After you quit gaming it’s common to experience feelings of nostalgia, and this can be a problem because these emotions create cravings to play.
One of the reasons why this happens is because gaming meant something to you, and you can acknowledge that. You don’t need to shy away and pretend gaming wasn’t meaningful to you, it was, but that also doesn’t mean you need to continue to play.
I still experience this from time to time too, even though I haven’t played a video game in over 1600 days. One day in particular stands out for me recently.
I was laying in bed and for whatever reason, I started to remember all the good times I had playing games. I was thinking about one game in particular, I couldn’t remember the name but I knew it started with a G.
A few days later I was answering questions on the StopGaming subreddit, and one members story featured the game I was thinking of a few nights before.
Immediately I could feel my emotions intensify and I began to get a craving to play.
This was no good, right?
Well, although it wasn’t great to have this experience, I was able to overcome it and I didn’t give in to my temptations. And this happened because I knew how to respond in the moment, and that’s what I want to share with you today.
Before I get into the steps you can take to deal with nostalgia, it’s important to remember that your life is going to go through different phases. Growing up I played a lot of hockey, and then I retired at the age of 18 and that phase was finished. This is no different than the various groups of friends I’ve been a part of throughout my life and how that changes too.
Gaming was also a phase in your life.
You’re going to go through many different phases, and that’s ok. They all mean something unique to you and that’s part of the magic of life. Don’t get too caught up in comparing them to each other.
The sooner you accept this the sooner you’ll experience less stress and anxiety in your life. The more you worry, the more anxiety you experience on a daily basis the more nostalgia you’ll have, because it’s a way of escaping the present moment.
Anytime you experience nostalgia, try and pay attention to the state you’re in in the moment, because this will give you an indication of whether you’re just remembering the good times and different phases of your life or you’re anxious and trying to escape the moment.
Here are the three steps you can take to deal with gaming nostalgia:
1. Do a gratitude journal.
To do it, write down some things you’re grateful for. I like to go for ten. This will help recenter yourself and help you focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t. Gratitude is scientifically proven to help you experience more optimism, joy and reduce stress.
2. Stop comparing: then to now.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
When you compare which phase of your life is better than the other it’s only going to make you feel bad, which is the opposite of what we’re trying to experience. Your life has phases, it’s ok and neither is better or worse than the other because they are all part of your life story.
3. Always be exploring.
Be adventurous and create new memories every day, every week, every month, every year to be nostalgic about.
So I hope that helps you guys out and if you want to live a life of more adventure, take the Game Quitters Challenge. This is a 30 day challenge I’ve designed intentionally with the latest scientific research to help you become the type of person you want to be, by developing skills in Courage, Discipline, Social Intelligence, Contribution and Tenacity.