Promoting Mindfulness among Young Adults: Creating a Portable Device Using Breathing Exercise to Cope with Anxiety and Stress



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In the United States, the percentage of adults who experienced mild, moderate, or severe symptoms of anxiety was highest among those aged 18–29 and decreased with age. More than 8.8 million young adults reported having a mental illness and 42% of them went untreated. Among all mental disorders, anxiety disorder is the most prevailing one among young adults (43%). Anxiety Disorders are usually caused by excessive anxiety and stress due to environmental and physiological reasons. When trying to cope with those excessively anxious and stressful feelings, young adults are facing challenges from insufficient mental health literacy, a dearth of accessible and affordable mental health services, stigmas, etc. According to the statistical results from a survey conducted among the University of Houston students in this study, respondents are experiencing anxiety and stress at a high frequency. It is also shown in survey results that the reliance on coping methods of disengagement is noticeable. Those methods could be considered maladaptive coping methods by the definition of the latter, which suggests the likelihood of contributing to increased distress, discomfort, and anxiety over time. Aiming to promote adaptive coping methods among young adults, human-centered design processes were taken for product development. The proposed interventional product takes the form of a pebble and features a portable device providing both visual and tactile feedback to users for breathing exercises. Leading to such a result, this study created a solution that can deliver short-term assistance and help young adults to form a habit of adaptive coping.



Industrial design, Breathing exercise, Mindfulness, Adaptive coping, Anxiety disorder, Mental well-being, Young adults