There’s no doubt that gaming is one of life’s great pleasures. What greater joy is there than the feeling of finally winning a PvP deathmatch after finding the one player who always camps until the end (you know who you are)? Unfortunately, gaming isn’t always a pleasurable experience. Like any game, in video games, there are winners and losers, and you can’t always win. The frustration of losing over and over, oftentimes to poor winners who mock you in the chat, can be immensely difficult not to lose your temper over.
Anger over a video game when it’s supposed to be the thing to calm you down can be very frustrating, and even make you not want to play anymore. This phenomenon, known as rage-quitting, is very common in competitive individuals who play video games. Yet, getting upset over a video game is only hurting yourself. Your opponent can’t see or hear you, and attacking them over in-game chat just hurts your own mental health even more. Fortunately, with a few simple tricks, you can help to keep gaming enjoyable for yourself — without wasting your mental energy on random trolls on the internet.
Recognize Your Emotions
When playing any game, it can be difficult for competitive players to keep track of their own emotional cues while they’re embroiled in the pursuit of victory. However, letting your emotions run without keeping them in check can quickly cause you to get yourself worked up over nothing. It’s important to try to remain mindful of your own emotional state so that you can stay in a healthy mindset while you game.
When you experience strong emotions, your body reacts in various physical ways. Anger tends to manifest through quickening breath, tightened muscles, and a desire to chuck your controller through the screen. When you feel yourself getting angry, it’s important that you recognize your emotions and start trying to calm yourself down. There’s no point in getting upset over strangers on the internet. Take a break if you have to. By recognizing when you’re getting angry and frustrated, you can stop yourself from doing anything you’ll regret.
Disengage From Trolls
Trolls are a scourge in the online gaming world, intentionally harassing and mocking other gamers in order to get a rise out of them. Online trolls only want to waste your time and get your attention. In fact, many internet trolls exhibit narcissistic personality disorder symptoms, and they thrive on riling others up to get a rise out of them. However, don’t let yourself succumb to their spiteful antics.
While trolls are inevitable, all engaging with them does is provide them with the attention they seek and cause you to get all worked up, just to drain your own emotional energy. Just because someone taunts you doesn’t mean you can’t ignore them. Instead of letting yourself be drawn into a verbal duel with an internet troll, simply ignore them and avoid a conflict that’ll ruin your mood for nothing.
Prepare Calming Techniques
Another way you can help keep your emotions in check when gaming is by being prepared to cool yourself down with some calming techniques. If you feel your emotions running out of control, it’s a good idea to take a break and try some breathing exercises. By doing so, not only will you be able to continue gaming without the hindrance of pent-up emotions, but you’ll also be able to play better with a calmer state of mind, making sure you won’t make any foolish mistakes.
Avoid Having Expectations
A common source of anger and frustration when it comes to competitive video games is having unrealistic expectations for your teammates. While it can definitely be annoying when others aren’t putting in as much effort as you in a team game, it also unnecessarily ruins your enjoyment of the game if you spend the whole time upset with your teammates for failing to perform as well as you.
Ultimately, gaming should be fun. If you’re not having fun or if gaming is making you not want to play anymore, then what’s the point? Instead of obsessing over your teammates, simply try your best and encourage others to do the same. You’ll have a lot more fun playing together, and chances are your teammates will perform better without being yelled at in the chat as well.
Don’t Game Angry
Finally, while gaming can be a fantastic source of catharsis and relaxation, it can also be frustrating. Many people resort to gaming when they’re having real-life frustrations or anxieties, and losing at a video game can add to these pre-existing emotional troubles. Instead of turning to video games when you’re upset, try calming down first. Maybe go for a walk, or talk to a friend. Gaming should be enjoyable, and you won’t be able to enjoy anything if all you’re doing is putting yourself in a worse mood.
While gaming can be incredibly fun, it’s no secret that gaming can also be frustrating and stressful. Hopefully, these tips help you to continue gaming with a more positive attitude. By practicing mindfulness when you begin to feel upset during a video game, you can more easily calm yourself down and continue playing and performing at your best, instead of draining your own energy over nothing or feeling like you don’t even want to keep playing. Emotional health is important and should always take priority, even when you game.