As a gamer, you are often asked to make life or death choices in a matter of seconds. You’re asked to respond and react quickly and thoughtfully in stressful situations, and if you don’t have the right frame of mind going in, you’ll never achieve the results that you’re looking for. The practices of mindfulness and meditation have received a lot of press in recent years.
Mindfulness is defined as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” Mindfulness is most often employed in everyday life to help people be present in all situations and to really take in their surroundings and respond instead of reacting to situations.
Meditation covers many different techniques (guided, unguided, movement, transcendental, and so on) to gain a peaceful mind and peace in trying conditions. It is also used to expand one’s consciousness or even, in some cases, to lucid dream or for astral projection.
Join us now as we take a look at how mindfulness and meditation can help gamers in their gaming time and everyday lives.
One of the biggest reasons that anyone starts a meditation practice is to find a state of peacefulness or calm and step away from the stress that they experience every day. As human beings, we are subject to many different kinds of pressure from the second we open our eyes in the morning until the second we close them at night. As a gamer, especially a professional, a significant amount of stress comes from the pressure to win games.
Any Esport requires a lot of concentration, mental clarity, and focus, which cannot be achieved if you can’t process and deal with stress well. Many tournaments last for hours or days at a time, which is a significant drain on mental focus and alertness and how quickly you can process the masses of information you’re taking in.
Stresses like this, if not managed, can increase the cortisol levels in your body, which can ultimately cause the release of chemicals like cytokines, which promote inflammation and tension in the body.
These chemicals are associated with the development of carpal tunnel syndrome, which may render you unable to play at all. Even the thought of this causes extra stress, and so the circle continues. Meditation and mindfulness practices have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and all the symptoms that go along with it; these practices don’t even have to take up a lot of your time.
If you are already prone to anxiety, the stress of competitive gaming can increase that anxiety. Even if you aren’t gaming for a living, the pressure to win or be the best can be enormous.
Meditation and mindfulness help you to see anxiety developing or an attack coming on, mentally pause the situation and sort through or process the factors and emotions causing the issue. Instead of feeling anxiety beginning to cripple you and giving in to the fear that you feel in the moment, you’ll be able to step away from those negative emotions and keep them right-sized while you sort out the rational from the irrational.
A note about anxiety: if you feel that meditation alone is not sufficient to handle your level of anxiety, do not be afraid to ask for help from a medical professional. Many anxiety medications are free from radical side effects and can help you live a more fulfilling and calm life.
Improved Focus and Mental Clarity
Without focus, there’s no way that you’ll be able to keep up in a lot of the fast-paced games that are played professionally these days. You’ll be staring at a monitor and possibly wearing headphones for long periods of time and often have to move on to different rounds if you’re in a tournament.
It is essential that you are able to refresh your mind without taking a long nap or switching off the monitor to rest your eyes: meditation can assist in this. Your attention span is like a muscle; if you train it using meditation, it’ll grow stronger and be able to take in more information over a more extended period of time than usual.
Your focus at the start, middle, and end of a game needs to stay at the same level for you to really have a chance. If your mind is trained to focus, it won’t wander in those crucial few seconds that can make or break a match or game. Instead of reaching for unhealthy energy drinks, you’ll have all the tools you need at your disposal.
It’s a fact that staring at any kind of screen right before you go to sleep stimulates the brain too much to allow for a quick transition into rest. If you’re able to take a few minutes before bed for a brief meditation, you’ll fall asleep more quickly and more deeply and get the rest that your body needs.
Sitting in one position for hours on end can cause discomfort, never mind the tension you feel from the stress of gaming. Meditation (and a little bit of movement) can help both of these issues disappear.
Meditation is something anyone can do if they find the right type for them. Do a little research and try it out and you’ll see; meditation can help you in so many ways.