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Your mood determines your game

As well as your reflexes and reaction times, you need to create the right mindset for gaming – learn how your mood affects your performance

What is a mood?

A mood is an affective state or distinctive emotional quality or character of feeling one has at a particular time; a frame of mind towards an activity or thing. Unlike emotions or feelings, moods are less specific, not as intense, and not as likely to have been aggravated by a specific event, person, or stimulus. Moods can be typically reported as positive or negative – people say they are in a good mood or a bad mood.

While we know the benefits of gaming on our happiness and mental health, as we grow and get older, every part of us grows also gets older, especially our brains! We all know what it means to be mentally tired, have moments of memory loss, and have the occasional foggy brain when making decisions – it’s perfectly normal for our reaction times to be slower, especially under stressful conditions and an ever-increasing busy life.

Your mood determines your game

Types of mood

  1. Anxious mood

Where you feel on edge, fearful, irritable, overwhelmed, nervous, panicky, restless, tense, or worried. It’s difficult to relax or control your thoughts, and they drift to negative areas of anxiety, fear, and worry. You struggle to get to sleep and stay asleep.

  1. Brightly elevated mood

Feeling euphoric and happy, you have faster thoughts, laugh more, and feel more motivated. You make more plans, are more active and you have more ideas. Self-confidence is up and thoughts are processing more quickly. Sleep is less necessary so you sleep less, but you’re running on high, positive energy, and creativity is boosted.

  1. Darkly elevated mood

Feeling agitated, distracted, and impatient, you struggle to focus or get to sleep. It’s difficult to make wise choices when in this state, and often tempting to self-medicate with stimulants – legal or illegal.

  1. Depressed mood

You feel down, guilty, low, negative, pessimistic, sad, and tired. Struggling to see the good in life, people, the situation, and the world. This can radically affect your eating and sleeping patterns, which can seriously damage your mental and physical health. Playing when angry makes you a worse player.

  1. Empty mood

Experiencing feelings of emptiness, a lack of pleasure, and lacking purpose or meaning in our lives are common symptoms of an empty mood. In our ever-evolving modern society, it’s extremely common for most people to experience this at some stage of their lives. Our inescapable consumer and social media culture clash to create an unhealthy appetite for more and more – and leave little escape from the madness.

  1. Irritable mood

It’s easy to get annoyed or wound up by little things when you find yourself in this state. Like a short fuse, quick to become angry or argumentative. You’re more likely to get frustrated or distressed by things or people that wouldn’t have been as upsetting if you were in a better mind.

  1. Mixed state

It’s very difficult to concentrate in this state, and you may feel tired and wired at the same time – yet not creative, euphoric, or productive. Sleep is a mission and a half, and highly irregular when it comes.

How to optimize your mood for gaming

It’s clear that being in a bad mood is not suitable for gaming performance; anger and confusion rise and costly mistakes are made. In competition, this is all the more detrimental, as mental and physical fatigue combines with stress and tension to create an almost guaranteed failure.

For the gamer in your life to be, and stay on top of their game, they simply have to take care of themselves. Neither their mental nor physical health can be ignored if they are truly pursuing excellence, want to win, and keep winning. Maintaining a healthy environment, mind, and body creates a healthy and superior gamer. Here are 9 tips on how to improve your mood for gaming:

  • Breathing exercises

Breathing deeply and slowly can help to reduce anxiety and stress. Taking a breath more deeply from the stomach results in a calmer central nervous system. Making this a part of their daily practice will benefit any gamer to a huge degree.

  • Meditation

Similar to the above, by slowing down and focusing the mind into a calm, undisturbed state, the regular practice of meditation is renowned for improving mood. Just taking 5 or 10 minutes before a competition or stressful game, or even while on a break, will result in positive changes in your gamer’s moods.

  • Eat properly

It’s crucial to make good choices when it comes to fuel for gaming so eating well before a competition should be common sense. Yes, Cheetos and chocolate taste amazing, and the buzz is pretty awesome too, but all those additives, artificial sugars, and flavors combine to give your system a bumpy ride. Choose fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds over E numbers.

  • Optimize your space

The gamer who takes the time to analyze and plan the best use of their gaming space and surrounding environment is the gamer more likely to be, and stay in, a good mood. Opening a window and allowing some light in, while stocking the space with an ergonomic chair and mouse, noise-canceling headphones, and no 3rd party music maximizes the chances of them being in a positive mood.

  • Stay hydrated

Dehydration has been shown in numerous studies to substantially diminish cognitive performance, lower concentration, and affect motor skills. Positive hand-eye coordination and decision-making speeds are all vital for gaming success and a positive mood.

  • Take breaks, especially toilet breaks

A natural need after following the point above. While “to pee, or not to pee” has been a great debate over the years, the fact remains – if the bladder is full, then it’s only natural that the brain is going to be focusing attention and energy into activating the bladder muscles to ‘hold the fort’.

  • Go outside and exercise

Without regular access to fresh air or natural light, gamers can suffer from poor sleep, resulting in slower decision-making and reflexes. Nature helps to restore our attention abilities so it’s clear to see differences in players and their performance. All body workouts are great, especially when topped up with strength training of the joints and hand muscles.

  • Sleep well

Mood affects sleep, and sleep affects mood. Lack of sleep means lower, irritable moods the next day. Research has shown that people who are deprived of sleep describe a lack of positive mood and feelings, yet an increase in anger, frustration, and sadness

  • Take high-quality, natural supplements

With so much research and evidence available showing the benefits of taking natural supplements, especially high-quality, natural supplements, it’s a no-brainer to add this to your gamer’s daily standards for achieving optimal performance. From boosting dopamine levels to improving focus, there are a plethora of reasons for going natural.

The gamers who make these 9 positive choices are sure to benefit in numerous ways. Granted, some of them are very difficult to master and will take dedication and effort, just like a game. So approach it like a game; accept the challenge, commit to a daily practice and chart the results.

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