So many people spend a lot of time and deliberation—sometimes even finances—on games. Some play fantasy games, based on the real game, but it’s not the real game. Even the players are pretend. As a culture, we spend a large majority of time on things that only exercise our minds, even after work, when we need to regroup and recharge. Google says that:

Video gamers spend an average of 5.96 hours each week playing games. 20.1 percent play for an hour or less each week. 36.2 percent play between one and four hours each week. 26.8 percent play seven or more hours. That’s a lot of hours on a distraction.

In my world I tend to play a game when I’m bored or when I need to distract myself from worry. I may spend about 30 minutes or less a week on games, but I do watch about 90 minutes of television before I go to bed.

I don’t mind silence. In fact, when I get a few minutes alone, I usually close my eyes, focus on something wonderful, and simply dream. This is bliss.
Is meditation the same as playing in a dreamworld like an online game or App?

Meditation is a clear path toward peace. Getting silent is a time when God or Spirit is able to speak to you or a time of quiet reflection and gratefulness. Gaming is similar to watching television; it’s a combination of distraction and entertainment. For some friends and clients, they plan their week around their favorite television shows. In their off-time or in the afternoon, they limit themselves to only games on the Ipad or notebook.

So, what do you do if you find that you have become addicted to avoiding life because of gaming and/or fantasy and want to make a change?

Breaking habits are hard. What is absolutely certain about changing behavior is that you must, at least, exchange one unhealthy behavior for one that serves a good purpose in your life.

I know one person recently stopped gaming to do online YouTube courses to make his skillset larger. That was a wonderful decision. I recently worked with a woman who decided to take a long bath every night with bubbles and candles, so she would be forced to be with her thoughts and stay off of the computer, so it wouldn’t accidentally get wet.

If you truly want to find a more productive way to spend your life, you can. No child needs to be spending 4-5 hours a day on a computer game. That same young person could be learning, reading, and playing outside in nature, or, at least, taking a break to talk to real people, instead of chatting with the game player on the other side of the network.

As a culture, we must break this habit or avoiding life. We are immersed in worlds that aren’t real to challenge the heartbreak of our real world that has gone awry, off of the tracks, and is scarier than we had ever imagined.

However, whenever I feel these feelings about the frightening state of the government and environmental catastrophes, I pray. This helps me give a tidy place for my negativity and also provides a space to leave my petitions on the altar of the One, Infinite power.

You may ask: what if I have no belief in God or Spirit? Where do I put my frustration then?

This is an easier question than you would think. Even when you don’t believe in something spiritual, you can, however, relate to your pet, the earth, some body of water, a wooded area, or a mountain walk. All of these things can stimulate your mind and keep your body healthy, as well. You can also write down your frustrations and bury them somewhere that is sacred to your soul.

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