Gaming can give one a sense of satisfaction, and it can be rewarding whenever a new area or a character costume is unlocked. However, when you find yourself playing video games more than doing other, more important things, you should give this a read.
Gaming is one of the most common stress relievers these days, and more and more games are being released each year to feed these frustrations off. While gaming indeed has its benefits, it can actually be dangerous when done too much, and it can also be considered as an addiction that needs thorough therapy and treatment. Gaming can actually change your life if overdone—it can affect your performance, relationships, and health.
If you have a high-performance PC setup for gaming, all the more that it will entice you to play, but there should be control and balance in your life. The games might be handsome and rewarding, but it shouldn’t be left alone to control your life. You might find yourself suffering problems you haven’t experienced before.
Common Issues in Gaming
- Psychological problems. When gaming, especially the one’s online, you’re connected to a lot of people out there, and sometimes, they can be harsh. If you game more and more with toxic players, you’ll find yourself slowly developing depression, social anxiety, low self-esteem, high stress, and aggravation. Some people are actually aware they have these problems, and it causes them to feel ashamed, guilty, and helpless from the urge of gaming. They can be stuck in an endless cycle of gaming and psychological problems.
- Physical health. If you find yourself sacrificing sleep and meals to finish one more level or go for another round, then this might be an addiction. Gamers tend to settle for greasy and unhealthy food since it’s easier to eat and keeps them on screen without taking too much of their time. There are a lot of reports about streamers who collapsed or even died from exhaustion due to long hours of gaming. It can cause obesity and other heart problems connected from lack of sleep, exercise, and a choice of unhealthy meals.
- Relationships. Since all your focus will be on the game before you, you’ll tend to shun friends or family and find solace in playing online the whole day. While gaming can indeed find you new friends, you’re actually neglecting real-life friends and family just to spend time with virtual buddies you don’t even really know. It might even result in a fallout, and you might end up being behind news and updates about their lives. While making friends online is okay, there should be a boundary where it should stop.
- Performance. You might find yourself skipping school or work altogether just to spend time playing video games. You delay tasks, deadlines, and other important duties just to complete a tough level or game to get that virtual medal. Tardiness or absence from work or classes will eventually affect performance scores, especially if your mind is on the game as you work or sit in class. This could result in lower or failing grades or the loss of your job.
- Financial. There are always new upgrades and accessories for the PC to make it run faster and display games better. These upgrades cost a pretty penny. If you’re one who wants the best of the best in gaming equipment, this will surely drain your savings. The games themselves are expensive too, so if you’re not careful, you might end up broke.
How You Can Deal With It
If you find yourself slowly being sucked into gaming addiction, it’s not too late! You don’t have to throw your gaming PC away, but you’ll need to learn discipline and dedication to cope with it!
- Track your hours. It might be a challenge, but it’s doable. Write your ideal gaming schedule on paper. If it’s hard to do it on your own, asking for help from loved ones and friends can help ease you from gaming addiction. You can even track progress and start a journal on how you’ve changed your schedule for the better.
- Slowly cut back on playing. You spend less time now with gaming and that’s good progress, so let yourself get used to the fact that you’re going from seven to three hours daily. You can do this by doing just the important missions in the game and try to stay away from competitive games as much as possible. If unavoidable, only go for three rounds max.
- Take precautional health checkups. If you feel that their is something wrong going on with your body, make it a priority to make a visit for a general checkup. Common health issues encountered by gamers are irritation of the eyes due to long exposure of computer’s brightness, seldom difficulty in breathing, and unintentional weight loss. Clinics and hospitals are now made very accessible and are equipped with high-tech medical tools to use for your consultation.
- Know your priorities. If you have best friends outside of online games or a partner, it’s time for you to reflect and know what’s important to you. You have friends willing to help you in real life, but overall, it’s you who can help yourself. Your real-life friends won’t wait forever, as sad as that sounds, but it’s time for you to weigh out the options and know what you will lose if you keep on following down the path of gaming addiction.
- Find another hobby. Were you interested in cooking? Painting? Or learning a new musical instrument? Maybe sign up with a friend or your partner and learn something new. This will keep you away from your computer for a while and will make you actually enjoy your time without it.
- Follow your schedule strictly. You finally found a new hobby and now have other plans than gaming, so you can confidently say goodnight earlier than before and can actually count your gaming hours. Once you stick to the dedicated hours noted in your journal and rarely exceed it, you will have more time to spend on other things that actually matter in your life.