Modern gaming has become a fusion of art and entertainment. Offering us a gateway to alternate universes and control over the most intriguing characters, we’re enabled to escape life’s humdrum and plunge into something much, much more fantastic.
That’s where meditation comes in (just in case you’re wondering, meditation is really just taking a few minutes to be with yourself). It’s basically a little R&R for your brain. Gaming is truly a beautiful thing, but just like anything else, too much of a good thing can have unwanted consequences.
1 – Improving your Focus
Remember that time you were having a great COD match, and suddenly started to get gunned down every time you spawned? Now just think about what that match would be like if you were in the zone.
Not only are slumps frustrating, but they always seem to keep getting worse. If you find yourself in this position, try taking five or ten minutes to clear your mind. Not only will this help you re-focus and improve your performance, but you’ll feel refreshed and ready to play at your best.
2 – Practicing Mindfulness Reduces Stress
Whether your mission is to pick up every achievement, or grab the best gear for a high pressure raid, you’re probably putting in a lot of hard work. This can also mean putting a lot of strain on your mind, even causing you to become irritable.
A little mindfulness goes a long way, and a few minutes given to calm your neural high-ways after an intense questing session could be just the thing to keep virtual reality fun. Because after all, that’s what gaming is all about, right?
3 – A Clear Head can Increase your Happiness
Happier people are more productive, and are therefore more likely to hit their goals. Whether that’s climbing your ranked ladder of choice, or upping your Twitch subs, you’ll be having fun and avoiding gamer “burn out”. For instance, excessive screen time can actually make us lose sleep.
Less stress is great, but what’s even better is the benefit: Enjoying what you’re doing. Studies have shown that meditation can have a positive effect on a person’s happiness, and chances are, if you’re having a good time, you’re going to be better at it.
4 – Meditation can Increase Creativity
If you’re like me, you enjoy a good puzzle. Whether that’s a battle plan for a really hard Fire Emblem map, or assaulting a super-mutant ridden hotel in Fallout, there’s no doubt that your creative faculties come into play.
Mindfulness can help your ability to think on your feet, while giving you fresh insights into solutions you may not have considered before. That means more loot, more gold, for less price.
5 – Grey Matter
This is the big one. Regardless of whether you’re enjoying a walking simulator or hardcore prepping for a Smash Bros tournament, this benefits everyone. Meditation has actually been shown to increase grey matter. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this magic stuff, it’s pretty much responsible for every thought you’ve ever had. Period. (See this article here for more).
Naturally, having more of this stuff is going to improve your cognitive ability to be an all-around better gamer. From increased reaction times, to opening new neural-pathways for critical thinking, it all happens in the brain. Meditation is kind of like Mario’s 1-UP shroom, but for your mind: it’s a big boost.
While meditation may feel foreign at first, its benefits are abundant. Whether you game for five hours or five minutes a week, the art of mindfulness is certainly worth a try. Not sure where to start? There are a ton of great resources out there for beginners like headspace.com that are designed to give newbies the scoop.
Tried it out and found quieting the mind was great? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!