While researching mindfulness I came up with this crazy idea: what if I apply it to gaming? All mindfulness is is focusing on the moment at hand. So why wouldn’t that be a great addition to video games?
Instead of rushing through a game, making mistakes, and maybe getting distracted, I can dedicate myself to achieving something. And doesn’t that just sound so much more enjoyable than rage quitting?
Without further ado, here are 5 methods for mindful gaming:
The key to mindfulness is to take your time. You’re not trying to beat any records or finish the fastest. You’re just having a good time doing something you love. Power up your game and ease into it. I especially love open-world games because you can just wander around and take your time with each step.
This is what makes mindful gaming so fun for me. Instead of stressing myself out working toward a goal, I look around. Take some time to look at the details in the game. See something that looks interesting? Go check it out! While playing mindfully, you don’t have to focus on one certain thing. As soon as something catches your attention, go explore.
Accept things as they come
This is actually the hardest thing for me to accomplish while I’m gaming mindfully. Instead of thinking of every possible scenario you could encounter during your game, just go. Take the necessary things you need to survive and leave the rest to chance. Prepping too much can cause more stress and make the game less fun. That’s definitely not what we’re after here. When gaming mindfully, whatever will happen will happen. Accept it, deal with, and move on.
Laugh at your mistakes
We all make mistakes! Even in gaming. Do your best to not let them get to you. Did something stupid and ended up dying? Laugh it off! It’s just a video game and you can start again. There’s no use holding on to those mistakes; that’s only going to make you feel worse in the end. You’re here to have fun, so laugh at yourself and keep on playing.
Gaming may be fun and mindful gaming may be relaxing. BUT! You’re still staring at a screen for an extended period of time. That causes stress on your eyes, your body, and your mind. So make sure you’re taking frequent breaks. Have a good stretch, drink some water, or maybe take a walk. Just make sure you’re away from your screen. Mindful gaming is all about being conscious and aware of what you’re doing in game. You can’t do that if you sink into a subdued stupor from sitting for 12 hours! I’m a huge fan of incorporating the Pomodoro technique here. Play for 25 minutes, break for 5 minutes. Every 4 rotations, take a longer break – I usually go for 15 minutes. That way you’re refreshed and ready to restart your game with fresh eyes and a fresh mind.
Mindful gaming is just one way you can make gaming work for your self care. I’ve talked about how I use gaming to fight depression and even how to incorporate it into a super fast self care routine.
Some of my favorite games for mindful gaming are Breath of the Wild and Minecraft! In each of these games, I can lose myself to the world and really be mindful about what I’m doing.
I’d love to hear about how you incorporate gaming into your self care routine. Are you gaming mindfully? Tell me all about it and give me some mindful game recommendations on Twitter!
That’s all for this week, guys.