I see 4 issues with your code:

  • In your timer method you are always setting your current count to 10
  • You try to update the state in render method
  • You do not use setState method to actually change the state
  • You are not storing your intervalId in the state

Let's try to fix that:

componentDidMount: function() {
   var intervalId = setInterval(this.timer, 1000);
   // store intervalId in the state so it can be accessed later:
   this.setState({intervalId: intervalId});
},

componentWillUnmount: function() {
   // use intervalId from the state to clear the interval
   clearInterval(this.state.intervalId);
},

timer: function() {
   // setState method is used to update the state
   this.setState({ currentCount: this.state.currentCount -1 });
},

render: function() {
    // You do not need to decrease the value here
    return (
      <section>
       {this.state.currentCount}
      </section>
    );
}

This would result in a timer that decreases from 10 to -N. If you want timer that decreases to 0, you can use slightly modified version:

timer: function() {
   var newCount = this.state.currentCount - 1;
   if(newCount >= 0) { 
       this.setState({ currentCount: newCount });
   } else {
       clearInterval(this.state.intervalId);
   }
},