How Gamers Can Improve Mental Health

e-sport Healthe-sport mental wellnessMental health for gamers

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Gamers rely on mental sharpness when playing in e-sports competitions and should, thus, do their best to help maintain the health of their brains. They should try to avoid addictive substances such as drugs or excessive alcohol.

Various mental health challenges exist for those in the gaming industry, but there are two in particular that I have read about recently regarding anxiety and depression. The symptoms of stress can differ from extreme panic attacks to depression. With so much focus on physical ailments in e-sports, mental health issues are often overlooked. By following the tips discussed below, gamers and the e-sports industry can be overcome yet another lurking challenge.

Unplug

One of the most applicable concepts for e-sport athletes is the need to unplug. Unplugging means getting away from all sources of technological stimulation. These include phones, computers and the entire internet. If reading that last sentence made you feel uneasy, it may be time for you to unplug. Competitive gamers take in many stimuli that are exponentially more stimulating than reading blog articles on their phone or scrolling through Reddit feeds. 

For a competitive video game player who stays plugged in and outside of gaming to social media, you may experience feelings of envy and jealousy. Researchers found that one-third of people have become less confident after visiting Facebook. As someone immersed in the world of gaming, being inundated with information about other players doing better than you can make it difficult to keep positive thoughts about yourself going through your games. If you’re consuming media in your free time, it will take away from the creative ideas needed to help your team and improve. 

Here are some tips to help you unplug from the digital world;

Mental health is key to performance
Always remember to take care of your mental health. It is vital for good gaming performances | Image: Matthew Ball /Unsplash

Float Tank

This is an enclosed tube with water and dissolved Epsom salts. The salt makes it easy for you to float in the water when your body heat is at the right temperature. Gaming, particularly competitive gaming, challenges your ability to take in and process large amounts of information. Taking some time to disconnect from a stressful activity with an extreme element will give your brain some much-needed rest. Float tanks provide the ultimate sensory deprivation, and research has shown that a float tank can confer many health benefits. Some of the significant benefits include pain management, heightened senses, chronic stressor relief, brain synchronization, introspection visualization, super-learning and improvements with insomnia.

Foresting Bathing

The term comes from a wellness practice that originates in Japan and South Korea. This tip cuts down or eliminates stressful stimuli in your brain. Forest bathing is a simple task. Just find a forest to explore and spend some time there. It helps to soothe and restore your mind. Dota 2 can take a significant toll on your mental state if you play too many matches in succession. Restoring the balance is vital for long-term performance.

Doctors in Scotland have prescribed nature to their patients. When a doctor in Shetland, Scotland prescribes nature for their patients, they recommend certain outdoor activities to be defined alongside it. However, their reasoning is based on evidence that spending time in nature promotes health and well-being and several other benefits, like reducing aggression, anxiety and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms.

Sleeping

It can be difficult for some students to get a good night’s sleep, especially gamers. But if you struggle with your mental health, taking care of how you sleep is the best thing that you can do for yourself.

How does sleep affect our mental health?

REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep improves your learning and memory. It is critical to maintaining emotional well-being. When your sleep gets disrupted, the neurotransmitters and stress hormones in the brain become mixed up. It affects your thinking and emotional regulation.

Do you remember a time in the past when you were getting great sleep consistently? What were you like before? Getting adequate and regular REM is an integral part of your mental health regimen. It can’t get fixed unless you tried other measures first until it is close to optimal.

Check on your friends
Always take time to check on your friends. How are they doing away from gaming? |Photo by Dustin Belt on Unsplash

You are constantly practising and learning as a gamer, but your work as a competitive gamer is even more stressful. Sleep gives your mind the chance to recover from stress, so it should be an integral part of improving performance.

Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins, powerful chemicals that help to uplift your mood and reduce stress. Some people call it the ‘runners high.’ Others call it a good ‘pump’ workout for bodybuilders. But I think it’s just better than pills!

I’m not saying exercise is always a solution, but doctors often prescribe medication without trying less intrusive measures. Exercise promotes new activity patterns in the brain that improve well-being and calmness. Like other tips, exercise also has a meditative effect. One benefit of exercising is its simplicity. I get many of these benefits without making lengthy time commitments.

Exercise is as vital to mental health as it is to physical. “Fit Body, Fit Mind” is an accurate slogan because exercise promotes body and mind fitness.

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