The Science behind Noodle

Noodle works on specific topics such as happiness, anxiety, sleep, stress and confidence with the over-arching aim of making life feel more meaningful. Research shows that those who feel real meaning and purpose have a greater sense of wellbeing and happiness. 

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Everything within the app is developed by a clinical psychologist and sessions are ‘evidence-based’ which means they have been tested in trials and proven to improve mood. This means it’s not just what we think is good (though we do think it’s pretty amazing!) it’s also backed up by science.

We want to ensure everyone can have access to the many scientifically tested and effective strategies that they can follow and fit into their daily routines, such as CBT, Compassion focussed therapy and Positive Psychology (all are proven to be effective at preventing as well as curing).

We also want to keep moving the research forward, by understanding how the benefits of psychology translate to app-based training and will be carrying out our own studies to answer these questions.

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Here at Noodle we draw on five key areas of psychology:

  1. Positive psychology is the study and understanding of wellbeing, happiness, optimism, altruism, courage, love, personal strengths and creativity. Health benefits include increased life span, ability to see greater possibilities in life, better psychological and physical well being. Lower rates of depression and better coping skills during tough times.
  2. Compassion focussed therapy promotes wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion. It increases happiness, boosts health, increases resistance to illness, helps you gain perspective and is good for communities and society.
  3. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a brilliant treatment that has been rigorously tested in trials, helping with everything from depression to anxiety, to insomnia and low self esteem. It studies the relationships between our feelings, thoughts, behaviours and environment and is focused on helping you to understand the problems you’re facing so you can manage the difficulties in your life.
  4. Mindfulness is a psychological and behavioural philosophy based on hundreds of years of study in Eastern traditions. Practising mindfulness increases levels of happiness and wellbeing long-term. People who practice regularly report feeling less anxious, stressed, depressed, exhausted and irritable.
  5. Evolutionary psychology is focused on how evolution has shaped our minds and behaviour. Bringing together psychology and evolutionary biology to provides a better understanding of human experience and behaviour.

We’ve adapted these techniques to fit with your life (we know how precious your time is!) and have developed one app for all your mental health needs - from gratitude diaries to guided meditations.

Why use Noodle?

Research shows happiness - positive emotions that fill you with a sense of wellbeing and contentment - is protective when it comes to your health and wellbeing. Here are just a few of those benefits: 

  • When you feel happier, you see the world with more possibilities and become more open to what's around you - it's like moving to a better vantage point.
  • It strengthens your immune system, makes you less likely to experience depression, reduces aches and pains, protects your heart, combats disease and disability and even means you live longer. Happier people are even seen as more likeable and approachable!
  • It undoes the effects of stress, helping us recover more quickly, lowering blood pressure and risk for cardiovascular disease. 
  • Happiness also defuses difficult emotions - you can't feel positive and negative emotions at the same time (think of when you're able to look back at something tough and laugh!).
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Although it might feel like happiness is down to what happens to us, research proves that as much as 40%* is linked to our intentional daily activities and the choices we make. Only 10% of our happiness is due to our external circumstances and the other 50% of our happiness levels is thought to come from our genes. 

This means we can learn to be happier with practice (a bit like learning an instrument); and brain scans show that with these practices not only do we feel happier (and reap the benefits) but it even changes the neural pathways of our brain.

It’s this research that informs everything we do at Noodle.

Noodle focuses on what you can do to look after your mental health on a day to day basis. Sessions target intentional activities - your thoughts, behaviours and actions so you take charge of the 40% that is within your control.

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MIND when your thoughts are onside everything becomes easier

BODY use the mind body link to your advantage

ACTION what you do is a really simple way to positively change how you feel

It’s pretty simple when you boil it all down. The way we think, our bodies and the day-to-day things we do are intrinsically connected to how we feel emotionally. When you do things that make you feel good and shift your mental focus to see what’s going well in your life it has a positive knock on effect on your mood.

We do have a choice in how we mentally approach life and Noodle shows you how. By regularly using Noodle you will:

  • Understand how your mind works
  • Feel happier, calmer and less stressed more of the time
  • Develop a positive focus and recognise your personal strengths 
  • Build resilience in yourself and better navigate the ups and downs of life
  • Break unconscious thinking patterns and behaviours that stop you living life to the full
  • Manage small daily upsets, without them ruining your day
  • Live a fulfilled happy life
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In September we’ll be launching our Kickstarter campaign to fund this project. Sign up to follow our progress, hear the latest news and be the first to get our Kickstarter offers.

* Sonia Lyubomersky, Kennon Sheldon and David Schkade. Pursuing Happiness: The Architecture of Sustainable Change. Review of General Psychology. 2005, Vol 9, No.2, 111-131

Look after your mind

At Noodle we believe that we should be thinking and caring for our minds in the same way we do our bodies. 

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Most of us don't think twice about looking after our physical health. We do the small stuff on autopilot, like brushing our teeth, putting on moisturiser or cutting our nails. We book in for haircuts, see the doctor if we feel ill, go for regular sight tests and visit the dentist.

We know how to look after our physical health and have a good understanding of potential problems to look out for (even if we don't manage it all of the time...) whether it's exercising, knowing the best foods to eat, or physical checks like feeling for lumps.

We talk about physical health with our friends - I've been ill, I pulled a muscle, I'm so unfit, I'm on a diet. We think nothing of giving the full details. 

We want mental health to be the same!

Yet despite attitudes to mental health gradually changing, there is still no real focus on what we can do to look after our mental health on a day-to-day basis. One reason for this is that with so much information out there, it can be hard to know where to start and what advice to follow. 

We hope Noodle will change this - looking after your mind is so much easier than you think. By understanding how your mind works, it starts to make sense why we can be prone to being tipped into stress, irritability or unhappiness. It also becomes clear how you can feel better. 

There are really simple things you can do to look after yourself and stay feeling your best more of the time and we want to show you how.

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The story of Noodle

It all started when I was training. The ideas we learned about were fascinating, yet many of them were so simple and practical. I noticed they made a real difference to me. 

I understood how my mind worked and the simple things I could do to boost my mood. It changed how I looked at things, I was more able to step back from difficult situations and manage them better and it helped me to see that there is always more than one way of looking at things. 

Despite the theory being so intuitive, they were things I’d never known about or thought of before. I was only learning about them because I was lucky enough to be on the training course - yet it was clear to me that everyone could benefit from them. I knew I had to share these ideas! 

They could make a huge difference to how you feel whether you’re going through a difficult period or just wanting to feel your best more of the time; and knowing these things might even prevent more serious mental health problems.

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This set me on a mission to make psychology more accessible and better understood.

We all look after our physical health, whether it’s going to the doctors, the gym or eating well. Looking after our mental health can be just as simple and it’s definitely just as important. Yet despite attitudes to mental health gradually changing, there is still no real focus on what we can do to take care of our mental health. 

This is something I’m desperate to change.

After training I co-authored a series of six self-help books, to share the ideas I’d learned about. Amazingly the books are now sold all over the world. It’s confirmed there is a real interest in these topics and a need for more information, but the books weren't enough.

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I wanted to create something that felt more like therapy. Interactive regular sessions that are evidence based and so proven to work. Offering motivation and encouragement to keep you on track and a place to record your experiences and chart your progress. I also wanted something free so anyone could try it.

That’s when I came up with the idea for Noodle. A free iOS that will teach you to look after your mind in the same way you look after your body - so you keep mentally fit and gain the most from every day.

Looking after your mind is so much simpler than you think, but it can be hard to know where to start and what advice to follow. I hope Noodle will change this.

Noodle delivers evidence based bite sized psychology tips, research and advice, so you understand how your mind works and learn strategies to feel your best. The ideas are straight forward and easy to put into practice and the core component of the app - daily noodle and the diaries - will remain free - forever.

My motto is “what we do every day makes the biggest difference, it’s the small steps that lead to the greatest changes.” How we feel is a natural product of all of our choices, but especially the small choices each of us makes every day (you can listen to my TEDx talk to hear more about this). It’s this every day approach that is at the heart of Noodle.

To make this dream a reality I’ve joined forces with a small team of amazing people who share the same values. We want to make mental health less scary and more manageable and as part of our promise to make a difference and raise awareness of mental health, we will also be giving back at least 10% of our profits to mental health charities.