Train yourself to better mental well-being through gamified resilience training
Once a month at Funday Factory, we use our Friday afternoon to have a drink and listen to a talk about something with professional relevance. We call it Funcademy - creative as we are. Usually, the speaker is someone in the office with something exciting to share, but in August we were lucky enough to get a visit from our awesome friends at Resilio.
Co-founders Anders Søndergaard and Helga Halkjær stopped by to teach us how the human body reacts to stressful situations, and how simple, daily resilience exercises can have a preventive effect that helps you feel more at ease within yourself. These insights were what inspired Resilio to create a gamified app for resilience training and mindfulness. Back in 2017, we helped develop a prototype for the app, and boy oh boy are we proud to see how far Resilio has come since then.
Our ambition is to give millions of people a better sense of themselves and their reactions during pressured periods of time. It makes me incredibly proud that we now have a smart and intuitive product which combines biomedical analysis, game technology and the newest knowledge within resilience. It’s pretty awesome.Anders Søndergaard, CEO, Resilio
Smartphones as stress preventers
Nowadays, smartphones get a lot of smack for being big causes of stress. The constant need to check your phone and the high number of interactions have resulted in increased stress levels among Americans according to the American Psychological Association. Resilio has taken things in the opposite direction by exploiting the technology and availability of smartphones for easily accessible resilience training. And so, the stress provider becomes the stress preventer.
One of the most vital aspects of Resilio’s app is learning how to breathe. That may sound fairly simple as you do it all the time, but breathing has been proven to be an important factor when it comes to controlling your heart rate which affects your stress and relaxation responses in the nervous system. The app teaches you a special breathing technique that helps you relax and build resilience which eventually improves your mental well-being and enhances your ability to handle periods of pressure.
The breathing technique is based on your own personal biofeedback - and this is the really cool part! By placing your left index finger on your smartphone’s camera lens, the app acts as a biomedical sensor that measures your pulse and regulates the training so that it fits your unique physiology. That means you get personal, body specific resilience training for your mind… by putting your finger… on your phone. What a world we live in, huh?
A healthy habit
Through the specialised breathing, the app finds the best possible balance to help the individual user build long-term resilience by training for a few minutes a day. According to Resilio, the training has the best effect when it is used every day, which is why they recommend making a habit out of it. For example, you could do the training with your morning coffee or just before you switch off the lights at night. It’s like having a daily gym session for your mind, and you don’t even have to lift heavy stuff. The app allows for daily notifications at your preferred time, which makes it easier to build up the habit.
According to CEO Anders Søndergaard, the vision for Resilio is to protect the well-being of as many people as possible by teaching them that high performance requires equal restitution. By training and maintaining a flexible nervous system, the users of the Resilio app will increase their ability to handle the pressure and pace of the 21st century - guiding them towards a better mental health and a better life.
United towards a stress-free working life
In 2017, we helped Resilio in the early phases of their project by developing a prototype for the app. At Funday Factory we know the value of prototyping and testing in the early stages to minimize risks and increase the chances of launching a successful game or app. With the Resilio app, we were tasked to create a fitting game design around the existing core which was to use the camera for measuring heart rate and breathing level.
To initiate the process of gamifying Resilio’s concept, we had a game jam in which five groups developed a prototype each. The output was five very different ideas - including one where you used your breathing to make a dragon spit fire! But one of the ideas was to use the heart rate and breathing to match a curving line that continuously goes up and down at a specific pace. That general idea is still a main part of the game design in Resilio’s current app.
The partnership with Resilio was interesting because the input form of a human pulse is very different from usual player interactions. It was exciting to evolve a game around that.Thomas Mygind Jensen, Game Programmer, Funday Factory
From Resilio’s point of view, CEO Anders Søndergaard had this to say about the partnership with Funday Factory: “The prototype that was developed with the good people of Funday is still an important part of the core of the product. Thereby, the collaboration with Funday has been crucial to Resilio. Having good partners and investors that believe in our cause has been, and still is, essential to our continued growth.”
Funday Factory has great belief in Resilio’s cause to help people towards a better mental health. In these modern times of performance pressure and constant digital presence, it is amazing to see people who are dedicated towards making life a little less stressful. We wish Resilio the best of luck in the further development of their project, and we are confident that they will make a real difference in many people’s lives in the near future. Happy breathing!
Resilio was founded in 2016 with a mission to change people’s lives for the better by teaching them how to train their nervous system and build long-term resilience. The result is an app that works as fitness for your mind, increasing your productivity and improving your mental health.Check out Resilio
Published: September 21st, 2018