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NEW VIDEO: I Replaced Gaming With Real Life (Nicco Transformation)

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Newbie17

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Ok, so, starting off this journal thing. Something different for me, that’s for sure. Hoping it’ll help me self-motivate and keep a clear mind while working through the respawn guide.

First day after a weekend inviolvong gaming - biggest urge to game is certainly just after getting home from work. My focus is “surfing the urge”, a mindfulness based technique from Alan Marlatt. Just accepting that an urge is there and watching it until it passes.

First goal is a full week with no gaming, then the weekend. Let’s see how this goes.

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Thanks Rob and Cam, appreciate the support.

My exercise regime is weights 3 times a week and walking nearly every other day, all done at 5am before going to work.

Cam, I’m thinking I’ll throw in another 15-30min walk at nights. It’s not the most exciting activity, but it can be pretty relaxing after a day of madness (or tedium!) at the workplace. Should also provide some time to chill and just surf the urge to game, as I referenced above.

I started tonight (got back an hour ago) so I’ll see the impact it has this week.

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Working through modules 4 & 5 of respawn. It’s proving challenging to find alternative activities. The thing with games is you get a constant rush that’s hard to replicate - they’re also free and you can play anywhere, anytime. At this stage I don’t know what activities can make up for this. I think this might be a key challenge for me.

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3 hours ago, Newbie17 said:

Working through modules 4 & 5 of respawn. It’s proving challenging to find alternative activities. The thing with games is you get a constant rush that’s hard to replicate - they’re also free and you can play anywhere, anytime. At this stage I don’t know what activities can make up for this. I think this might be a key challenge for me.

I’ve been stuck at module 4 for a couple weeks now. Finding new activities requires time, but I’ve already found a couple & have the idea of trying others. My “comfort” picks are reading, playing the guitar, listening to music/podcasts, playing tennis and watching movies. Also cleaning the house is not exactly an hobby but you need to do it anyway and I found it helpful with clearing the mind as well. I’m thinking about trying yoga and learning how to compose/produce electronic music. You have to find an activity that

1 works for you

2 you can afford (money, time, space)

EDIT: there are also activities you like but you can do only every once in a while. I think they “don’t count” for the purposes of chapter 4. Mine are traveling, cooking, hanging out with friends.

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I've found that music can give me a pretty good rush if I'm listening to an upbeat/inspiring song. It's also on demand and you can do it while walking, or even to distract yourself after surfing the urge. Using a free subscription to Google Play I got with my phone allows me to listen to literally any song I feel like without needing to go on YouTube and expose  myself to video games.

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Thanks Info and Marco for the suggestions. It helps to know others are working through the same challenges and have found activities that work for them.

So I had a very challenging weekend and didn’t meet my goal. I was doing well until Friday, when I was admitted into hospital for a planned procedure. Thursday was a real challenge as I had to take medication for the next day and could do nothing but sit around. I did manage to get through it.

After the procedure the following day I couldn’t do much again so when the urge to game hit me I justified playing by telling myself it was just for that day and I’d be back into my detox the following day. As you can imagine, it didnt work out, and while I reduced my gaming on the weekend through walking and reading (including going to our new local library) I did still game.

So now the work week has started and I’m back onto the detox. While I didn’t succeed I’m consoling myself with the knowledge that there were unusual challenges that made this extra hard. Having said that, I have learned a couple of key points:

1. There will always be a challenge. I think you can fool yourself into using those challenges to justify gaming. I imagine this is the case for addicts of many different kinds.

2. My challenge at the moment is having alternative activities for gaming. This includes things to do if you can’t get out and about. I certainly got caught out on this front.

3. Gaming covers up uncomfortable feelings, and that is definitely one reason I do it. While lying on the operating trolley outside the theatre I felt my anxiety and thought if I had my phone and games I wouldn’t have to worry about the anxiety. Instead what I did was meditate and realised that anxiety was part of the experience, and that gaming was just avoiding that experience, and therefore, really, life itself. This is a reason why gaming is so addictive for me, it takes the mind away from those challenging thoughts.

So now I’m rebooting knowing that while this weekend wasn’t successful, I can get through (I did the 4 full days beforehand) but I need to identify my go-to activities and know that the subconscious mind will attempt to justify any reason for me to game. I guess that is the power of addiction and habit. Overcoming that will be a challenge but more of an achievement than anything earned in game.

 

 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Newbie17 said:

3. Gaming covers up uncomfortable feelings, and that is definitely one reason I do it. While lying on the operating trolley outside the theatre I felt my anxiety and thought if I had my phone and games I wouldn’t have to worry about the anxiety. Instead what I did was meditate and realised that anxiety was part of the experience, and that gaming was just avoiding that experience, and therefore, really, life itself. This is a reason why gaming is so addictive for me, it takes the mind away from those challenging thoughts.

 

Intent. Your intent behind playing games is not in the right place, rather than using them to enjoy or unwind you are using them to escape. If you're using an activity (any) to escape what you should be doing, such as dealing with anxiety or chores or work etc, then that's why that empty feeling ensues.

Having the right intent falls under deliberate living, making sure you make decisions for the right reason etc. You're now opening the door for some serious personal development! If you're into podcasts, the Minimalists talk a lot about intent and living deliberately.

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I think its important to find ways to "avoid" stress where there's not a lot that can be done to directly deal with the source of the stress, for example sitting on the operating trolley. I feel like meditating provided that avoidance for you, and also helped make the situation seem less stressful afterwards. 

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Yeah Giblet, I agree, intent is key. I guess that’s what a lot of this is about, figuring out my intentions re gaming and addressing the deeper problems. I do listen to a lot of podcasts so I’ll check the Minimalists out.

That’s an interesting viewpoint Marco. I don’t feel like meditating is avoiding issues - I think it is sitting with them and looking to better understand and accept your emotions. This is the opposite of why I often game, which is to take my mind off things and not think about them (as per the threads above about intent).

We’re getting into some interesting topics here. What I feel like I’m seeing is that gaming addiction is more a symptom of deeper problems, and not the root cause itself. This certainly wouldn’t hold true for everyone, as there are definitely people who can play for half a hour, get bored and turn off. Then again, I can put a couple of small bets on the races and be done, whereas a problem gambler would keep going and going.

This is all about understanding my personal reasons for gaming addiction, taking actions to address those reasons and bettering my life.

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Newbie, I guess it depends on what you mean by meditation then, as I usually practice a mind emptying meditation where i just focus on my breath. If your meditation involves intentionally thinking about your problem, then I can see where our different view comes from. Regardless, great points you brought up.

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Yes, I practice both kinds. When I do breathing meditation I often do it not so much to empty the mind as to allow whatever thoughts want to come up to do so. One of my markers that I’m starting to get into the zone are thoughts coming up that just don’t make sense lol. If that happens with you you’ll know what I mean. Alternatively thoughts can also arise that provide revealing insights into yourself and life.

Other times I meditate exactly as you described, on a particular topic or a particular thought. Sometimes this can be thoughts that arose during breathing meditation.

And yet again I’ll also practice breathing meditation to just stop thinking and give my mind a rest (I find this really good if you’re stressed at work and can find a quiet place for 5 minutes of this - I like to think of this as a “minitate” ?).

It’s interesting how meditation means different things to different people, religions, etc. For example, my understanding is that in Hinduism meditation is used as a tool by the practitioner to get closer to Brahmin, whereas in Buddhism meditation is used as a tool to train the mind to overcome craving and thereby break the circle of rebirth and achieve Nibbana (at least in Theravada Buddhism).

All this also shows the problem with even defining meditation - with so many different forms and objectives, it doesn’t seem to define one set practice, but rather encompasses a whole range of different approaches and methodologies.

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