When we think about our emotions, we often think of them as our own, complex and unique experiences. However, our emotions are more intertwined with our bodies and minds than we often realise. In fact, modern science shows that the way in which we physically experience our feelings is actually universal across cultures and languages.
How emotions manifest themselves is one of the main interests at VINAYA. With the research that has gone into developing ZENTA, our next generation wearable for both body and mind, we've become well-versed in studying the physical manifestation of emotion.
To come close to understanding our modern wellbeing, we must also understand human emotion. Everyone experiences a diverse range of emotions, and as technological advancements become more sophisticated and modern science develops, we're getting closer to understanding the complexity of each one.
Taking our research from the Lab to the streets, we decided to do a small social experiment around our Shoreditch headquarters.
We asked a handful of Londoners the questions, "What does stress mean to you and how do you manage it?", "What makes you happy?", and "How do you know when you're in love?".
What we discovered were some beautiful moments capturing the universality of human emotion. Every body and mind is undoubtably unique. Yet, as these Londoners opened up to us, they showed us how we’re all quite similar in how stress, happiness and love affect us both physically and mentally.
How do we experience different emotions under various circumstances? How do they predict our behaviour? What do our emotional experiences say about our overall wellbeing? Such complex questions about our modern human condition have sparked a new interest in quantifying emotion, or the act of formally studying emotional experience to get a better understanding of the human mind.
The combination of the words ‘quantification’ and ‘emotion’ can seem counter-intuitive. Add the words ‘wearable’ and 'data' into the conversation, and you'll definitely get some eye rolling from the sceptics in the room. However, many people don't realise that as each day goes by, a data trail about emotional experience is being recorded, whether that originates from a wearable or a non-wearable device. Our smartphones and digital footprints produces a trove of data wherever we go. When applied in the right way, we can begin to learn things about ourselves that we didn't know before.
Modern science shows that the way we physically experience our feelings is universal across all cultures and languages.
At VINAYA, our Lab team has looked at both heart rate and perspiration levels when a person was confronted with different provocative stimuli. This helped us get a clear picture of different emotions and the impacts they had on the human body.
For instance, research shows that anger causes one's heart rate to increase. On the other hand, affection causes one's heart rate to decrease. These signals illustrate anger's much harsher impact on the body. This report gives clear examples of the ways our research team has begun to examine the key differences between particular emotions based on their physiological responses.
Over the years, researchers have tried to understand the characterisation of emotions. The physiological and mental components are by far the most accessible things to study. However, it's important to remember that they are not the only explanation of emotional experience.
"42% of adults say they are not doing enough or are not sure whether they are doing enough to manage their stress." (source).
Quantifying emotions is not an easy task. Understanding and evaluating each emotion as an entity under different circumstances is also a challenge. However, the study of emotion is vital in understanding the human mind and the forces behind our every decision.
At VINAYA, we've taken both in-house lab and external studies to design a wearable able to quantify emotion called ZENTA, a cutting-edge piece that acts as a personalized coach for both body and mind. Through sophisticated tracking of your physical and emotional wellbeing, this design-led biometric band helps you discover how your habits and actions influence your stress and happiness over time.
Rather than tell you about what you are currently experiencing, ZENTA can give you insights into how your physical and mental wellbeing affect you over time. By better understanding these micro-patterns in your behaviour, ZENTA helps you discover how your habits and actions influence your stress and happiness so that you can take control over your emotional wellbeing. Check it out on Indiegogo now!
This post was written by Kate Unsworth, CEO and Founder of VINAYA.
ZENTA was released on the 1st of June via an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and reached its goal of $100k within 41 hours.