Recently we had an opportunity to speak with Catherine Wood, the Corporate Mental Fitness Coach at Life Renewal about ThinkLessStress
Please share with us the backstory of what motivated you to create this app.
I was close to burnout when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's in 2018 which was a turning point in terms of prioritising my wellbeing. During a year of recovery and regaining confidence in my work as a coach, I started learning about neuroscience in how to work with the brain when building habits, rather than against it. I was already a wellbeing coach with an understanding of the science behind habits. By combining a neuroscientific approach with building sustainable and intentional habits in improving how I responded to stress, I was able to reduce daily stress and anxiety. The worry diminished as I built a sense of control over my daily routine which included exercise, nutritional food and quality sleep, letting go of any unhelpful thoughts which prevented me from moving forwards. Since COVID, I realised my coaching clients were struggling with stress similar to me due to change, uncertainty, increased workloads and additional pressures in the work environment. I began building an app of the toolkit of mental fitness resources which had helped me to reduce stress and anxiety.
How is your app different than the rest of the market? Which unique need does it fill?
My app is unique in that it not only teaches you the evidence-based techniques which work with the brain to navigate stressful situations in a healthy way and increase your focus and productivity, but it also supports you in incorporating your learning into habits and tracks your progress in building these habits. The app is a preventative approach which fills the unique need to protect your mental health and promote optimal mental wellbeing.
What is the coolest or most innovative feature of your app?
You can access online coaching sessions alongside working through the topics in the app to help you stay on track with building your habits. Having a coach to work alongside you on your personal development journey, is a powerful way to experience transformational results when it comes to making significant changes in your life.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of the creation of this app?
Being part of the journey with my coaching clients who use the app to protect their mental health and build habits which promote optimal mental wellbeing, has been the most rewarding aspect because the app is giving them a new lease of life!
What surprised you most in your journey to create this app?
I didn't realise how well my app would support my coaching clients in building habits which 'stick'. The habit loop framework and teaching the science behind habits has proven to be the key foundation of the app which I didn't realise when I was creating the app.
How did you decide which platforms to release your app on and do you plan on releasing your app to other platforms?
I decided which platforms to release my app on firstly based on the setup process on the app hosting platform I used, which had a guide for launching my app to both Apple Store and Google Play platforms. Secondly, I knew these two platforms were the most popular, so this confirmed it was the way to go.
Which other mobile apps or technology have inspired you?
I don't have a specific mobile app which inspires me. However, I do like the tracking technology which helps to monitor app user progress in the changes they are making. This is why it was important for me to have a tracking tool in my app where users can see the progress they are making in practicing and building their habits.
What features do you hope to roll out to your app in the future?
I hope to roll out additional features in the community aspect of the app to prompt for conversations to support each other in building habits in mental fitness and creating opportunities for users to draw on their app experience to become wellbeing champions in their workplace.
Do you have any recommendations or advice for others wanting to create a mobile app?
When you are considering creating a mobile app, ensure you have a detailed plan in your content to start with and be clear in how your content takes the app user to where they want to be. Think of how to create the best user experience and how you can enhance the user journey in your app by giving them transformational results.