Have you ever thought that life would be simpler if you could just reprogram yourself? Have you wondered if there is a way to reforge the negative emotional patterns that overwhelm each of us from time to time? To my surprise, during a recent saunter through the iTunes Application Store, I came across an iPhone application that seeks to do just that. Being the curious type, and seeking a little positive reprogramming myself, I decided to check it out.
What Is It?
“Wired for Joy: Mobile Connection” is a free iPhone application developed by the Institute for Health Services (IHS). The app draws on the Solution Method, which is based on Developmental Skills Training (DST), described by SolutionMethod.org as being “a transdisciplinary method aimed at rewiring the emotional brain.” Although the method is scientifically backed – being based on “cutting-edge” neuroscience and developed at “one of the nation’s top medical schools” – the main idea is for it to be simple, effective, fun, and easy to apply to daily life to achieve lasting change. In the words of the website: “The Solution Method is committed to one thing: rewiring the brain so that you have freedom from the whole range of stress symptoms and an abundance of life’s richest rewards.”
How Does It Work?
The application is divided into three sections: Check In, Grind In, and Track process. The first option, Check In, helps you to identify your current brain state after encouraging you to take simple steps such as breathing and lovingly observing yourself. You are then asked to indicate your mood on a scale of one (Feeling Great!) to five (Stressed Out!). Depending on your mood, you are given tools to try to intervene and improve your current emotional state.
The Grind In feature helps you to underscore your “new wiring” to help you to achieve lasting change. For instance, after going through the mood improvement exercises, you may be asked to write a short sentence summarizing what you learned. Finally, “Track Progress” gives you a graph of your mood over time to help you track the improvement of your brain state.
From a design standpoint, the application scores pretty well. It has a clean user interface that is easy to navigate. The careful scripting of the app makes for a good user experience. It is very clean, though perhaps a little too much so. The addition of calming sensory input – such as music and/or imagery – would be, in my opinion, a big improvement. In terms of development, the app performs well and did not hiccup or crash.
In terms of utility, re-usability, and actual effectiveness, this application scores very high for me. Whenever life throws me a curve ball, I find myself wanting to reach for my iPhone to “Check In” and turn my stress around. I have to say that it actually works – I find myself craving that positive feedback loop and find it helps to jar me out of old, negative patterns. We’ll see how it works over time, but I’m finding it to be a useful tool in my arsenal of joy. Being a busy mom, I don’t have a lot of time for diversions, and checking in with this applications takes mere seconds, yet can yield great results. Those who are enrolled in courses with IHS can use the app to add a further dimension to their coursework.
I would highly recommend the “Wired for Joy” iPhone application. Whether or not you are familiar with the Solution Method, I think you will find this an easy and effective strategy for combating stress. You can download the app using this link. For more information on the Solution Method, see SolutionMethod.org.