Is it true that video games can make people happy?

Nowadays we spend more and more time in the digital world. In fact, our actual world is slowly turning into digital which brings a lot of positive changes to our daily life. However, there is still a stigma connected with video games. It is driven by the fear of a negative impact on the lives of both children and adults, and it does not matter if we are talking about violent scenarios or not. Think about it: any anti-social actions of people who often play video games or even simply like them will most likely be justified by the industry.

From the other side, if we look back, our fear seems to be natural and does not look like something we have not seen before. Similar concerns were actual when rock music appeared or when the world was introduced to comic books. People are generally careful and in most cases defensive when they see some new tendency, especially among younger people. Of course, some games, some music, and some books are not meant for all age groups, which leads us to an eternal question: Isn’t it important to have a balanced approach in every sphere?

To begin with, there are numerous proven benefits to playing video games regardless of their content. It looks like once a person focuses on a game, their stress level is dropping significantly, their mood improves and the level of confidence is growing. The latter is connected with the fact that the joy of winning in any sphere inevitably leads to an increase in the feeling of self-worth. Young people and teenagers also enjoy the benefits of playing in a social and communicational sense. This includes both the feeling of relatedness and the need to interact with other people in some of the types.

Moreover, research shows that in a randomized sample of adults diagnosed with clinical depression those who started playing video games reported positive changes and the reduction of stress level, anger, and tension. What is more important is that those results were reflected in their heart rate variability and brain activity. Similar research conducted with children had the same results: those kids who played on a moderate level showed better results in positive emotions, self-esteem, connections with family, and safe friendships than kids who were playing a lot or did not play at all. It looks like the wisdom of not overdoing works in every sphere regardless of age.

Also, now that we have more studies on the human brain, the scientific community started paying attention to what video games can actually do to assist people with adjusting to the fast-paced world we live in. First of all, there is good news for action game lovers: they improve your swift reaction to unpredictable circumstances, strategic thinking, and multitasking. Besides, those who play in general are more likely to identify distractions, which helps them to return to their main tasks quicker and procrastinate less.

This leads us to the conclusion that people who do video games have better focus. Such a crazy hypothesis has been proven by the French cognitive neuroscientist Daphne Bavelier who has accidentally started researching this topic and the impact of gaming on our brain activity. In her study she had both gamers and nongamers watch sequences of letters that would rapidly appear on the screen at the same time. The participants had to concentrate on one of the three pressing a button when numbers would come up and ignoring all the distractions. Their results and brain activity was recorded as they also had EEG headsets on. All the participants held their attention and focused on their sequences. However, those who played video games had far better reactions and scores. Wouldn’t it be nice to do better at work and be able to focus on the meaningful thanks to the actual fun time spent with friends?

To sum up, there’s more to video games than meets the eye. Playing several sets of your favorite one alone or with your friends spending a wise amount of your time can bring a lot of positive influence. Your stress will be gone, and the muscle of focus trained.

This article is provided by the experts of https://gammicks.com/, the website of exclusive up-to-date news from the video games and entertainment industry.

Why Dogs Make You Happy

A person generally tends to feel happier when they have something exciting to wake up to. Dogs do a great job of this with their wet nose and wagging tail ready to jump on you.

The excitement of a dog only increases when you get dressed and get hold of their leash. When you see happiness in someone else early in the morning, it generally tends to make your day beautiful as well.

It is why dogs are the perfect beings to make your life physically, mentally, and emotionally better.

Here are some ways in which dogs help you feel happy:

1. Love

Dog Love

Owning a dog is like welcoming a different kind of love into your life. Spending enough time with these fur babies by stroking or cuddling them can help increase your love hormone or Oxytocin. Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that makes your nervous system feel calm and loved. As a result, you build increasing levels of trust towards them.

2. Healthy and Fit

Healthy and Fit with a Dog

A dog comes with a lot of physical activity, which includes running with them, taking them out for a walk, and keeping them entertained. As a result, a dog owner tends to get very active with a healthy life. While your physical health can get better, your mood gets elevated as well. Dog owners hence have lower blood pressure and have reduced risks of heart diseases.

3. Social

Dog Walk

If you are an introvert, it can get uncomfortable to deal with other people in social situations. Your dog is the best savior in such circumstances. As social animals, they greet other dogs, and you are bound to exchange greetings with the dog owner as well. However, some of us may own a reactive dog, in which case you should train him to calm down in front of other dogs. Handling a reactive dog while in others’ presence may be embarrassing if you are unable to calm them and stop their barking or lunging. In such cases, it’s always best to seek help from online dog training lessons that can help you calm your dog to become his playful, lovable self. You may check out this article to learn more dog training programs focused on reactivity.

4. Lowered Stress

Lowered Stress with Dogs

Being near a dog and stroking it tends to control a person’s stress hormone. Many types of research have shown how people with frequent exposure to dogs tend to have lower stress levels. Along with this, taking your dogs to workplaces can also help lower your stress and of those around you. It enforces positive interactions and improves your recovery to your stress.

5. Improved Mood

Improved Mood with Dogs

Being a dog owner tends to help maintain a more optimistic view of life. While dogs can help you get over the temporary mood swings, they are proven to help you lessen the long-term anxiety and depression as well. One of the biggest reasons why a person feels much more elevated is because the interaction between a dog and a human goes straight to the heart and nurtures it in a caring manner.

Dogs do an excellent job of improving the quality of our lives. Their presence can instantly make a person feel grateful and positive. Although they do not seem to understand you, their behaviors towards you from their gestures will send the message either way. Make sure you treat them to their favorite snacks and appreciate their unconditional presence in your life.

How To Practice Gratitude For 30 Days

Find below some guidance about how to practice gratitude for 30 days in a simple way. Find here practical tips about how to practice gratitude for one month. Remember, gratitude is the field in which all positive emotions grow and flourish.

Gratitude is the multiplier of this world. Remember that gratitude contains, as an ingredient, the energy of joy. So when you practice gratitude, be careful to enjoy yourself. In fact, it is said that the joy you feel at the end of the gratitude practice is an indicator that you have practiced gratitude correctly.

How To Practice Gratitude For 30 Days

In order for you to practice gratitude for one month let yourself guided by the following list:

  1. Gratitude for my mother: Think of five things you are grateful for your mother.
  2. Gratitude for my father: Think of five things you are grateful for your father.
  3. Gratitude for my work: Think of five things you are grateful for your work.
  4. Gratitude for being alive: Think of five things you are grateful for being alive.
  5. Gratitude for the Earth (Terra): Think of five things you are grateful for the Earth (Terra).
  6. Gratitude for my boss: Think of five things you are grateful for your boss.
  7. Gratitude for my health: Think of five things you are grateful for your health.
  8. Gratitude for my past: Think of five things you are grateful for your past.
  9. Gratitude for my future: Think of five things you are grateful for your future.
  10. Gratitude for my body: Think of five things you are grateful for your body.
  11. Gratitude for my mind: Think of five things you are grateful for your mind.
  12. Gratitude for my soul: Think of five things you are grateful for your soul.
  13. Gratitude for my money: Think of five things you are grateful for your money.
  14. Gratitude for my thoughts: Think of five things you are grateful for your thoughts.
  15. Gratitude for who I am: Think of five things you are grateful for being exactly as you are.
  16. Gratitude for my home: Think of five things you are grateful for your home.
  17. Gratitude for my contribution to the world I live in: Think of five things you are grateful for the contribution you bring to the world you live in.
  18. Gratitude for the men in my life: Think of five things you are grateful for the the men in your life.
  19. Gratitude for the women in my life: Think of five things you are grateful for the the women in your life.
  20. Gratitude for my heart: Think of five things you are grateful for your heart.
  21. Gratitude for the hearts around the world: Think of five things you are grateful for the hearts of everybody around the world.
  22. Gratitude for my teachers: Think of five things you are grateful for the teachers in your life.
  23. Gratitude for today: Think of five things you are grateful for today.
  24. Gratitude for the air you breathe: Think of five things you are grateful for the air you breathe.
  25. Gratitude for my face: Think of five things you are grateful for the way your face looks.
  26. Gratitude for technology: Think of five things you are grateful for technology.
  27. Gratitude for harmony: Think of five things you are grateful for harmony.
  28. Gratitude for playfulness: Think of five things you are grateful for playfulness.
  29. Gratitude for animals: Think of five things you are grateful for animals.
  30. Gratitude for my relatives: Think of five things you are grateful for your relatives.

Every day, write on a sheet of paper the 5 reasons you are grateful. Consider the numbers in the above list related to a day in the month, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 … Day 30.

Share this practice with a friend and inspire him to do the practice of gratitude together with you.

8 Things You Can Do To Become Your Own Life Coach

Look around you. Everywhere you can see people performing better in their jobs, making smart career decisions and scaling the ladder of career success. But, what is their secret? The secret to becoming a better you is by hiring a life coach.

A life coach is a person who dedicates himself to addressing personal projects, business growth, and general conditions and changes in a person’s personal life and profession by examining what is currently going right, any challenges in the situation and henceforth, choosing a course of action to guide your life to what you want to become.

Unfortunately, many people don’t have the money to hire a life coach. What is the average man got to do then? Self-coaching? Yes. According to many experts, when you administer the right amount of professional coaching techniques to your own goals and experiences, you can be able to achieve whatever you want. You only need to apply discipline and dedication. So, how do you become your own life coach?

8 Things You Can Do To Become Your Own Life Coach

1. Meditate Deep Within Yourself

You cannot realize what you truly want if you do not know and understand what truly motivates you. You need to ask yourself;

  • What do I really want?
  • Why do I want it?
  • How long have I wanted it? Is it to please me, parents or friends?

When you answer these questions, you will find out what really drives you and what you really want to achieve. This will prevent you from chasing the wrong things that will not make you happy, or something that you do not really want. Once you set your target on your new goal, you will realize immense happiness and satisfaction in whatever you want to do.

2. Examine Your Life

Once you have meditated and found out what you truly want, you need to examine and re-examine all areas of your life. Where do you currently stand? Why do you need to address all areas of your life? Because you wholly want to develop yourself as a person, rather than one area of your life only. At the end of the day, you should not develop your career at the expense of your family, or prioritize your family at the expense of your career growth.

You must know that your life is interconnected. Your relationships will affect your work performance. Your health and fitness will affect your relationships and work performance. To be the best version of yourself, you need to ensure that all areas of your life are running smoothly.

3. Set Personal Goals

Now that you know yourself very well, especially the areas in your life that need improvement, sit down, and write the goals that you want to achieve. How do you come up with goals? First of all, they need to be SMART. The goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. You also need to have a manageable size of goals. Two or three is enough. Too many goals will prove to be a challenge to achieve.

Once you’ve set the goals, then you need to develop a strategy on how you will attain the goals. You need to develop a plan and stick to it.

4. Honesty and Accountability

Stop lying to yourself. The truth might be hard to hear, but you need to hear it. Ask yourself what has been holding you back. Remember, if you are not true to yourself, you will not realize your true potential. But, be honest in a positive way. Look at mistakes as an opportunity for growth. Look at challenges as stumbling blocks that you have to overcome.

Stop with the excuses. Acknowledge that you are in firm control of your success and failures. Accept defeats and mistakes, and make resolutions to turn around these areas.

5. Rewards

Positive reinforcement is a must if you want to boost your confidence and set your sights to higher targets. The advantage of being your own self-coach is that you know the rewards that will motivate you. Make sure it is something fun and appropriate. You cannot celebrate losing one kilogram of weight by taking a vacation, but you do so if say you’ve finally joined a team of professional writers among some of best websites available. It can be a movie or an ice cream treat or spending time with your family.

6. Evaluate Significant Relationships

Who are the people that really matter in your life, and how is your relationship with them? Do they trigger positive or negative reactions from you?

You may realize that there are people that only trigger negative responses from you. You need to cut them off as they will only criticize you, limit you and weigh you down. Positive relationships, on the other hand, can provide you with an endless pond of ideas, inspiration, opportunity and positive reinforcement. Along, the way, cultivate and develop new, meaningful relationships.

7. Have A Support Group

You need all the support you can. It can be your family, friends or colleagues. This will serve as a great motivation to achieving your goal. But, this can only work, if you do not prioritize your work over your family. In addition, they will keep you focused on productive activities.

8. Re-Evaluate Your Initial Strategy

Chances are, you won’t get it right at the first attempt. Along the way, you need to re-evaluate and adjust your initial strategy. Unforeseen problems may arise and you will need to make new plans to overcome them. Unforeseen opportunities may also arise and you need to take advantage of them. You also need to assess your achievements monthly. If the strategy is not leading you there, you will have to re-evaluate.

Don’t worry about failing the first time. Sit down and re-strategize until you come up with a plan that works perfectly.

These psychological tools will enable you to better yourself. Try it and re-adjust until you come up with something that works for you. The most important thing is to believe in yourself. If you don’t, then you are guaranteed to fail.

Diana-Beyer

Author΄s bio:  Diana Beyer is experienced and self-driven specialist who is passionate about writing. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth.

Happiness Secret for Women

Happiness Secret – Message to my future self: To be happy: wash your hair, buy a red rose, paint your nails with green, put on a nice dress, go in the sun and take your picture.

Your own happiness is your responsibility. You have the right to make things for yourself that generate the happiness energy in yourself. Never be ashamed of this or stop doing for yourself the things that you like. Take the time. Don’t listen to people that tell you different. You deserve to be happy in your own way. No approval for your happiness recipe is needed. Anytime you want, cook yourself a happiness meal.

Why Is Important To Take 10 Mindful Minutes And Do Nothing

Here is an incredible video from TED. The speaker is Andy Puddicombe. His speech is called “All it takes is 10 mindful minutes”. The following words are the transcript of this talk and at the end of this post, you will find the video. Enjoy below the speech!

Transcript of “All it takes is 10 mindful minutes”

We live in an incredibly busy world. The pace of life is often frantic, our minds are always busy, and we’re always doing something.

So with that in mind, I’d like you just to take a moment to think, when did you last take any time to do nothing? Just 10 minutes, undisturbed? And when I say nothing, I do mean nothing. So that’s no emailing, texting, no Internet, no TV, no chatting, no eating, no reading. Not even sitting there reminiscing about the past or planning for the future. Simply doing nothing. I see a lot of very blank faces. You probably have to go a long way back.

And this is an extraordinary thing, right? We’re talking about our mind. The mind, our most valuable and precious resource, through which we experience every single moment of our life. The mind that we rely upon to be happy, content, emotionally stable as individuals, and at the same time, to be kind and thoughtful and considerate in our relationships with others. This is the same mind that we depend upon, to be focused, creative, spontaneous, and to perform at our very best in everything that we do. And yet, we don’t take any time out to look after it. In fact, we spend more time looking after our cars, our clothes and our hair than we — okay, maybe not our hair, but you see where I’m going.

The result, of course, is that we get stressed. You know, the mind whizzes away like a washing machine going round and round, lots of difficult, confusing emotions, and we don’t really know how to deal with that. And the sad fact is that we are so distracted that we’re no longer present in the world in which we live. We miss out on the things that are most important to us, and the crazy thing is that everybody just assumes, that’s the way life is, so we’ve just kind of got to get on with it. That’s really not how it has to be.

So I was about 11 when I went along to my first meditation class. And trust me, it had all the stereotypes that you can imagine, the sitting cross-legged on the floor, the incense, the herbal tea, the vegetarians, the whole deal, but my mom was going and I was intrigued, so I went along with her. I’d also seen a few kung fu movies, and secretly I kind of thought I might be able to learn how to fly, but I was very young at the time. Now as I was there, I guess, like a lot of people, I assumed that it was just an aspirin for the mind. You get stressed, you do some meditation. I hadn’t really thought that it could be sort of preventative in nature, until I was about 20, when a number of things happened in my life in quite quick succession, really serious things which just flipped my life upside down and all of a sudden I was inundated with thoughts, inundated with difficult emotions that I didn’t know how to cope with. Every time I sort of pushed one down, another one would pop back up again. It was a really very stressful time.

I guess we all deal with stress in different ways. Some people will bury themselves in work, grateful for the distraction. Others will turn to their friends, their family, looking for support. Some people hit the bottle, start taking medication. My own way of dealing with it was to become a monk. So I quit my degree, I headed off to the Himalayas, I became a monk, and I started studying meditation.

People often ask me what I learned from that time. Well, obviously it changed things. Let’s face it, becoming a celibate monk is going to change a number of things. But it was more than that. It taught me — it gave me a greater appreciation, an understanding for the present moment. By that I mean not being lost in thought, not being distracted, not being overwhelmed by difficult emotions, but instead learning how to be in the here and now, how to be mindful, how to be present.

I think the present moment is so underrated. It sounds so ordinary, and yet we spend so little time in the present moment that it’s anything but ordinary. There was a research paper that came out of Harvard, just recently, that said on average, our minds are lost in thought almost 47 percent of the time. 47 percent. At the same time, this sort of constant mind-wandering is also a direct cause of unhappiness. Now we’re not here for that long anyway, but to spend almost half of our life lost in thought and potentially quite unhappy, I don’t know, it just kind of seems tragic, actually, especially when there’s something we can do about it, when there’s a positive, practical, achievable, scientifically proven technique which allows our mind to be more healthy, to be more mindful and less distracted.

And the beauty of it is that even though it need only take about 10 minutes a day, it impacts our entire life. But we need to know how to do it. We need exercise. We need a framework to learn how to be more mindful. That’s essentially what meditation is. It’s familiarizing ourselves with the present moment. But we also need to know how to approach it in the right way to get the best from it. And that’s what these are for, in case you’ve been wondering, because most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind, but actually, it’s quite different from that. It’s more about stepping back, sort of seeing the thought clearly, witnessing it coming and going, emotions coming and going without judgment, but with a relaxed, focused mind.

So for example, right now, if I focus too much on the balls, then there’s no way I can relax and talk to you at the same time. Equally, if I relax too much talking to you, there’s no way I can focus on the balls. I’m going to drop them. Now in life, and in meditation, there’ll be times when the focus becomes a little bit too intense, and life starts to feel a bit like this. It’s a very uncomfortable way to live life when you get this tight and stressed. At other times, we might take our foot off the gas a little bit too much, and things just become a sort of a little bit like this. Of course in meditation — we’re going to end up falling asleep. So we’re looking for a balance, a focused relaxation where we can allow thoughts to come and go without all the usual involvement.

Now, what usually happens when we’re learning to be mindful is that we get distracted by a thought. Let’s say this is an anxious thought. Everything’s going fine, and we see the anxious thought. “Oh, I didn’t realize I was worried about that.” You go back to it, repeat it. “Oh, I am worried. I really am worried. Wow, there’s so much anxiety.” And before we know it, right, we’re anxious about feeling anxious.

You know this is crazy. We do this all the time, even on an everyday level. If you think about the last time you had a wobbly tooth. You know it’s wobbly, and you know that it hurts. But what do you do every 20, 30 seconds?

It does hurt. And we reinforce the storyline, right? And we just keep telling ourselves, and we do it all the time. And it’s only in learning to watch the mind in this way that we can start to let go of those storylines and patterns of mind. But when you sit down and you watch the mind in this way, you might see many different patterns. You might find a mind that’s really restless and — the whole time. Don’t be surprised if you feel a bit agitated in your body when you sit down to do nothing and your mind feels like that. You might find a mind that’s very dull and boring, and it’s just, almost mechanical, it just seems it’s as if you’re getting up, going to work, eat, sleep, get up, work. Or it might just be that one little nagging thought that just goes round and round your mind.

Well, whatever it is, meditation offers the opportunity, the potential to step back and to get a different perspective, to see that things aren’t always as they appear. We can’t change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way that we experience it. That’s the potential of meditation, of mindfulness. You don’t have to burn any incense, and you definitely don’t have to sit on the floor. All you need to do is to take 10 minutes out a day to step back, to familiarize yourself with the present moment so that you get to experience a greater sense of focus, calm and clarity in your life.