“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Would you live a happier, and more productive life, if you could react to your “negative” thoughts as you choose? My guess is that you would.

Sometimes my mind stops me from doing what I would like to do. My mind has a mind of its own. Everything can be going great, and then I will be railroaded by a stray thought or some organisation of pixels in my social feed. If I can practice my reactions I will react more in the direction of my choosing.

Enter: Negative Thought Cards MindSpar

Let’s keep it simple. We can refine and work from simple. A deck of cards is simple.

Each card presents the user with a horrible thought and on the back of the card is the reaction the user would like to train into themselves as their new default reaction to that thought.

Maybe in future iterations, users can select the level of bite from: “Everything has it’s time” to “You are going to end soon”. That could be fun. It could also be interesting to allow users to edit the card’s reactions or rate the impact it had on them.

Also, remember that synapses that fire together wire together, meaning that the more you do something the more your brain will set itself up to help you do that thing slightly better/easier/quicker next time. So if repetition is the name of the game it would be useful to have the app engage with the user throughout the day, and then the user is able to adjust how often the negative thoughts are being presented.

An example interaction would be that the user selects a random card that contains a negative thought, eg. “You are not going to make it.”

front of card
back of card

There should be a timer so that the user has to sit with the card for a set time before going to the next random card. Maybe a delay on the opacity of the button or a small countdown timer?

Then the user turns over/opens the card, and tries to make that their new automatic response. Eg. “The process is much more important than the outcome. Keep making decisions, and focusing on the process. You’re on the right track!

There needs to be a way for the user to recalibrate back to a calm and capable mental state, maybe through a personal mantra that pops up between cards for a set amount of time.

Then the user moves to the next card.

Design-wise

I want the app to be very simple aesthetically, and to use. At first, I tried to design some generic assets for my project, then I found these fantastic design assets on a freebies emailer. The designs are simple, and are mostly neutral in meaning – perfect!

Future potential

Insecurity-specific packs that tackle individual insecurities (fear of public speaking, fear of death, social anxiety, etc.)

This could be an added feature to the stoic app I already have on the App Store.

I think that’s enough for one post. In the next post I’ll tackle, design architecture, and go a bit deeper in the technical setup.

Disclaimer: I am not a mental healthcare professional, this is simply an experiment for myself.

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