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Side Effects: BFRBs vs. Keen

Side Effects: BFRBs vs. Keen

August 26, 2020

Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) are your restless mind translating to "restless" hands. They are exactly what they say: body-focused, repetitive behaviors, or behaviors where you soothe yourself repeatedly with your body.  

These behaviors serve a purpose. They are coping mechanisms to help us through uncomfortable situations, from anxiety to boredom. Though soothing in the moment, BFRBs have temporary favorable side effects - and dreadful long term side effects. Most favorable, but fleeting, is the calm BFRBs give us in the moment. But, ultimately the side effects are dreadful, as BFRBs leave behind physical and and mental scars.  

Every action has opposing side effects that make up the whole of the experience. For example, biking outside in the sun lifts the spirits and boosts vitamin D, but also dehydrates and ages the skin. Before sitting in the sun, it's important to weigh the favorable side effects against the negative ones.  

I did this just the other day as I was browsing the aisle of my local drug store, deciding which sunscreen to buy. Then it hit me.  

Imagine a shelf of "self-soothing" products. Perhaps some essential oils, bath salts, and a yep, even a box of "BFRBs." Imagine picking up that box and reading the label: 

"Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors are a mental health disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull one's hair (trichotillomania), pick one's skin (dermatillomania), or bite one's nails (onychophagia).
PURPOSE:
Self-soothing; in the moment, BFRBs create calm, restore balance, increase concentration, promote relaxation, combat boredom, control anxiety...
SIDE EFFECTS:
Baldness, thinning hair, scarring, wounds, infections, joint pain in the wrist, elbow, or shoulder caused by the repetitive body movement during the BFRB activity.
Feelings of guilt, shame, fear, isolation, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, fear of being judged, feelings of being out of control, unable to control one's own hands, and trance-like state resulting in loss of time
CAUTION: BFRB self-soothing effects are temporary. With prolonged use, side effects increase over time."

 

Then, I wondered what the HabitAware Keen label might look like:

"A smart bracelet that uses customized gesture detection technology to bring awareness hand movements
PURPOSE:
Strengthens awareness muscles, breaks the trance-like BFRB state, and develops awareness of hands. Change your brain to reduce unwanted behaviors and replace them with healthier ones. 
SIDE EFFECTS:
Increases self-esteem, awareness of hands, confidence, courage, joy, eliminates a trance-like state during BFRBs episodes, and gives you an overall feeling of "I can do anything!"
Hair regrowth, skin healing, and reduces instances of the repetitive body movement that causes joint pain during the BFRB activity.  
CAUTION: There is no cure for BFRBs. This chronic medical/mental health disorder can be managed with effort and proper use of Keen awareness. With long term use, awareness can strengthen, and the favorable side effects can increase over time.  

 

So, which 'self soothing' product would you choose?

While we hope the answer is easy, Keen!, we know the outcome of positive side effects requires hard work. Replacing BFRBs with healthier behaviors is a marathon, not a sprint. 

Like a marathon, You gotta get in the right mindset. Here's a few ways to do the important work of healing with Keen awareness:

    1. Good Vibe 1: Every time Keen vibrates, consider the gentle vibration a "HUG" on your wrist, reminding you that your hands are not where you want them to be and not to "stop," but to slow down & replace the behavior.
    2. Good Vibe 2: Celebrate every vibration! Both "false alarms" and "right vibes" are your friends -- Every time you feel that gentle hug, give yourself a high five, as you are training your awareness muscles to recognize where your hands are - or are not! You can adjust Keen's motion sensitivity to decrease false positives or increase true positives in the HabitAware app.  
    3. Good Vibe 3: Keen is your "self-care alarm," reminding you that you need a moment of pause to take care of YOU!

 

This process gives your brain the sense of relief, balance, and peace it seeks & the empowers good side effects.  

Taking control is possible & you are not alone. The entire HabitAware Team is here to help you get the most out of Keen.  Feel free to reach out by setting up a one-one call here. 

wishing you love, strength & awareness,

 
About Keen by HabitAware
HabitAware makes Keen, a smart bracelet that helps manage nail biting, hair pulling, thumb sucking, and other subconscious behaviors. Customized gesture detection brings you into awareness and helps you develop healthier habits.
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HabitAware Keen Sizing Guide

Not sure which size is right for you?

It's important that Keen fits snugly. Here's a quick guide to help you decide which bracelet size to order:

(images not to scale)