“My advice to others trying to make a positive change in their lives: awareness is the key. You cannot change what you don’t know is happening.”
— Aneela Idnani, Co-Founder, CMO and Chief Trichster at HabitAware, www.habitaware.com
Aneela Idnani had lived hiding a secret for 20 years: she used to compulsively pull out her hair. A type of mental health disorder that involves hair pulling, nail biting, and skin picking that affects 30 million Americans. Aneela says, “I didn’t want anyone, especially my husband, to think I was a lesser person because I did this thing to myself.” She adds, “I didn’t want others to think I was weird or that there was something wrong with me.” The long and lonely internal struggle made it very hard for Aneela to lead a normal life.
Aneela Idnani Decided to do Something Very Uncomfortable
Fed up harboring this secret for that long, a few years ago Aneela decided to do something very hard and uncomfortable—she shared this secret with her husband. “It was hard to share this secret because I harbored it for so long out of shame and fear,” says Aneela.
She further adds, “After sharing with my husband, I was able to open up and also share a desire for something that made me aware.” Opening up made her more comfortable and gave her confidence to strive hard to pursue that “something.”
Finding Her Cure
That something didn’t exist, so she built it. Keen by HabitAware is a patented smart bracelet that is customized using a mobile app for specific gestures. It sends a vibration when it detects the trained gestures, and helps the user replace the negative behavior with deep breathing. Nothing else Aneela tried—therapy, makeup, random advice—ever worked. Launched in April 2017, HabitAware is already helping thousands take control of these debilitating disorders. Delighted, she says, “I now proudly boast full eyebrows and eyelashes (my main pull area).”