So I have taken up playing brain games at lumosity.com lately. I’m enjoying it and getting back into using my ipod touch for learning things. I am training my memory, speed, flexibility, and problem-solving skills. Or at least I think I am. Either way, it’s games and I like games and I like competing with others and I want to be in the toppest of tiers when it comes to comparing my scores on the games.
I like learning how to be better at the games.
I learn by finding ways to improve and things to cease doing that are a detriment to my success.
A lot of the games include a limit of time.
That limit of time can be perceived as pressure. The pressure can be felt as shortness of breath or tightness.
It can also be exciting and fun.
It depends on the state of mind.
My goal is not only to play for great scores, but to do what feels best and works best. Being relaxed and focused and excited works better than being anxious and worried that I may fail.
We have a choice in how we experience things.
Repetitive and simple games with infinite levels of potential difficulty provide opportunity for mastery.
The game I play in the video is called Raindrops. In it, math problems fall down like raindrops and you must solve before they hit the water at the bottom of the screen.
Eventually way more raindrops will fall than you can possibly solve so you can try to solve as many as possible, but you will lose.
This in itself should relax you to some extent since if you were expecting to “win” or “live forever” you will not get this, so why be frustrated about not getting what you couldn’t get?
Frustration happens from not getting something you think you deserve or expect.
Otherwise, why not be frustrated about not being able to fly?
Clearly flying would be awesome, you should want awesome things, and so you should want to fly. If you don’t get what you want, then you should be frustrated, right?
So, given that you won’t be able to fly, or solve all the puzzles in the world, while you’re playing you might as well either do your best or do what’s the most fun, because either way you won’t “beat the game”.
Use the game to help you grow.
Use the game to help you learn how you think and how you can innovate.
It’s surprising what kind of innovations can come from what are seemingly completely simple repetitive games.
Here’s a trick someone else found:
Once there are too many problems, he just types random numbers knowing that they will solve some of the equations and then tries to put in the answer for the “sun” which is a special problem that will burst all the problems on the screen.
He managed to get over 23,000,000 points using this method. Thoroughly beating my 14,000.
If the goal was to get the most points, he would clearly be the winner. I can imagine someone trying really hard to get to 30,000 points by actually trying to solve each equation as opposed to just throwing up answers, when random answers actually is the superior strategy.
You might argue that random numbers doesn’t teach you quick mental math (and you’re right), but if the point is to beat the game without cheating, then the random answer plus solving for the “sun” method is superior and perhaps the best.
It reminds me of the idea of whether you’d like to be right (stubborn) or win (flexible). Having a clear goal of beating the game ought to teach you flexibility in your actions since you will realize that doing the same things again and again will not yield different results.
- Learn how to be more relaxed and you will improve.
- Learn how to be more focused and you will improve
- Commit more useful facts to memory and you will improve
- Analyze your mechanics (are you sitting right, are you looking at the screen, are you using a mouse etc…) and you may find ways to improve
- Discover if the sound effects help or hurt you
- Discover if music is helpful
- See if your inner thoughts are focused or if you’re prone to distraction easily
These are all things you can apply during the games.
So why share this on my vision and relaxation website… ?
Because It’s valuable to get tangible external results that are reflective of your current mood/mindset/mental facilities.
Do you find yourself being able to be fully relaxed during a game? Maybe you are not at first but after a few tries and just focusing on the game and being relaxed, you find that you succeed to do so.
Learning to transition from being tense playing a game to being relaxed or excited playing a game is a very useful transformation.
Think about it.
When teaching people about how to be more relaxed, most of the time I’m trying to teach people about how to relax… when they think and feel that they ought to be relaxed!
I’m not trying to teach people how to relax while their house is on fire.
The problem of being stressed or tense, is that you feel stressed and tense when you don’t think that you should be.
You’re just with family. You’re just with friends. You’re just home alone.
AND YOU’RE TENSE
You’re just sitting in your chair..
AND YOU’RE STRESSED
Yet, you are watching tv or youtube. You’re chatting on facebook. You’re surfing the net.
So why should you be tense or stressed?
Well, it’s likely a subconscious breathing and movement (or restricted movement) pattern, and games that can excite you or potentially stress you out and alter your breathing are a perfect way for you to consciously enter the state of stress, BUT with the ability of being able to fully process your feelings since it is just you and the game.
We’ll talk more about the difference between game stress and real life stress and how learning how to process and overcome game stress will help you not only prevent real life stress, but help you process it, and deal with it as it arises in more beneficial winning ways.
Until then, don’t stress about a little rain. A little rain might do you a lot of good.