So you’ve quit gaming and chosen new activities but compared to gaming you find them to be completely boring. What do you do? Are you just someone who doesn’t enjoy other things like some other people? Are you just meant to be a gamer? Find out:
I love this question because it’s easily one of the biggest struggles you go through when you quit gaming, and it’s common to create a story around it that you are just passionate about gaming and not other things, when this isn’t completely true.
In fact, there are real reasons why you find other activities to be boring that have nothing to do you you at all and have everything to do with the way your brain interacts with gaming.
So there are two main reasons why this is happening and it has to do with your environment and your physiology.
I started playing games when I was 11 years old so other than going to school and playing hockey, gaming was really the only other activity I ever put any focus or energy into. So it’s not that gaming was the only activity I was passionate about, it was simply the only activity I knew.
And passion takes time to develop, it’s not automatic, so with your new activities you need to give the more of a chance and make sure you challenge yourself with them. Apply the seven principles I shared in What If Gaming Is The Only Thing That You’re Good At? and that will help too.
This comes from research that overexposure to gaming due to the dopamine overload you get causes structural changes to your brain. This is why we recommend the 90 day game quitters detox, to give your brain a chance to rewire back to normal dopamine sensitivity levels.
There are three main changes that happen to your brain from gaming:
- Numbed Pleasure Response: Every day pleasures no longer satisfy you.
- Hyper-reactivity to gaming: Gaming is awesome, everything else is boring.
- Willpower erosion: Due to changes to your prefrontal cortex.
When you take the first two it’s easy to see how this would affect how much you enjoy other activities, and potentially find them to be boring.
So what you need to do is commit to the 90 day game quitters challenge, which is simply not playing games for the next 90 days.
Next, you want to take the new activities you’ve chosen and start being more mindful about what you do enjoy about them. This is about bringing more awareness to what you value in things. What you focus on, expands.
So when I first started DJing I would ask myself what is it about DJing that I enjoy? Or when I go hiking, what is it about hiking that I enjoy?
Next, now that you’ve chosen new activities and started paying attention to what you enjoy about them, what you want to do is create more of a sense of purpose around each of them, and the easiest way I’ve found to do this is by creating a project around it.
When I started DJing I launched a podcast and this gave me a reason to be developing this skill, I had a reason to put effort into it each month, and this gave me much more motivation.
Finally, you can’t give up. You might find activities to be boring but commit to your 90 day detox and remember that passion is developed over time, so keep going.