing rate or if I correct the situation before the Spire Stone has a chance to register what’s going on.
But then again, my old school methods are not 100 percent successful either, because there have been plenty of times the Spire Stone has caught my tension way ahead of when I did.
A Few Things I Don’t Like About The Spire Stone
To make this a balanced review, I do want to point out a couple of things I don’t love about the Spire Stone.
One, the clip you use to attach it to your pants is REALLY tight. I realize that it probably has to be that way to make sure it stays securely put, but it’s semi-difficult to get it on and off.
Two, I kinda wish it would alert you about tension even sooner. You can set it to alert you after two minutes of tension, but you can’t go below that. Perhaps it needs that much data to avoid false alerts, but I guess I would ideally prefer INSTANT alerts.
Three, the Stone needs to be within six feet of your phone in order to sync and it can only hold about six hours worth of data at a time. This is not great for those of us who do not see our phones as an extra body part. I used to make it a point to NOT be attached to my phone at all times, but now I find myself carrying my phone with me everywhere. 🙁
What I Like About The Spire Stone
With that being said, I feel like there is a lot more to like than to dislike. Here’s what I love about it the most:
- It fulfills its main purpose. It lets me know when I’m getting tense or when I forget to take deep calm breaths, so that I can do something about it. And it often catches my tension faster than I do myself.
Aside from performing its main job, here are a few other things I like about it:
- Although I primarily purchased the Spire Stone to help with stress reduction, it’s also helping me with my new year’s resolution to be more active and avoid prolonged sitting. I set it to alert me if I’ve been sedentary for 30 minutes.
- And speaking of the settings… You can customize the notifications. For example, I don’t feel the need to be alerted if I’m being focused or if I’m being active, so I just turned those notifications off. But I do want to catch myself breathing shallowly asap, so I adjusted the settings so that I’m notified after just 10 minutes of not taking a deep breath rather than the default 30 minutes.
- You can also be alerted when you hit a calm streak, which is great for identifying activities that have a POSITIVE effect on you. For example, I have learned that holding my kids and listening to music have a calming influence on me. 🙂
- It’s comfortable to wear. I don’t notice at all.
- The way it’s designed the metal clipper part doesn’t touch your skin, which would be a problem for me.
- It’s cute. It actually looks like a stone you would pick up at the beach.
Can The Spire Stone Help You?
So where does that leave you? Well, the Spire Stone isn’t exactly cheap, so if you do NOT struggle with excessive stress and anxiety, I wouldn’t buy it just for fun and games.
However, if you are on a mission to keep your stress levels down at manageable levels and you want to:
- catch yourself as soon as you get tense so that you can take immediate action to calm yourself down
- avoid long stretches of shallow breathing
- learn what triggers stress for you
- learn what has a calming influence on you
…then I do think it’s very much worth the price and I would highly recommend it. You can buy it by clicking here.