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Steven Jonas: Tracking My Stress

We are only four short weeks away from hosting our second Quantified Self European Conference and our excitement is building as we receive more previews of the talks and presentations we’ll be hosting. As you can probably guess, putting on a conference can be a stressful endeavor. Luckily stress tracking and management has been the focus of many different Quantified Self tools and experiments. There are no shortage of interesting methods for tracking both the physiological and psychological manifestations of stress and many more are probably on the horizon. More interesting, and of great interest to us within the QS community, is what is possible once stress becomes trackable and understandable.

Steve JonasSteven Jonas, a data analyst and organizer for the QS Portland meetup, will be giving a Show & Tell talk about his experiences with tracking stress at our upcoming conference. Having started with tracking his sleep in 2005, Steven has gone on to engage with multiple tracking projects including his experience with knowledge tracking and spaced repetition.

He’s been tracking his stress levels using the Emwave2, a neat tool for tracking and visualizing heart rate variability, for quite a while. Steven has taken his stress/HRV tracking beyond just intermittent testing and has experimented with hooking up his EmWave2 to his computer while working and installed software to alert him when it detect periods of stress. You can watch his previous talk about this process here.

This may seem like overkill to some. You might be saying, “Of course work is related to stress! What possibly could he hope to find out?” The beauty here lies in the unexpected and interesting findings that creep to the surface when multiple data streams are integrated. In this Show & Tell talk Steven will be explaining how this constant monitoring helped him understand how particular behaviors acted as triggers and how he could manage those triggers in order to reduce and defuse stress.

Low-level, seemingly mild stress still drains my energy, and many of my behaviors and things that I avoid are related to this stress. I developed a new ‘stress sense’, separate from the tool, that helped me see where my life was being affected by stress.

I hope you’ll join us at the conference to learn from Steven’s experience and take part in what is sure to be a great discussion!

The Quantified Self European Conference will be held in Amsterdam on May 11th & 12th. Registration is now open. As with all our conferences our speakers are members of the community. If you’re attending the conference and want to present your self-tracking project please let us know.

 

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