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4 Keys to Mental Health in Gaming: The basics of staying untilted

Mindset and mental health influences how we think, feel and behave every second of our daily life. It also involves our ability to deal with stress and overcome challenges like continuing to grind even if we die at the very end of a raid.

In the end – by having better mental health and the ability to control our emotions – we can be more positive and energetic as gamers in our streaming lifestyle. So first of all – we should think of mental health as not just the absence of mental health problems (it is much more than being free of depression, anxiety or other psychological issues) and more the presence of positive characteristics such as

  1. Being content with your life, having the ability to laugh and have fun in life
  2. Having the ability to deal with stress and rebound from adversity (de-ranking 🙁 )
  3. Having a sense of meaning and purpose in both gaming and our relationships
  4. The flexibility to learn new things
  5. Balancing work and play: Work hard, game hard.

Today I want to help you guys understand what it means to be mentally healthy we here at 1HP believe there are four keys to a healthy mindset in gaming.

But first…

Mental Toughness in Esports – The key to peak performance in gaming

While mentality is important for our basic health – but it is even more important for performance in gaming. At the highest level in all professional esports – I’m talking about the top 5% – mechanical skill often varies minimally. It is the difference in mental toughness and fortitude which sets the good from the great and the great from the legendary. 

Being able to perform and cope with stressful situations, avoiding distractions in a cue-heavy environment, demonstrating discipline and consistent hard-work in practice, rebounding from performance setbacks, etc. etc. – These are the “small things” which we often forget in both traditional sports and esports which the greatest consistently consider.

It is a quality we work heavily on over at CLG, especially the smash players. SFAT and Void put in significant time and effort to develop their mental toughness through continued self-development (and emphasis on developing mental strategies for high pressure situations), competitive practice and more.

4 Keys to Mental Health in Gaming: The Foundation for Untilting

1. Managing your Emojis or Emotions as a Gamer

Managing your emotions means not only dealing with stressful situations but understanding your emotions during these situations in order to guide your own actions. 

Instead of tilting when your teammate feeds, have unlucky RNG, when you don’t rank up after winning four solid games in a row being able to… understand the thought process of your emotion and being able to redirect your thought process to a more solution-focused pattern

What do I mean by that? Well let me give you an example. Let’s say we have a teammate who is either toxic or inting mid. Do we tilt and double int with him/her?? No. please no. For many of us, our first thought is… “damn i’m so unlucky, why is this guy inting” usually accompanied by some anger and frustration. Thoughts often lead to our emotional response. 

This usually affects our play negatively and leads to us making careless decisions (and tunneling our focus). A more healthy thought process (and this means actively making yourself think this when you encounter this situation) would be –

Hey its out of my control, X is what I need to do next to improve this state of the game.”

X being whatever you need to do in your game to increase your chances of winning. Focus on a solution, not the problem.  And yes while it is easy for me to say developing these strategies is a process which takes dedication. And one of the best ways is to really explore your emotions is to reflect. That means talking to someone about it to get perspective or just taking the time to reflect. It’s a skill – and you need to put some attribute points in it to level it up.

1HP Code: Reflect on your emotions, talk to someone and explore…Meditation. It is by far my favorite tool for reflection and general awareness of our thought patterns. Headspace and Insight Timer are two great resources for guided meditations to help you guys get started.

2. Understanding your Thoughts and Purpose – What is important to us as gamers?

This means to understand yourself more thoroughly. As corny as it sounds – figure out what is most important to you. What gives you meaning and purpose? Not what everyone else tells you is important. Not what society tells you, but what YOU really love and enjoy doing.

And it is okay for it to be gaming. We are gamers and we’re an awesome community. That is why you are here.

It’s something I feel people rarely take the time to think about because we’re constantly in this hustle of going to school, getting a degree, working hard to get a job and then working 9 to 5 until we retire. Our society often doesn’t promote independent thought. and that’s what I want you to realize – think for yourself! Take the time to really think things over – don’t be lazy, it’s your life.

1HP Code: Sit down and take the time to really think about what is important to you. Know your own values. Do not let media tell you what is important. Again, utilize meditation as a medium to better understand your own thought process and be more mindful of everything around you.

3. Social Connection – Community and Relationships are King in Gaming

We are meant to be social creatures and we thrive when we have a great support system or relationships. This has been shown consistently in the research out there and the results of one of them especially stood out to me: Those with lower levels of involvement in relationships are more likely to DIE than those with greater involvement. So… let’s  NOT die and be each other’s support mains so we can continue to level up in life. 

What is great is that Twitch is inherently a way to connect others who love gaming… despite how toxic the chat can be some time.

1HP Code: Remember. We’re not meant tolive in isolation and our brains crave companionship. So make it a priority to have face-to-face connection.  CALL A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER RIGHT NOW TO TALK FOR 5 minutes. And make this a priority every day. Have a deeper conversation than just “how are you” “good, you?” 

This is a real thing. Its great but for some reason this is hilarious to me

4. PHYSICAL HEALTH – Better movement, better mentality in gaming

The majority of what we preach here on 1HP – Live better, game better. Dedicate time to your nutrition, sleep and physical conditioning to improve your mental health and well being. All of these have been shown to make a positive impact in your ability to deal with stress or overall cognitive functioning, especially exercise. As we have discussed in some of our previous articles – exercise specifically improves our ability to tolerate stress, reduces fatigue, improves alertness/concentration, releases endorphins (chemicals which act as natural painkillers) among many other benefits.

1HP Code: Make your physical health a priority – dedicate time to your nutrition, sleep, health and exercise

The Bottom Line: In Gaming its about Thoughts, Emotions, Relationships and Physical Health 

Those are the four tips! Consider your emotions, really understand them. Understand your thought patterns and your own purpose as a gamer in this community. Explore the relationships which are most important to you and live a healthy lifestyle for your physical health.

By the way.. I’d like to say there are already some great resources out there already for this and I want to shoutout the homies over at Anxiety Gaming doing great things for the community with regards to mental health. They are a great resource and for those dealing with any anxiety depression or are just more curious about mental health in gaming – go ahead and check them out!

Share this if you know someone who can benefit form learning any of these four tips

Until next, time…

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