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NEW VIDEO: The EASIEST Way to Stop Gaming

Jeff's Journal


jeffacce

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Hi all, I'm Jeff. I'm a college student trying to improve personally. Starting today, I will stop playing video games, and I plan to journal my experience here. Cheers.

# Day 1

A few interesting observations as I break the habit of resorting to video games when I have downtime.

While this is still an insufficient sample size of observations to reach any solid conclusions, it seems that I get a sense of urgency if I plan my day in advance.

Right now, I'm trying to reform my habit of

Downtime (cue) – video game (routine) – stimulation (reward)

to

Downtime (cue) – resting/exercise (routine) – refreshment (reward).

There might be other triggering scenarios like stress and procrastination, and I am finding a replacement routine for them. Meditating is a promising option – I have been doing it occasionally and I plan to commit more.

Edited by jeffacce
Day 1
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# Day 2

Strong urges to play video games during the day. Feelings of angst came up as I restricted myself, so I watched gaming videos (will be switched to reading books), exercised, played guitar and meditated instead. I will be more occupied in the next few days with various work, and it would be easier not to think about games.

I believe growth mindset here is important: willpower is acquired rather than inborn. Rewiring a brain likely involves exertion and effort (think about education, habit forming, motion recovery, sports learning, etc.)

Looking forward to completely quitting video games.

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# Day 4

I got depressed when I resisted playing video games, and I went on a day-long quest of observing myself and diagnosing what caused it.

To bring in here some of what I learned from statistics, this is in fact an interesting causal inference problem: I am only aware of the symptoms and I have to deduce the causes. Statistics makes one wary of correlations – to oversimplify, things happening next to each other aren't necessarily causing one another. In my case, I could have attributed my lethargy to any combination of lack of caffeine, lack of exercise, yesterday's heat stroke from overexercising, and a myriad other potential causes. I don't think I'll be knowing this one for sure, but I hypothesize it was largely because of video games. I'll have to be aware of my changes and react accordingly.

Caffeine helped elevate my mood in the morning but I was feeling down after lunch. Usually I resort to playing video games when I get bored – bad mood seems to be a trigger of this habit. By now I have mostly succeeded in substituting exercising for my old gaming habits.

Onwards.

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Remember that withdrawal symptoms such as depression, lethargy, mood swings, boredom, etc are all normal, especially within the first few weeks. Make sure you're exercising and eating well. Get outside often. These symptoms will pass. Gaming may relieve them temporarily, but they will be worse when you decide to quit again. You're already through the toughest part of them (the first 72 hours.)

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# Day 5

Thanks for the support here!

Again, occupying myself with work and socializing with my friends were very helpful. I just noticed that I didn't do much outside of home last weekend; that might have contributed to my boredom. I filled my calendar this week with work and get-togethers with old friends and classmates.

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# Day 6–7

Two days filled with work. I think I've overworked myself and I'm very tired right now – undesirable, but observably different from the lethargy coming from boredom and no games. I notice that I now like to watch videos instead late into the night, and I will try to control that by leaving my laptop outside before sleep.

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# Day 8-10

Mostly packed days with work and socialization. Gaming thoughts became much less frequent (although I had one this morning) and easier to deal with. Rested and feeling much better now. More stuff ahead. Onwards!

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