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7 Life Lessons I Learned Playing Video Games

7 Life Lessons I Learned Playing Video Games

During the course of a person’s life, he or she can pick up quite a few valuable lessons. Experience is a great teacher, and the best part is that once that light bulb lights up above your head and you come to understand a certain truth of life, it can be applied to several different areas. Mastering a new skill is a typical example, where the psychological aspects apply to any sport, art, or trade. However, there is one incredibly popular activity that people don’t often think can help teach them important lessons, and that is gaming.

I can already picture a few readers snickering or snorting derisively at the mere notion that something as trivial as playing video games may have serious benefits. To those people I say: “Feel free to read on and keep an open mind.” As for my fellow gaming enthusiasts out there who have probably had similar moments of revelation, I think you are going to enjoy reliving some past moments, smiling and nodding knowingly.

1. Don’t be too trusting towards random strangers

Trust

    As kids, we are taught not to talk to strangers and to be careful, but as time goes on, we start developing healthy relationships with others and meeting tons of genuinely good people. It’s easy to become accustomed to encountering helpful people, particularly within a community you feel very comfortable and safe in. It is then when we can let our guards down. Even though I knew all the right tips on staying safe online, in my laziness the hassle of remembering a long password seemed far worse than having my account hacked, which ended up coming back to bite me during my World of Warcraft craze.

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    Oh, and if a benevolent stranger offers to enchant your item if you provide him with the right materials, throw a fireball in his lying face before he gets the chance to run off with the goods. There are plenty of scammers out there who want to use your compassion and trusting nature against you.

    2. You need to tackle a problem from multiple angles

    Think outside the box

      There often comes a point in a game where you find yourself stuck. I would spin my wheels in place on more than one occasion, getting progressively more and more irritated, playing anything from Super Mario to Max Pain and GTA, and eventually things like Dark Souls. Over the years, I learned to control my temper and give myself time to breathe when faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem.

      I leave the room, prepare some coffee, and try to think of different solutions to the problem after I’ve let my brain relax for some 10-20 minutes. This has proven to work like a charm for both tackling bosses on hard mode and dealing with everyday problems like budgeting or completing projects in record time.

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      3. Hours of frustration can turn into a glorious moment of joy

      Going through hell

        Sometimes you can get stuck in a rut for hours before you ultimately complete an objective or move on to another area. I fail to find words that adequately describe that feeling of utter joy, that moment of unrestrained euphoria when you finally accomplish something that seemed impossible merely a few hours ago. Video games have taught me that sometimes you need to grind through a lot of frustrating work that may seem bleak and unrewarding if you want to get to the point where you feel truly proud of what you have achieved.

        4. Failure is not the end of the world, it’s an opportunity to learn

          In order to get good at a game, you need to get to know the universe and the rules well and to develop the necessary skills, e.g., timing, dexterity, resource allocation, etc. To do this, you need to fail a bunch of times. Sometimes you fail miserably, die, or even scratch everything and start all over from level one with a new character. Once you get into this mindset of “failure is merely a teaching tool,” you’ll start to apply it to other aspects of life without even realizing it. You can develop a lot of patience and focus if you go through life as if you were playing some kind of gloriously immersive RPG.

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          5. You can cheat your way through a lot of tough situations or find shortcuts

          Life is never fair

            This one might not be very politically correct, but the truth is that we don’t live in a world of sunshine and rainbows. Not everything is fair. There are rules to everything, and when someone understands the underlying system, it’s easy to find and exploit various glitches, bugs, or overpowered items. In real life, there are many situations that you can see coming a mile away if you know how they are usually “scripted,” and in most cases there is an easier way to overcome obstacles and NPC’s that you know are coming.

            For example, you know that restaurants and clubs are essentially pay-to-win – so you can throw a stack of cash at the maître d’ or a bouncer to get in. You know that a certain type of item coupled with an apology gives you a +10 boost to your “silent treatment” and “cold shoulder” resistance when facing your partner. There are tons of little tricks you can learn that will make your life a whole lot easier.

            6. You’ll find rare gems in the strangest of places

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            Rare gems

              If games have taught me anything, it’s that you never leave any stone unturned, any vase unbroken, or any chest unopened, even if you have to go back once you’ve finally gotten around to adding those last 15 points to your lock-picking skill. Some games will reward you heavily for exploring outside the beaten path and doing some exploration. Thinking for yourself and going outside your comfort zone might lead you to untold treasures.

              Just as you will often find a rare and incredibly powerful item in a random closet down a seemingly insignificant side-passage in a game, you can find a career opportunity at a random party your friend drags you to or develop a beautiful romance with a girl or guy who sat next to you on a train. You’ll never know what you may find if you don’t go out there and explore.

              7. Sometimes it’s not about winning, but having a good laugh

              Satisfaction

                Having your mind constantly burdened with the notion of winning and stressing over a loss or slight failure is not really going to be healthy for you in the long run. Yeah, yeah, I know the whole “winning mentality” spiel – you need to keep your eyes on the prize and make sacrifices if you want to be the best, yadda, yadda, yadda – but you know what?

                Sometimes it’s not about being the greatest, nor is there a clear set of objectives that you complete to win – it’s about feeling good, having fun, and being fulfilled and content at the end of the day. Games, just like life, have a competitive component to them. But being obsessive, strict, and narrowly-focused on one thing to the exclusion of everything else is not the way to go if you want to be truly happy.

                Well, these have been some of the lessons I have learned during my gaming journey. Although I may not be the best gamer in the world (I don’t claim to be more than just mildly competent at a few genres of games, and am quite bad at others), nor have I figured out all of life’s mysteries, I have certainly learned some serious lessons through gaming, which I have been able to apply to my regular life.

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                Ivan Dimitrijevic

                Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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                Last Updated on October 14, 2020

                Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

                Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

                Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

                “Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

                It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

                You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

                Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

                Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

                Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

                1. Make a Gratitude List

                In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

                Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

                Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

                What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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                The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

                Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

                2. Write in a Journal

                Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

                All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

                Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

                However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

                3. Meditate

                Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

                Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

                Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

                Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

                Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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                Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

                Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

                4. Do Child’s Pose

                Yoga Outlet says:

                “Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

                When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

                It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

                To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

                Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

                   

                  Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

                  5. Try Positive Self-Talk

                  Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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                  When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

                  Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

                  When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

                  When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

                  Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

                  6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

                  Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

                  You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

                  It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

                  Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

                  If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

                  7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

                  “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

                  If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

                  You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

                  When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

                  If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

                  Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

                  Final Thoughts

                  If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

                  Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

                  You can invest in yourself via self-care.

                  You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

                  More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

                  Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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