Roughly more than three billion people play video games worldwide. This attests to the massive love for gaming. We play games to pass the time, be entertained, or earn money as professional gamers. However, gaming, like most fun activities, can be addictive, and with the diversity in the industry, many people are at risk of addiction.
Here are the top tips on how to overcome gaming addiction.
Admit That You Have a Problem
Admit that you have a bad gaming habit. If the gaming disorder has not yet been diagnosed by a professional, there are several signs you are suffering from gaming addiction, for example:
- Lack of interest in activities other than gaming
- Poor social life and alienation from family and friends
- Being preoccupied with playing games
- Withdrawal symptoms like stress and anger
- Poor school performance or even dropping out
- Fatigue and insomnia
Acceptance helps highlight the problem and seek help. In contrast, addicted gamers in denial never break from this toxic cycle. Practice introspection and self-reflection to find out the triggers, like bullying, and deal with them to prevent using games for escapism.
Optimize Your Time
Like any other addiction, gaming is not easy to beat and is a gradual process that requires effort and commitment. If you want to break free from addiction but not quit gaming, set up a schedule that details the specific but reduced amount of time you will play and stick to it. You can also download time management apps to help you regulate your screen time.
If you want to stop the addiction and gaming altogether, take the gradual reduction approach (as smoking addicts do) by limiting game time steadily until your urge to play can easily be suppressed.
Take a Break
Taking a break to engage in other activities is a good idea when signs of addiction start to show. This helps develop control over the habit and act whenever necessary. During your break, monitor your behavior to identify notable changes. Do you feel better, relieved, or at peace without it or not?
Cut the Cord Completely
Delete gaming apps and accounts on your devices. You can also put away your gaming gadgets. Some addicted gamers may opt to sell their gadgets, but this is not a good idea for pro gamers. Nevertheless, whichever way you go, this requires strong willpower. Hence, seek support from friends and family to avoid severe withdrawal or relapse.
The mental math games are all about the ability of thinking and solving a problem in your head. It builds that critical thinking in a child’s mind and makes him able to deduce solutions to different problems.
Seek Professional Help
Consider professional therapy to help you through the recovery process. Here are some viable options:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. A psychotherapist takes you through a recovery process where thoughts that lead to uncontrolled gaming are replaced with healthier thinking patterns.
- Wilderness therapy. A professional helps you cut off your gaming disorder by placing you in a natural setting without games, helping you to detox from technology, shift your focus, and develop an interest in other things.
- Family therapy. This strategy helps to address the effects of your gaming disorder on your relationship with your family.
- Group therapy. You will be put in a group of people with similar gaming compulsions.
Set your Priorities Straight
Ask yourself if gaming is worth your time. Think about your long-term goals and how compulsive gaming could hamper them. Understand that encouraging instant gratification can distract you from seeing the bigger picture. Therefore, set goals, work on them, and cut down on maladaptive habits like obsessive gaming.
However, if you want to be a professional gamer, your priorities may be different. Even so, pursuing a career as a professional gamer should not be an excuse for the excessive amount spent playing. Cut down on gaming if you see symptoms of addiction and try healthy outdoor activities instead.
Indulge in Hobbies with Friends and Family
Find time for other hobbies regularly. Go swimming, hiking, or dancing to shift your thought patterns from video games. Involving your friends and family in your leisure pursuits makes them more exciting, and replacing an exciting but addictive game with a healthier hobby may just be what you need.
Move from Virtual to Real-World Play
You can lace up your boots and head to the pitch to play your favorite outdoor sport. Due to a lack of confidence, some people prefer playing a sport virtually than on the field. However, think about shifting to a healthier real-life sport to beat gaming addiction. For instance, instead of playing NBA2K online, visit your neighborhood’s basketball court regularly and play or enjoy watching the game.
Make New Friends
The problem with a video game addiction is that it makes you socially adrift, all because of the many hours of isolation. This may make you live in a bubble with gaming as the only go-to activity. However, by making new friends, you can see different perspectives of life and shift your attention from gaming. Join a study group, start conversations with your schoolmates or coworkers, and attend functions to meet new people. Just don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t make friends from the beginning and don’t engage with just everyone you meet. Sometimes it’s better to be picky, as not everyone has good intentions. The better you know people, the easier it is to be around them. If you have concerns about your potential friends, find info about them on Nuwber.
Play Less Addictive Games
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are extremely addictive. Games like The Lord of the Rings and World of Warcraft are addictive MMORPGs because of the interaction with friends and the thrill of accomplishing missions or goals together. However, top non-MMORPGs like PUBG and Minecraft are also super addictive.
To win the fight against gaming addiction, opt for healthier, less addictive games. For example, quit MMORPGs and play Crosswords and Sudoku.
Even though many video games are beneficial in many ways, the contemporary programming of video games may be argued to be ‘evil.’ Video games are deliberately designed to be more addictive, raking in more profits for the owners.
Addiction is more psychological, according to researchers. Every time you play a video game, it stimulates a dopamine hit, creating a cycle of craving more gaming and eventually leading to addiction. This menace has ruined lives and even led to super serious consequences.
To beat addiction, you must have the willpower to take action. Most importantly, accept your addiction and start the recovery journey using the tips above.
1. What are some signs that indicate a video game addiction?
Video game addiction can be identified by certain signs, such as neglecting responsibilities and social relationships in favor of excessive gaming. Additionally, a persistent preoccupation with gaming, withdrawal symptoms when not playing, and unsuccessful attempts to quit or reduce gaming time can indicate a potential addiction.
2. What are some effective ways to beat a video game addiction?
Overcoming video game addiction can be achieved through various strategies. Seeking professional help, such as therapy or counseling, can provide valuable support and guidance. Additionally, setting clear boundaries and creating a structured schedule that includes alternative activities can help shift focus away from gaming and promote healthier habits and interests.
3. How can I make gaming less tempting?
To reduce the temptation of gaming, create a structured schedule with designated time for other activities, such as pursuing hobbies, engaging in physical exercise, or spending quality time with friends and family. Additionally, explore alternative forms of entertainment and diversify your interests to help shift your focus away from gaming.
4. How can parents help their children overcome video game addiction?
Parents can help their children overcome video game addiction by setting clear boundaries and limits on gaming time, encouraging and engaging them in a variety of offline activities, and fostering open communication to understand the underlying reasons for excessive gaming. Seeking professional guidance or support groups specializing in gaming addiction can also be beneficial for both the child and the parents.