Video games and mindfulness – By @jacobdefig

By Jacob De Figueiredo

Video games and mindfulness. 


The question that floats around the room most and something I’ve never fully got the grasp of is the concept of mindfulness. Still not sure what it is. Part of me believes it’s just enjoying your life and feeling content with yourself but somehow has become a practice. I think when you try and sit down and actually do mindfulness for a set period of time. You’ll find it difficult because you’re forcing yourself to tune out of the world which feels kinda unproductive. But as you can probably tell, I have no idea what I’m talking about. 


I found the best way to try and zone out from the world and take some time to collect yourself and your thoughts is to find what you already enjoy doing and tailor that to fit your mindfulness routine. 


I’ve narrowed it down to the three things that make me feel truly at peace when I partake in them.


Number 1: Cooking


I used to bloody love cooking. I spent 2 years of my life cooking every single day and trying out all kinds of funky elaborate recipes and leaving a trail of destruction as I tried to figure out how to make chicken liver pate which I’ll inevitably store in the fridge and never touch again. Cooking is on this list though because it made me truly happy. It gave me a goal every day to achieve and the smells and sights of the meals I used to try and create would make me feel more in tune with what was going on. (Which sounds like proper mindfulness to me.) A meal would usually average me around 2 hours and I’d enjoy every second of the process. There’s no better feeling than making a delicious meal for a loved one. That being said, I was once asked to do a dinner party for my mates. None of us had ever done a dinner party before so it was a disaster from the get-go. As I was cooking enchiladas for the gang, they all decided to get steadily more and drunker as the night went on. I turned around after about an hour of cooking and one of my mates was clenching a glass screaming until it smashed and cut his hand open. Blood spurted out all over the floor and the rest of them let out battle cries and danced around it whilst my poor enchiladas went completely under the radar and burned to a crisp during the chaos of it all. 



Number 2: Doing a poo. 


Doing a poo had to make its way on to my list of mindful actives because it’s the only time where I feel safe. Nobody can hurt me whilst I’m doing a poo. For those few minutes, it’s just me and the toilet. Nobody can ask anything of me because guess what, I can’t physically move or do anything else. Maybe I’ll have a scroll through my phone. Maybe I’ll look at the writing on the back of the cubical door. Maybe I’ll just sit and listen to the awkward small talk that takes place in the men’s toilets. I’m the captain of this ship and no one can tell me otherwise. I’ll set sail across the plains of my own mind and land in unfamiliar territories. I can’t pay a bill on the toilet. Can’t do any work what so ever. Sometimes I wish I could just stay there forever. I’ve started weeing whilst sitting down as a proper perv just to prolong my time in this forcefield I’ve created. Nothing better. This might be the top one you know how I think about it. 



Number 3: Playing Video Games


My true love. Video games. Every day I’m alive is just a series of tasks to try and outrun the voice in my head that wants to lie in bed and play video games all day. Sometimes I dream about them and actually feel sad when I wake up. Recently I’ve got into a game called Runescape, which I’m sure many of you remember as the game you played when you were 10 years old and probably left it there and then. Well, not me. I’m still going strong. The premise of this game is that you basically level up your character in a fictional world with loads of different players. There’s no real objective to the game. You just kinda click and develop irrational attachments to the pixels on the screen. I’ve spent hours and hours on end mindlessly clicking away catching fish and slaying goblins without any real purpose and I think to myself, “You know what, this might be the greatest thing on earth.” It’s a constant dopamine hit when you see your little character game some levels. I like to think video games are mindful. They make me feel happy and they take me out of the stresses of the real world and into something much more magical, where I control my own fate and only have to please myself. That’s my kinda world. Some nerd called Richard J Davidson says that “Video games can enhance our brains to improve focus and lead to increased mindfulness and lead to even ‘greater kindness’”. Not sure what that means, but you know ya boy de fig is into that. 


Thanks for reading these ramblings. 


Jacob xx

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