Games and Mindfulness: Is There a Connection?

By  //  November 9, 2020

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Nowadays we live in the world of games. They are everywhere: in our phones, desktops, social media and educational platforms.

We spend hours to feel the joy of winning or for the sake of pleasure, and sometimes those hours are the ones meant for working.

Even though the traditional mission of games is to entertain and their field is entertaining, there is more to it than meets the eye. Video games can actually make a significant contribution into your mindful and stress-free life. We have prepared 5 ways in which they do.

Reason #1

Many games teach you how to meditate. Not in the usual way, of course. However, what is meditation if not concentration on a subject? Those who play video games and those who have seen others playing know that it requires a whole lot of concentration in order to keep playing.

An extreme point is when people get so much into the game that it is hard for them to focus on anything else, including food and sleep for quite a while.

Luckily, it is not an issue for the majority of people who just have fun with friends while practicing focus and cognitive flexibility. Think about it: when you play, you do not think of the past or the future: you stay in the moment and enjoy it!

Reason #2

You let go of all the problems and stress while playing. Video games are a great chance to take a small break from all the responsibilities, goals and expectations.

Especially if your work life is loaded with long-term goals and there is no way for you to reach a significant milestone in the nearest future, game gratification can become a life changer.

It is extremely important to have a feeling of accomplishment from time to time, no matter in what field. The point is in releasing those hormones and letting them do their part. You will have more energy for doing your endless to-do lists.

Reason #3

Creativity and mind flexibility. There are tons of games that do not have a single scenario, so you may end up living multiple realities in a single game! That’s why some people play some of their games many many times.

Of course, real life is also about creativity and the possibility to live different lives based on your choices. However, our life decisions are for the most part connected with stress as we know there is a lot at stake.

Trying different options in video games is different. Those choices are based on stress-free “what if?” exploratory question we all lack in reality. Practicing this question is VR will help to ask this question in other spheres.

Reason #4

You become happier. Playing and winning release dopamine, which is our hormone of happiness. This one is not about long-term existential happiness, but about live-in-a-moment one.

As you may know, this hormone gets released when we do pleasurable activities, such as eating chocolate or spending time with family or friends.

Of course, games will not replace loved ones, but it is good to keep this option in mind for the moments when you need an instant increase in positive feelings. Let alone how awesome it gets when there is a chance to play video games with your family and friends!

Reason #5

Networking. There is a limited number of things that people do in order to relax, cope with stress or escape from life challenges for a little. Usually, people who have the same preferences unite and support each other while enjoying their favorite activities.

You may recall dog owners: They all know each other in the neighborhood and do not miss a chance to talk about their pets at parties with other dog owners.

Same here: There are so many people who play games and love sharing their recent findings or playing with somebody new during breaks at work. Moreover, playing games works well for introverts who have trouble meeting new people offline.

To sum up, there are so many undeniable benefits to videogames! However, it is better to feel it yourself than to read about it. We hope you will enjoy it!

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