Meditation is a mental training practice where practitioners learn to slow down racing thoughts, calm mind and body and let go of negativity through meditative techniques. Practicing mindful meditation means paying attention to the present moment so that you dwell in the here and now.
In recent months, many people who are self-isolating due to the beer coronavirus are reporting that they can achieve the goals of meditation through gaming. Playing no deposit bonus codes video and casino games, they say, keeps the gamer focused on what s/he’s doing and allows him/her to achieve the same level of calm acceptance as a session of mantra-humming or object-gazing.
In traditional meditation, the individual uses a technique to train his awareness and attention so that he can achieve an emotionally calm and mentally clear state of being. Meditation has a long history in many religions including as a part of Hinduism and Buddhism where it’s viewed as a spiritual practice whose goal is to lead the practitioner to self-realization and enlightenment.
Over the years, meditative techniques spread throughout different cultures and societies throughout the world. Some people use meditation to help them in non-spiritual contexts, such as for health or business. Others look to meditation to aid them in reducing pain and anxiety and in relieving stress and depression. The state of serenity that meditation can produce is has been shown to be beneficial for issues relating to neurological, cardiovascular and psychological functions.
In recent months the entire world has gone into self-isolation to lower incidences of COVID-19 – the coronavirus. The practice has been proven helpful in keeping new infections down to a number that the health care system can manage. Yet it also carries its own risks.
It has created feelings of loneliness which often causes depression. Loneliness can also exacerbate addictive disorders, cause changes to sleep patterns, cause changes to endocrine, neurocognitive and immune systems, exacerbate preexisting medical conditions and alter a person’s metabolism.
Mental health professionals offer advice to help people who are self-isolating. They include suggestions to
- Keep your immune system healthy with good food and supplements
- Avoid conflicts
- Structure your day to avoid boredom and worry
- Maintain social contacts
- Develop strategies to stay positive and focused on the good
Many practitioners of meditation note that by meditating, you can accomplish these goals. It’s suggested that an individual meditate at specific times of the day so that it’s possible to maintain a schedule. Meditation should involve summoning positive, empowering concepts so that the focus is on the good. You can join with others to meditate – in today’s coronavirus shutdown, you can join a meditation group on social media or a class via a Zoom session.
Some people are wondering if it’s possible to achieve the goals of meditation via a non-traditional activity. Many therapists are saying “yes” and are suggesting gaming as one such technique.
Gaming as Meditation
Meditation instructors, therapists and other mental health professionals suggest that digital gaming offers an alternative type of meditation that delivers the same benefits as the traditional “go-into-a-trance-and-think-about-such-and-such” meditative model.
Gaming even offers an advantage over traditional meditation – it’s harder to become distracted when you’re playing a game. You can’t look up, check your phone or think about something else because if you do, within seconds, you’ve lost your game. You pay attention to the game and to your thoughts and feelings while you play.
It may seem that gaming is an escape from reality as opposed to an opportunity to confront reality directly, but the goal of meditation is to step out of reality for a few minutes and put yourself in another space and time that will allow you feel more balanced when you return.
Gaming During Coronavirus Shutdown
Chris Ferguson, department chair of psychology at Stetson University, says that “Accumulating evidence suggests that playing video games isn’t really associated with negative outcomes.” It’s still important for children and adults to exercise and get their work and chores done, says Ferguson. But “as long as that’s all checked off, there are honestly no maximum limits on video game time, particularly as right now there might not be much else to do.”
So if you’re looking for a meditative exercise that will help you get through the outbreak, consider playing some games. According to Ferguson, you can play games on your own or play with via social media to fill the void of social interactions caused by the lockdowns. “Most humans just aren’t built for this,” Ferguson says. “Video games can be an excellent platform for getting social needs met. That was true pre-COVID, and that’s even more true when other avenues are largely cut-off.”
Obviously, not every game is appropriate if you’re planning on using your gaming activities as a meditative device. And, of course, not even all of those games that have a meditation “vibe” are right for this time period.
Mental health professionals suggest that you stick with games that engage without leading to obsession. Video games with just a couple of basic levels, or a slots game that has one or two bonus games, is a good option.
Subject matter is also important. You don’t want anything that’s going to depress, scare or alarm you. There are plenty of fun-filled slot machines at the online casinos that will amuse you without seemingly overly-childish. If you want to play a video game or a console game you would probably be wise to avoid the compelling virtual reality and augmented realitygames and stick to a more basic animal or community theme.
There’s a whole new list of “gentle” games on the market that help to keep players calm in a crisis. They’re the opposite of the fight-or-flight, goal-driven content that dominate the gaming industry but they offer the best tool to help you enter a meditative state through gaming entertainment.