I was chatting with a friend the other day about the value of mindgames for mental health. Although many of us undertake them (Wordle most popularly) the science behind the benefits is misleading at least.
There is no harm in doing them, of course, but my argument was that (like TV game shows) they’ve mainly been developed to sell us stuff through advertising, not genuinely there to improve health and I, too, am no stranger to their draw and addiction.
The worry for myself was just how much of ‘life’ I was missing by doing these instead of, say, learning a language or a new skill like an instrument. I can’t help feeling that more and more, things these days are vying to occupy our attention and ‘dumb us down’ from the realities of life: a life that when faced full-on can be both challenging but also hugely rewarding.
I’ve recently tried not to taking my phone on dog walks (where possible) as a way of watching my addiction to its distraction, and it’s quite worrying just how much my brain urges me to reach for my (now empty) phone pocket. A true sign of addiction.
We all make our own life-choices, but I urge anyone who does anything regularly, to watch their own reactions when they miss a day or week of that activity. Just how much a game is playing us, or we’re playing a game only comes to light when we change the rules. Addiction comes in many forms and the difference between relaxation and obsession can be very fine.
More like this? Buy a copy of Mark’s A Year of Thoughts and Pictures here