It is totally normal to feel a sort of oneness with our in-game avatar. Well, we’re the ones controlling it, and it represents our will in the virtual world. So, its success is ours, and its consistent failures mean we might not be good enough, yet.
Have you ever smashed your pad or keyboard when you, instead of your gaming character, go into rage mode? That is often because you got frustrated with your performance. If you practice mindfulness over time, you won’t feel like ripping your hair out anymore.
Mindfulness can help you stay objective and not get too emotional when playing a game. As with any other athlete, emotions often get in the way. A losing streak can easily push you towards apathy but mindfulness can make you see it as a learning curve.
Okay, let us slow down for a bit here. When you hear the word “mindfulness”, what comes to mind? That breathing thing you do with your legs crossed? Well, it isn’t. Relieved?
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a practice and not something you carve out a time of your day to commit to. You incorporate it into your life. It is merely giving your full attention to the present moment. It’s like meditating in motion.
Inculcating this practice in your life is quite essential for anyone living in the 21st century. It can greatly increase your productivity at anything as long as you practice it. The author of Mindfulness for Beginners, Jon Kabat-Zinn, provides a definition I truly resonate with.
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”Jon Kabat-Zinn
Now, let’s look into how this practice can transform your gaming experience and, of course, your performance.
Benefits of Mindfulness
1. It improves your mood
That you’re reading this means you love playing games and you want to improve at it. Practicing mindfulness will help you feel even better when gaming since your mood will often be on a high.
Let’s look at the flip side. How many games have you given up playing because it was taking ‘too long’ to get better at it? No judgments here. I almost gave up playing FIFA.
It is the lack of mindfulness that ruined your entire week because a 14-year old trashed you silly in one of your League of Legends ranked match. Breathe, it’s just a game. The first priority is to enjoy it.
2. Handle stress better
The difference between a good eSports player and a great one often comes down to how well they perform under stress. Things can quickly get heated on the Summoner’s Rift when skillful players are battling for supremacy.
If you have seen the legendary Faker while he’s playing, you will notice how calm he always is. Several times he has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat all the while keeping his deadpan face.
Rumor has it that he meditates. So, it isn’t much of a wonder how he manages to remain calm even in high-stress gameplay.
Mindfulness and Gaming Performance
If you’re like me, you often run to your game when you are in a not-so-good mood. From experience, it helps a lot (unless you chose a game you suck at). The reason it works so well is that it helps you get out of your head, so to say.
This is the same way mindfulness works. It helps you focus your attention on making sure Hercules does not get close enough to bash your head off while you summon Olorun’s sun upon him.
Most of the productivity advice you will get is about your focus and how to use it. Being mindful helps you block out distracting thoughts so you can channel the lot of your brain power to the task at hand.
You will be essentially training your brain to focus and get better at your favorite game. This fits nicely with neuroscientists’ saying, “Neurons that wire together, fire together.”
Since mindfulness helps you block out distractions and better manage your emotions, your in-game attention is now heightened. This alone can help you quickly understand what’s lacking in your style of play.
Your laser focus will better help you identify your weaknesses and strengths. You will also be able to tell which Champion suits your real-world abilities the most.
Mindfulness also increases your resilience. Over time, you will notice that you won’t get mad anymore because your avatar got killed. Instead, you will notice your mistake and be sure to improve on it.
When it comes to gaming, as with all other things, there is always room for improvement. That is why you will find professional players that have made a name for themselves still spend hours practicing.
If you’re willing to do what it takes, you can get as far as you want with gaming. The fast rate at which esports is growing has made the possibility even more realistic.
Mindfulness or not, there is no way you can get better at gaming without practice. Being mindful will only speed things up while making it easier. So, if you want to be able to hold your own in a new game fast, practice mindfulness while you play.
The best thing about mindfulness is that it has a cascading effect. If you adopt it to improve your gaming performance, for instance, you will reap its benefits in other areas of your life.
You will better pay attention in class, and not get distracted by how to defeat the next boss. Since you won’t hurl pads and smash keyboards anymore, there’s a lesser chance you will snap at anyone again.
As mindfulness cannot replace practice, so can it not replace coaching and training. At Gamercraft, we offer the best coaching services that will take you from a hobbyist to a professional gamer. Contact us now!2