ߪ Read Format Kindle [ ़ SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--Powered by the Science of Games. ] For Free 睋 PDF Author Jane McGonigal ᓶ Before You Play, Heres What You Need to KnowThe SuperBetter method is designed to make you stronger, happier, braver, and resilient.Its based on the science of gamesand theres a lot of evidence that it works.A randomized, controlled study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found that playing SuperBetter for thirty days significantly reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety and increases optimism, social support, and players belief in their own ability to succeed and achieve their goals The study also found that people who followed the SuperBetter rules for one month were significantly happier and satisfied with their lives.A clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Cincinnati Childrens Hospital found that the SuperBetter method improves mood, decreases anxiety and suffering, and strengthens family relationships during rehabilitation and recovery.Meanwhile, data collected from than 400,000 SuperBetter players has helped me improve the method, to make it easier to learn and fun to use in everyday life.Every single day for the past five years Ive heard from someone who says that the SuperBetter method has changed their life It is my greatest hope that SuperBetter will help you tackle your toughest challenges, and pursue your biggest dreams, with courage, creativity, optimism, and support.Please remember, the SuperBetter method is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment Many successful SuperBetter playersincluding a majority of participants in the University of Pennsylvania study and all the participants in the clinical trialfollowed the SuperBetter method alongside some form of continuing counseling, medication, or rehabilitation, or with a doctors supervision The SuperBetter method is NOT an alternative to therapy, counseling, ongoing medical treatment, or medicationnor is any game recommended or discussed in this book.Now that you knowlets play IntroductionYou are stronger than you know.You are surrounded by potential allies.You are the hero of your own story.These three qualities are all it takes to become happier, braver, and resilient in the face of any challenge.Heres the good news You already have these qualities within you You dont have to change a thing You are already powerful than you realize.You have the ability to control your attentionand therefore your thoughts and feelings.You have the strength to find support in the most unexpected places, and deepen your existing relationships.You have a natural capacity to motivate yourself and supercharge your heroic qualities, like willpower, compassion, and determination.This book will help you understand the powers you already haveand show you that accessing these powers is as easy as playing a game.And yet this book is not about playing gamesat least, not exactly Its about learning how to be gameful in the face of extreme stress and personal challenge.Being gameful means bringing the psychological strengths you naturally display when you play gamessuch as optimism, creativity, courage, and determinationto your real life It means having the curiosity and openness to play with different strategies to discover what works best It means building up the resilience to tackle tougher and tougher challenges with greater and greater success.The best way I know to explain what it means to be gamefuland how being gameful can make you stronger, happier, and braveris to tell you a story Its the story of how I invented the SuperBetter methodand the life threatening challenge I had to overcome to be able to write this book.In the summer of 2009, I hit my head and got a concussion It didnt heal properly, and after thirty days I still had constant headaches, nausea, and vertigo I couldnt read or write for than a few minutes at a time I had trouble remembering things Most days I felt too sick to get out of bed I was in a total mental fog These symptoms left me anxious and depressed than I had ever been in my life.I had trouble communicating clearly to friends and family exactly what I was going through I thought if I could write something down, it would help I struggled and struggled to put together words that made sense, and this is what I came up with Everything is hard.The iron fist is pushing against my thoughts.My whole brain feels vacuum pressurized.If I cant think who am I Unfortunately, there is no real treatment for postconcussion syndrome You just rest as much as you can and hope for the best I was told I might not feel better for months or even a year or longer.There was one thing I could do to try to heal faster My doctor told me I should avoid everything that triggered my symptoms That meant no reading, no writing, no running, no video games, no work, no email, no alcohol, and no caffeine I joked to my doctor at the time In other words, no reason to live.There was quite a bit of truth in that joke I didnt know it then, but suicidal ideation is very common with traumatic brain injurieseven mild ones like mine.1 It happens to one in three, and it happened to me My brain started telling me Jane, you want to die. It said, Youre never going to get better The pain will never end Youll be a burden to your husband.These voices became so persistent and so persuasive that I started to legitimately fear for my life.And then something happened I had one crystal clear thought that changed everything Thirty four days after I hit my headand I will never forget this momentI said to myself, I am either going to kill myself, or Im going to turn this into a game.Why a game By the time I hit my head in 2009, Id been researching the psychology of games for nearly a decade In fact, I was the first person in the world to earn a Ph.D studying the psychological strengths of gamers and how those strengths can translate to real world problem solving I knew from my years of research at the University of California at Berkeley that when we play a game, we tackle tough challenges with creativity, determination, and optimism Were also likely to reach out to others for help And I wanted to bring these gameful traits to my real life challenge.So I created a simple recovery game called Jane the Concussion Slayer This became my new secret identity, a way to start feeling heroic and determined instead of hopeless.The first thing I did as the concussion slayer was to call my twin sister, Kelly, and tell her, Im playing a game to heal my brain, and I want you to play with me This was an easy way to ask for help She became my first ally in the game My husband, Kiyash, joined next.Together we identified and battled the bad guys These were anything that could trigger my symptoms and therefore slow down the healing processthings like bright lights and crowded spaces.We also collected and activated power ups These were anything I could do on even my worst day to feel just a little bit good or happy or powerful Some of my favorite power ups were cuddling my Shetland sheepdog for five minutes, eating walnuts good for my brain , and walking around the block twice with my husband.The game was that simple adopt a secret identity, recruit allies, battle the bad guys, and activate power ups But even with a game so simple, within just a couple days of starting to play, that fog of depression and anxiety went away It just vanished It felt like a miracle to me It wasnt a miracle cure for the headaches or the cognitive symptomsthey lasted than a year, and it was the hardest year of my life by far But even when I still had the symptoms, even while I was still in pain, I stopped suffering I felt in control of my own destiny My friends and family knew exactly how to help and support me And I started to see myself as a much stronger person.What happened next with the game surprised me After a few months, I put up a blog post and a short video online explaining how to play Not everybody has a concussion, and not everyone wants to be the slayer, so I renamed the game SuperBetter.Why SuperBetter Everyone had told me to get better soon while I was recovering from the concussion, but I didnt want just to get better, as in back to normal I wanted to get superbetter happier and healthier than Id been before the injury.Soon I started hearing from people all over the world who were adopting their own secret identities, recruiting their own allies, and fighting their own bad guys They were getting superbetter at facing challenges like depression and anxiety, surgery and chronic pain, migraines and Crohns disease, healing a broken heart and finding a job after years of unemployment People were even playing it for extremely serious, even terminal diagnoses, like stage five cancer and Lou Gehrigs disease ALS And I could tell from their messages and their videos that the game was helping them in the same ways that it helped me.These players talked about feeling stronger and braver They talked about feeling better understood by their friends and family And they talked about feeling happier, even though they were in pain, even though they were tackling the toughest challenges of their lives.At the time, I thought to myself, What on earth is going on here How could a game so seemingly trivial, so admittedly simple, intervene so powerfully in such serious, in some cases life and death, circumstances To be frank, if it hadnt already worked for me, theres no way I would have believed it was possible.When I was recovered enough to do research, I dove into the scientific literature And heres what I learned some people get stronger and happier after a traumatic event And thats what was happening to us The game was helping us experience what scientists call post traumatic growth, which is not something we usually hear about More commonly, we hear about post traumatic stress disorder, in which individuals experience ongoing anxiety and depression.But research has shown that traumatic events dont always lead to long term difficulty Instead, some individuals find that struggling with highly challenging life circumstances helps them unleash their best qualities and eventually lead happier lives.2To give you a better idea of what post traumatic growth looks like, here are the top five things that people with post traumatic growth say 1 My priorities have changed Im not afraid to do what makes me happy.2 I feel closer to my friends and family.3 I understand myself better I know who I really am now.4 I have a new sense of meaning and purpose in my life.5 Im better able to focus on my goals and dreams.3Taken together, these five traits represent a powerful positive transformation But its than that Theres actually something quite astonishing about the benefits of post traumatic growth, something I noticed in the course of my research.A few years ago an Australian hospice worker named Bronnie Ware published an article called Regrets of the Dying.4 Ware would knowshe had spent a decade caring for patients at the end of their lives She wrote that the same regrets were repeated again and again by her patients, year after yearand after she published her article, she heard from hundreds of hospice workers and caretakers all over the world who confirmed her findings They had heard the same five regrets over the years Apparently they are nearly universal Not everyone has regrets on their deathbedbut if they do, they are likely to be one or of the following 1 I wish I hadnt worked so hard.2 I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.3 I wish I had let myself be happier.4 I wish Id had the courage to express my true self.5 I wish Id lived a life true to my dreams, instead of what others expected of me.Think about this list for a moment Are you having the same aha moment that I had, two years ago, when I first encountered it Remarkably, the top five regrets of the dying are essentially the exact opposite of the top five experiences of post traumatic growth With post traumatic growth, we find the strength and courage to do the things that make us happy, and to understand and express our true selves We prioritize relationships and meaningful work that inspires us.Post traumatic growth is not the opposite of post traumatic stress disorder, by the way Many people who suffer post traumatic stress disorder also go on to experience post traumatic growth The two are not mutually exclusive by any means In fact, one study found that symptoms of post traumatic stress were actually predictive of eventual post traumatic growthpossibly because transformative growth requires wrestling in a deep and sustained way with something very difficult If we bounce back too quickly, we miss the growth.5Extreme personal challengeif we respond in the right wayunlocks our ability to lead a life truer to our dreams and free of regrets Looked at this way, post traumatic growthor getting superbetterseems like a pretty strong candidate for the single most desirable personal transformation anyone could hope to undertake.But how do you get from extreme stress or trauma to these five benefits Research shows that not everyone who experiences a trauma goes on to have post traumatic growth So what exactly is the right process More important, is there any way to experience these benefits without having a trauma Im pretty sure no one would ever choose to suffer a terrible loss, an injury, an illness, or any other kind of trauma just to get these benefits But at the same time, who wouldnt want to lead a life truer to their dreams and free of regret And so I set off on another two years of research And heres what I discovered you can experience the benefits of post traumatic growth without the trauma, if you are willing to undertake an extreme challenge in your lifesuch as running a marathon, writing a book, starting a business, becoming a parent, quitting smoking, or making a spiritual journey Researchers call this post ecstatic growth Ann Marie Roepke, a practicing clinical psychologist who first identified the phenomenon as a University of Pennsylvania doctoral candidate, describes it as gains without painsor at least, far fewer pains.6 It works the same way post traumatic growth does, except you get to choose your own challenge Instead of waiting for life to throw a terrible trauma at you, you can cultivate post ecstatic growth at any time by intentionally undertaking a meaningful project or mission that creates significant stress and challenge for you This stressful adventure youve chosen for yourself creates the necessary conditions for you to struggle and grow as much as someone who is battling a trauma.So if post traumatic growth and post ecstatic growth work the same way, what exactly is that process What makes the difference between buckling under extreme stress and flourishing because of it What determines whether youll be weakened by adversity or strengthened by it This is where the research gets really excitingat least for a game designer like me.It turns out that there are seven ways of thinking and acting that contribute to post traumatic and post ecstatic growth And they are all ways that we commonly think and act when we play games.1 Adopt a challenge mindset You need to be willing to engage with obstacles and look at stressful life events as a challenge, not a threat In games, we call this simply accepting the challenge to play.2 Seek out whatever makes you stronger and happier When you are facing a tough challenge, you need constant access to positive emotions, and you must look after your physical health In games, we practice this rule by seeking out power ups, items that make us stronger, faster, and powerful.3 Strive for psychological flexibility Be open to negative experiences, such as pain or failure, if they help you learn or get closer to your larger goal Be driven by courage, curiosity, and the desire to improve In games, we follow this rule whenever we battle a tough opponent or bad guys, knowing we may fail many times before we become clever or skillful enough to defeat them.4 Take committed action Make small steps toward your biggest goal, every single day Taking committed action means trying to take a step forward, even if it is difficult for you It means always keeping your eyes on the larger goal In games, we have a structure to do this Its called a quest, and it helps us stay focused on making progress toward the goal that matters most to us.5 Cultivate connectedness Try to find at least two people you feel you can ask for help, and who you can speak to honestly about your stress and challenges In multiplayer games, we practice the art of making alliespeople who understand the obstacles were facing and who have our back.6 Find the heroic story Look at your life and find the heroic moments Focus on the strength youve shown and the meaning and purpose to your struggles In games, heroic stories abound We often take on the secret identity of heroic characters as part of the journey their stories inspire and motivate us to try harder and become better versions of ourselves.7 Learn the skill of benefit finding Be aware of good outcomes that can come even from stress or challenge In games, we have the notion of epic wins, or extremely positive outcomes that can arise when you least expect them, from the most unlikely or daunting circumstances.No wonder SuperBetter works so well for so many people Once you understand the science, it makes perfect sense Of course a game designer like me would create a system that taps into these naturally gameful ways of thinking and acting I didnt know it at the time, but SuperBetter was essentially a perfect road map to post traumatic and post ecstatic growth Not because I was a genius but because I was a good game designer, and all good games train us in the seven ways of thinking and acting that help us turn extreme stress and challenge into positive transformation.These seven rules to live by make up the SuperBetter method, and they are the heart of this book 1 Challenge yourself.2 Collect and activate power ups.3 Find and battle the bad guys.4 Seek out and complete quests.5 Recruit your allies.6 Adopt a secret identity.7 Go for an epic win.If youre already facing a tough challengean illness, an injury, a loss, a personal strugglefollowing these rules will not only help you be successful in dealing with the challenge youll also be likely to experience the benefits of post traumatic growth.If youre not facing an extremely stressful challenge at the moment, but you still want to become stronger, happier, braver, and resilient, just pick a meaningful and challenging goal for yourselfand then follow these rules as you try to achieve it You will have the satisfaction of doing something extraordinary and start to unlock the benefits of post ecstatic growth.If I sound quite confident that you can transform your life for the better with a gameful mindset and the SuperBetter method, its because I am.Since I invented SuperBetter, than 400,000 people have played an online version of the game Weve recorded every power up theyve activated, every bad guy theyve battled, and every quest theyve completedso we know what works and what doesnt Ive joined forces with data scientists to analyze all the information weve collected from these 400,000 players over the past two years I wanted answers to some of the same questions you might have Who can the SuperBetter method work for Virtually anyoneyoung or old, male or female, avid game player or someone who has never played a video game in their life How long do you have to play by the seven rules before you start to feel stronger, happier, and braver Our studies show measurable improvements within two weeks and even bigger improvements at four weeks and six weeks And most important, do these benefits last As far as we know, yes This method has existed for only a few years, but weve followed up with successful players at six months, a year, and when possible two years later We found that gameful ways of thinking and acting are a skill set that, once learned, you are likely to keep practicing and benefiting from Ive waited five years to write this book because I wanted to be absolutely sure that the gameful method works I waited for early research on the positive benefits of games to be confirmed in larger, robust studies I waited for scientists from a wider range of fields, including neuroscience and behavioral psychology, to weigh in with their theories on how a gameful mindset can help Most important, I waited until I could team up with doctors and psychology researchers myself to test the SuperBetter method in rigorous studiesand I have, with a randomized, controlled trial with the University of Pennsylvania and with a clinical trial with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Youll read about that research in About the Science, at the end of this book Not a day has gone by in these five years that I havent received an email or Facebook message from someone telling me how much SuperBetter has inspired them or helped their family I hear from people from all walks of life, like Norman J Cannon, a commander in the air force.I was taking command of a 2,000 person squadron in the air force and wanted to talk to them about resilience Meanwhile, my wife had just fallen down the stairs in September 2012 and had a severe concussion She had all the same thoughts and experiences you mentioned I showed my wife your SuperBetter video She cried while watching, realizing that somebody understands I then showed the video to all 2,000 of my military and civilian employees in a commanders call that I had It hit home with a lot of people.I hear from parents like Michelle T., a mom in West Virginia, who says My thirteen year old son has juvenile diabetes, and this is EXACTLY what Ive been praying for Our family has formed our own superhero team, and the emotional change I see in my son is glorious Im getting my son back Thank you And I hear from patients like Jessica MacDonald, then a thirty year old administrative assistant from Denver who played SuperBetter while she battled multiple surgeries and hospitalization for a severe staph infection.When youre ill or injured, the world becomes one of cants I cant lift that because of the antibiotics IV in my arm I cant attend that event because Im too tired I cant go to work because Im on enough medications to kill a horse and barely know my own name A million times a day the word cant goes through your mind, and it murders your soul by inches If I boil all the benefits of this game down to one thing, it is this SuperBetter turns cant into can Sure, there are still things you arent allowed to or shouldnt do, but you stop focusing so much on the limitations You begin to see and celebrate your achievements.Jessica invited her doctors and nurses to be allies, and they had a lot to say about the game, too.The question everyone asks is Did it help speed your recovery I cant say unequivocally that I got better faster because of this game, but I will tell you what my infectious disease doctor told me In nearly fifty years of medical practice, he said hes come to one conclusion patients attitudes overwhelmingly influence the recovery process He told me, I dont know if you got better faster, but you got better better.It doesnt matter if youre a lifelong game player or youve never played a video game It doesnt matter if you prefer sports, card games, or board games to digital games Whatever your history with games, you have the capacity to tap into your natural strengths by playing gamesand you can learn to bring these gameful strengths to your real life challenges and goals.Most people see games as nothing than a pleasant distractionor worse, as an addicting waste of time But I see them differentlyand not just because of my personal experience with SuperBetter Ive been researching the psychology of games for nearly fifteen years Ive studied games that decrease anxiety, alleviate depression, prevent pain, and treat post traumatic stress disorder Ive analyzed games that increase willpower, boost self esteem, improve attention skills, and strengthen family relationships The mounting scientific evidence about games from the fields of psychology, medicine, and neuroscience has changed my mind about what games areand what they can teach us Games are not just a source of entertainment They are a model for how to become the best version of ourselves.I want you to look at games differently, too I want you to discover the connection between the strengths you naturally express when you play games and the strengths you need to be happy, healthy, and successful in real life To be specific, I want you to see games as an opportunity to practice the seven life changing skills that will make you a stronger person in every way mentally, emotionally, physically, and socially.You dont have to be an avid game player to activate your gameful strengths in everyday life, but if you love or play any game regularlygolf, bridge, Scrabble, soccer, poker, Candy Crush Saga, solitaire, sudokuyoure probably a bit in touch with your gameful strengths already.To lead a gameful life, you simply have to be open to learning about the psychology of gamesand be willing to experiment with new ways of thinking and acting that can help you increase your natural resilience.The fastest way I know to get you to see gamesand your own capabilitiesdifferently is to play a game with you.So lets play a game togetherright now. I challenge you to complete four life changing quests in the next five minutes.Dont worry, its easier than it sounds Ive watched some amazing people complete the same four quests youre about to undertakeincluding Oprah Winfrey, legendary skateboarder and entrepreneur Tony Hawk, and Colonel Bat Masterson, the surgeon general for the U.S Armed Forces If they can do it, you can do it, too.These are the first four quests that every SuperBetter player completes I guarantee that if you successfully complete them all, roughly five minutes from now you will already be a stronger personmentally, emotionally, physically, and socially Youll also have a much better idea of how this book can help you unleash your gameful qualities Ready to play Lets go THE GAME STARTS NOWHeres your first life changing quest I want you to complete it, right now, before you read any further.Do not skip this first quest I repeat DO NOT SKIP THIS QUEST If you skip it, youll be tempted to skip othersand then the game will be over before youve even started playing So here we go Your first questI know you can do it QUEST 1 Physical Resilience Pick one Stand up and take three steps. orMake your hands into fists and hold them over your head as high as you can for five seconds. Go Did you do it Well done By completing this quest, youve just boosted your physical resilience. Physical resilience is your bodys ability to withstand stress and heal itself And research shows that the number one thing people can do to boost their physical resilience is to not sit still Whenever you sit still for than a few minutes, your body starts to shut down at the metabolic level This shutdown negatively impacts every aspect of your health, from your immune system to your ability to handle stress.7Every single second youre not sitting still, however, youre actively improving the health of your heart, your lungs, and your brain.8 Youll have energy and sleep better, toowhich is crucial when youre facing a hard challenge, even if it isnt primarily physical in nature.So stand up for just one second Take three steps Throw your arms in the air Thats all it takes You are now physically stronger than you were thirty seconds ago.Ready for your next quest QUEST 2 Mental Resilience Pick one Snap your fingers exactly fifty times orCount backward from 100 by 7, like this 100, 93 all the way to at least 0. Go All done Good work.By completing this quest, youve just increased your mental resilience. Mental resilience is motivation, focus, and willpowerstrengths that are essential to achieving any goal.Researchers have figured out that willpower is like a muscle It gets stronger the you exercise itas long as you dont exhaust it.9 Accomplishing tiny challengeseven ones as absurd as snapping your fingers exactly fifty times or counting backward by sevenhelps you exercise this muscle without wearing it out That means youre likely to have the motivation and determination you need when its time to tackle tougher obstacles So congratulations you are now mentally stronger than you were a minute ago.Lets keep playing QUEST 3 Emotional Resilience Pick one If youre inside, find a window and look outside for thirty seconds If youre outside, find a window and look in. orDo a Google Image or YouTube video search for baby your favorite animal. Go Mission accomplished Great By completing this quest, youve just strengthened your emotional resilience. Emotional resilience is the ability to access positive emotions at will It doesnt matter if youre stressed, or bored, or angry, or in painwhen you have emotional resilience, you can choose to feel something good instead.Emotional resilience is a particularly important strength Research has shown that if, on average, people experience positive emotions than negative ones, they gain a huge range of benefits Theyre creative at solving problems Theyre ambitious and successful at school and at work Theyre less likely to give up when things are hard People around them are likely to offer help and support them in their goals.10To achieve emotional resilience, you dont need to eliminate negative emotionsthats obviously impossible You just need enough positive emotions, over the course of a day, to beat out the negative ones.Both options in this quest are scientifically validated methods for provoking a specific positive emotion Looking through a window provokes curiositythe positive emotion that psychologists define as a desire to gratify the mind with new information or objects of interest.11 Hopefully you saw something interesting through the window Meanwhile, researchers have demonstrated that looking at photos or videos of baby animals is all it takes to make virtually anyone feel the emotion of love Baby animal cuteness brings out our nurturing instinct Better yet, this quick burst of love from looking at baby animals doesnt just feel good, it also improves attention and productivity.12Even if you felt the curiosity or the love for only a few seconds, you just got emotionally stronger Enjoy it.Lets try one quest.QUEST 4 Social Resilience Pick one Shake or hold someones hand for at least six seconds. orSend someone you know a quick thank you by text, email, or Facebook message. Go All done Awesome.By completing this quest, youve boosted your social resilience. Social resilience is the ability to get support from friends, family members, neighbors, and co workers Youre able to ask for the help you needand youre likely to receive it Social support is crucial to tackling challenges successfully You can try to go it alone, but your odds of success are vastly improved when someone else has your back.There are lots of ways to increase your social resilience Touch and gratitude are two of the most effective.Studies show that shaking or holding someones hand for at least six seconds increases the level of the trust hormone, oxytocin, in both of your bloodstreams.13 Boosted oxytocin levels make you want to help and protect each other The oxytocin you release together, the deeper your bond.14Meanwhile, expressing thanks is one of the most reliable ways to cultivate good feelings and a closer connection Gratitude is the single most important relationship strengthening emotion because, as researchers explain, it requires us to see how weve been supported and affirmed by other people.15So whether you just touched or thanked someone, you are now socially stronger than you were a page ago Success I knew you could do it youve completed four simple quests, and youre already building up life changing skills and abilities Youre discovering that you are, in fact, stronger than you know you are indeed surrounded by potential allies and you really can become a hero to others just by tapping into your natural resilience.Are you having fun yet I hope so Because my goal is to make this the most fun book youve ever read Youll complete nearly one hundred quests before this book is through Each one is based on a different scientific breakthrough about what makes you resilient And at the start of each quest, youll see one of these four icons to let you know if youre building primarily physical, mental, emotional, or social resilience , I promise you these quests will make you feel confident, in control, and optimistic about all your real life challenges As with any good game, these quests will get a little bit trickier the further you go Seeking out and completing quests is just one of the seven gameful skills that will help you become stronger, happier, and braver in everyday life Now that youve gotten a taste of what it feels like to adopt a gameful mindset, let me tell you a little bit about what you can expect from this book.I wont ask you to start leading a gameful life until youre absolutely convinced of the ability of games to solve real problems and change real lives So in Part 1, Why Games Make Us Superbetter, well start with an overview of the evidence on games What strengths do they tap into, and what psychological benefits do they bring Well look at games that increase motivation and willpower, that block the feeling of physical pain powerfully than morphine, that help you overcome anxiety and depression, that can change your eating habits, develop your compassion for others, and help you forge stronger, happier relationships with friends and family Most of the games we discuss in Part 1 are readily available for you to play on your phone or your computer as a way to practice and understand your gameful strengths better However, even if you decide never to play any of these games, Part 1 will give you a solid foundation to understand what it means to be gameful You will know exactly what it takes to tap into your three most important challenge facing, problem solving powers your abilities to control your attention, to make allies and get support, and to motivate yourself to do whats important, even when its difficult for you Well finish by exploring the research on why some game players are better able than others to bring these powers from their favorite games into their real lives.Part 1 is full of gameful quests for you to complete, just like the ones in this introductionso youll have plenty of opportunity to play and get stronger with every page.In Part 2, How to Be Gameful, well talk about your life Now that you understand your strengths, what is the best way to harness them in everyday life Well go in depth with each of the seven gameful skills that can help you tackle real life challenges with courage, creativity, and determination Ill give you seven simple rules to follow to practice each of these skills in daily life This is the SuperBetter method, and its designed to make it easy for you to lead a gameful life whether or not you have the time to play games.In Part 2, youll meet people who have used the SuperBetter method to grow stronger, healthier, and happier in the face of challenges like anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and PTSD You will hear stories from people who have adopted a gameful mindset to find a better job, have a satisfying love life, run a marathon, start their own company, and simply enjoy life And because everything in this book is grounded in research, you will discover the science behind these success stories than two hundred studies from the fields of psychology, medicine, and neuroscience that explain exactly why living by these seven gameful rules builds mental, emotional, physical, and social strengths.If youre facing a major challenge in your life, and you want to start using the SuperBetter method right now, you can skip directly to Part 2 Come back to Part 1 whenever you want I think that once you see for yourself how well SuperBetter works, youll be even curious to understand the science behind it Part 3, Adventures, brings it all together with three SuperBetter journeys Ive created so that you can continue practicing your new gameful skills Each journey is full of targeted power ups, bad guys, and quests to help you achieve a major resilience breakthrough On the Love Connection adventure, youll build your social resilience with ten quests designed to help you find love in the most surprising ways and places In Ninja Body Transformation, youll learn twenty one sneaky ways to increase your physical resilience And on your final adventure, youll discover what it means to be Time Richthe feeling that you have abundant free time to spend on all the things that matter most to you Getting time rich is an excellent way to build your emotional and mental resilience.Taken together, these three adventures contain just enough quests for you to keep playing SuperBetter for six weeks Thats an important numberbecause six weeks is exactly how long participants followed the SuperBetter rules in our clinical trial and randomized controlled study In those cases, playing SuperBetter for six weeks resulted in significantly better mood, stronger social support, optimism, less depression and anxiety, and higher self confidence If you complete all three of these adventuresby tackling just one quest a dayyoull have achieved a full, life changing dose of the game.Together, the stories and the science in this book will reveal how adopting a gameful mindset can change your life for the better They will not only change what you think games are capable of They will change what you think you are capable of.Lets go get superbetter.The evidence that games can make us stronger is all around us Over the past decade, thousands of scientists and researchers working at hospitals and universities across the globe have documented an astonishing range of real life positive impacts of video games and virtual worlds.In this part of the book, you will discover games that increase your motivation and willpowerblock the feeling of physical pain powerfully than morphinehelp you overcome anxiety and depressionmake you a better learnerinspire you to exercise help prevent post traumatic stress disordermake you likely to come to a strangers rescueforge stronger, happier relationships with friends and familyChances are, youve already played one or of these potentially life changing gamesfrom Tetris to Words with Friends to Call of Duty to Candy Crush Saga But even if you play games regularly, youre probably not getting all the benefits Thats because when it comes to unlocking the benefits of games, its not just what you play or how much you playits why you play, when you play, and who you play with that really matter In other words, you need to play with purpose.As youll learn in Part 1, when you play games with purpose, you tap into three core psychological strengths Your ability to control your attention and therefore your thoughts and feelings Your power to turn anyone into a potential ally and to strengthen your existing relationships Your natural capacity to motivate yourself and supercharge your heroic qualities, like willpower, compassion, and determinationThese strengths exist inside you already Games are just an incredibly reliable and efficient way to discover and practice themso youre better able to access them in everyday life.Playing games isnt the only way to tap into these strengths But the scientific research on why games make it so much easier to do so will help you understand these strengths clearly.Let me be clear the point of Part 1 is not to persuade you to spend time playing video games You do not have to become an ardent game player to benefit from games research Instead, I want to help you learn from the science of games how to be stronger, happier, braver, and resilient whether you ever play any of these games or not.One important thing to note although all kinds of games develop these gameful strengths, including sports, puzzles, board games, and card games, Part 1 focuses primarily on digital games, for several reasons.More than one billion people on this planet currently play digital games for, on average, at least one hour a day.1 This number will undoubtedly rise in the future according to a Pew Internet Life study, in the United States, 99 percent of boys under eighteen and 92 percent of girls under eighteen report playing video games regularly on average thirteen hours a week for boys and eight hours a week for girls.2 The sheer time and energy poured into digital games by such a vast and growing number of people make it crucial to understand how digital games in particular impact us psychologically The science of games can help us minimize the potential harms and maximize the potential benefits.Equally important is the fact that over the past two decades, scientific research on the psychology of games has focused almost exclusively on digital games, largely for the reasons stated above This book is grounded in the science of games, which means it necessarily focuses on the kinds of games that scientists have dedicated the most time and energy to understanding.Finally, as you will see in the next four chapters, digital technology can actually heighten and accelerate many of the psychological benefits we experience from all games For example, all games teach us to be comfortable with failure, because loss is always a possibility However, digital games tend to have a higher and rapid rate of failure In digital games, we fail as much as 80 percent of the time, on average twelve to twenty times an hour.3 This extremely high and rapid rate of failure helps players quickly cultivate the strengths of grit and perseverance, as well as the ability to learn effectively from mistakes You can build these same strengths by failing at basketball or Scrabble or chess, but the capability of digital games to automatically adjust the difficulty level upward so you are constantly playing at the edge of your ability helps you develop them faster.This is just one example of the kind of research youll read about in this part of the book But before we dive deeper into the science of games, you have a special quest to complete.Chapter 1 has some of the most surprising and eye opening information in the entire book It contains some very unexpected scientific findings.I want you to be fully prepared to absorb these findings and act on them in your own life, no matter how surprised you are by them So heres a quest to help you get ready.QUEST 5 Palms Up Trying to solve a problem Want to learn something new You can prime your brain to be open to creative solutions and receptive to surprising ideas Heres how.What to do Turn your palms up, and leave them that way You should start to notice a open mindset in as little as fifteen seconds.Why it works Turning our palms up triggers a powerful mind body response With our palms up, we adopt an approach and consider mindset Were less likely to reject or dismiss new information or ideas, and were better able to spot new opportunities and solutions With palms down, however, we adopt a refuse and resist mindset Were likely to reject new information and overlook creative ideas.It sounds like a simple action to have such a big effect, but the evidence is compelling peer reviewed research published by the American Psychological Association shows that out of seven different experiments on the palms up phenomenon, all seven showed the same mind opening effect.4Researchers theorize that this mind body link stems from physical behaviors we exhibited thousands of years ago before we invented language.5 When we offer someone a helping hand, our palm is upturned When we ask for help ourselves, or when we prepare to receive something, we also turn our hands up And when we welcome someone into our arms, our palms are facing up But when we want to reject something, we slap it away with our hands turned downward When we push someone away, the palms are turned away from us as well.Through thousands of years of these gestures, we are biologically primed to associate upward palms with receptiveness and openness, downward palms with rejection and closing ourselves off.So before you read the next chapter, turn your palms upward for at least fifteen seconds Do this right now 15 14 13Quest complete All done Good job Youre ready for some surprising science And in the future, whenever youre brainstorming, problem solving, or trying to wrap your head around some new information, remember the power you have to open your mind with a simple palms up.1You Are Stronger Than You KnowYour MissionUnlock the ability to control what you think and feel, even during extreme stress or painGames are famously, perhaps even notoriously, attention grabbing Players frequently become so immersed, they lose track of time and seem to ignore everything and everyone around them Parents and spouses of gamers often complain that its nearly impossible to tear their loved ones away from their favorite games But could the highly immersive quality of good games actually be a clue to how our attention worksand how we can better control it In this chapter, well look at video game research that reveals the power we have to prevent anxiety, depression, trauma, and physical pain, by learning to control our attention Whether you struggle with any of these challenges currently, or you just want to increase your mental and emotional resilience, games provide the perfect platform for mastering life changing attention skills This chapter will show you the science behind attention control and teach you the practical, gameful techniques you can use to discover and develop your attention superpowers.Nothing hurts than a severe burn injury Doctors describe it as the most intense and prolonged pain a human being can experience Naturally, burn patients receive powerful drugs during wound care, most commonly morphine But the drugs arent very effective at alleviating this uniquely excruciating pain Medical researchers have spent decades searching for something better Is there anything that can treat the most severe pain in the world effectively than the traditional morphine approach Yes And its a video game. Snow World is a 3 D virtual environment created by University of Washington researchers to help patients undergoing treatment for severe burns Patients are given a virtual reality VR headset to wear and a joystick for navigating a virtual frozen ice world There are ice caves to explore, snowballs to throw, and a whole landscape of winter delights to encounter Patients wear their VR headset and play this game during the most painful part of burn treatment, while their wounds are being cleaned and redressed.Medical researchers have tested Snow World in clinical trials Heres what they learned this VR game reduced pain by a whopping 30 to 50 percent For the most severe burn patients, the game proved to have a bigger impact on their pain and overall suffering than the morphine they also received.1Better yet, Snow World players were able to almost entirely ignore whatever pain did remain They reported being consciously aware of pain only 8 percent of the time Compare this with traditional burn treatment even with the highest doses of opiates that can be safely administered, patients typically report spending 100 percent of treatment time thinking about their excruciating pain.Simply by playing Snow World, patients discovered they were able to control what they were thinking and feeling an extraordinary 92 percent of the time As a result, doctors have found that with the game, they can reduce the level of medication and dramatically improve pain management at the same time And the benefits are than psychological When patients feel less pain, doctors are able to pursue aggressive wound care and physical therapytwo factors that can speed up recovery and reduce medical costs Most important, the patients feel in control and suffer far less.2How exactly did a video game create such a powerful change In scientific papers describing the games positive impacts, Snow Worlds inventors, Dr Hunter Hoffman and Dr David Patterson, attribute its success to a well established psychological phenomenon the spotlight theory of attention.3According to this theory, human attention is like a spotlight Your brain can process and absorb only a limited amount of new information at any given moment So you focus on one source of information at a time, ignoring everything else As a result, information everywhere competes constantly for your brains attentionsights, sounds, tastes, smells, thoughts, and physical sensations.What does this have to do with pain The signals from your nerves that cause pain are just one of many competing streams of information Its a particularly compelling stream Your nerves are sending signals to your brain to let you know that youre injuredwhich is pretty important information It makes perfect sense that without conscious intervention, youd be likely to focus your attention spotlight on these pain signals than just about any other source of information.But youre not powerless against pain signals In fact, if you learn to control your attention spotlight, you can actually stop your brain from spending its limited processing resources on pain signals from your nerves.For burn patients, thats where Snow World comes in In order to prevent pain signals from turning into a conscious awareness of pain, patients need to swing their spotlight of attention somewhere elseand keep it there How By deliberately monopolizing all their brains processing power with as challenging and information rich a target as possible Games, and particularly virtual worlds rich in 3 D imagery, serve this purpose perfectly They require so much active attention, the patient runs out of cognitive resources to process the pain.This is exactly what scientists observed when they decided to study the brain activity of Snow World players using functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI This technology allows researchers to see where blood is flowing in the brainthe blood flow, the active that region of the brain In Snow World studies, fMRI footage showed reduced blood flow to all five regions of the brain associated with processing pain This data revealed that players werent just doing a better job of dealing with the pain they feltthey were actively blocking the brain from dedicating resources to processing the pain signals.4 No cognitive resources, no pain.This is the real breakthrough at the heart of the Snow World technique the game isnt merely a distraction from feelings of pain it actively prevents conscious feelings of pain in the first place And you can learn to use this technique in your own life.You may never be in as much physical pain as a burn patient But if and when you do find yourself in pain, you now know You dont have to pay attention to the signals from your nerves You can choose to pay attention to anything you want Even when youre in pain, even when youre suffering, you can control your attention spotlight and change your experience for the better.And you dont necessarily need a fancy 3 D VR headset to do it Although advanced game technology makes it easier to commandeer cognitive resources, other studies on pain and gaming show that in less extreme cases, a simple handheld gamethe kind you can play on your mobile phone or iPadcan also block pain signals effectively.5Or if you prefer a nongaming solution, you can choose any challenging activity that successfully captures your full attention Research suggests, for example, that knitting and crafting both require enough brain processing resources to successfully reduce chronic pain.6 The key is simply to realize that you are in charge of your cognitive resources If you dont want your brain to pay attention to pain signals, give it something else to pay attention to instead. Snow World is an important health care innovationbut its also much than that Its a clear lesson in how much untapped power we all have over what we physically feel Even when were in pain, even when were suffering, we can control our attention spotlight and change our experience for the better.As youll see in the coming pages, this finding is repeated again and again in video game research we have power, mental control, over what we feel, moment to moment, than we realize. You have this powerand it comes from your ability to control your attention spotlight, and in doing so, to change what is happening in your body and your brain.Lets start practicing that power now, with your next quest.QUEST 6 Stop the Pink Elephant Dont think of a pink elephant Whatever you do, do not think of a pink elephant.Stop reading this book for the next ten seconds, and in that time, be absolutely sure you do not once think about a pink elephant Go 10 9 8Did you think of a pink elephant Of course you did, even though I told you not to Fortunately, thats not your quest At least not yetnot until you have a concrete strategy for controlling your attention spotlight.The command Dont think of an elephant or sometimes Dont think of a bear is one of the most widely employed exercises in cognitive psychology Devised by Harvard University professor Daniel Wegner and later made popular by University of California at Berkeley professor George Lakoff, the idea is simple once you evoke a concept in someones mind, they are essentially powerless to block it Despite the instructions to not picture a large gray or pink mammal with a trunk and floppy ears, the brain is incapable of obeying The word elephant calls up the idea of an elephant, and youre stuck with it, for better or for worse.7Were going to try a different experiment here I want you to keep trying to not think about a pink elephant, but Im going to give you a strategy for doing just that.What to do This time youre going to control your attention spotlight by focusing your cognitive resources on a challenging, high attention task.To stop the pink elephant from commanding your attention, I want you picture a giant letter P and E short for pink elephant, naturally P and E Got it Now Im going to give you sixty secondsset a timer, or just estimate itto list as many words that contain both the letter P and the letter E, in any order Here are a few to get you started help, hope, pickle, peanut.Write the words down, or if its easier, just think of them and tick them off on your fingers, or keep a mental tally.If you can think of at least ten words with a P and an E in sixty seconds, thats very good If you can think of twenty or , thats amazing If you can think of thirty or , youre a rock star at this, one of the best in the world Try to aim for at least tenand remember, while youre doing it, dont think about a pink elephant. Go Okay, now I want you to notice two things.1 Were you better able to stop thinking about a pink elephant while you were engaged in this high attention, challenging task I hope so The higher your word score, the likely you are to have completely blocked that silly animal out of your mind If you dont like your score or you couldnt stop the pink elephant from occupying your thoughts, give it another try with these two letters S and B, for SuperBetter 2 As you go back to reading this book or go about the rest of your day, see which is likely to occur you keep picturing a pink elephant or you randomly think of or spot another word with the letters P and E in them If you are like most people, youre likely to flash back to the word game than to the mental image of an elephant Thats because your attention spotlight is likely to drift back to something that engaged cognitive resources Be sure to notice what happens in the next few minutes or hours to see if this is true for you Quest complete If you found this word game an effective technique to control your attention spotlight, congratulations You now have a new tool in your toolkit for blocking unwanted thoughts, feelings, or physical sensations Try it anytime, with any two letters, to practice swinging that spotlight of attention quickly and effectively.Just for fun Check out the following footnote for twenty P and E words you could have thought of People, preach, happen, pamphlet, prairie, prayer, apple, yelp, rope, dampen, patent, prehistoric, petal, penumbra, pennant, sniper, eclipse, epicenter, spine, rapture, empty, prince, poke.As youre hopefully starting to see, researchers have figured out all kinds of ways people can get better at controlling their attention spotlight Lets take a look at other types of mental and emotional resilience you can develop by mastering this important skillsuch as the power to prevent trauma, fight cravings, block anxiety, and heal from depression.Youve almost certainly seen Tetris, the falling blocks puzzle game, even if youve never played it Its estimated to be one of the most widely played video games of all time, with nearly half a billion players to date.Despite having been around since 1984, it wasnt until recently that researchers realized that Tetris can do than entertain us It can, remarkably, help us recover quickly from traumatic events.Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a psychological condition that can develop after an individual witnesses or experiences a terrifying or tragic event The hallmark symptom of PTSD is recurring flashbacks Unwanted, intrusive memories can haunt individuals for months or even years after a traumatic event, disrupting sleep, triggering panic attacks, and causing severe emotional distress Typically, these flashbacks have a strong visual component Someone repeatedly sees a traumatic event in their minds eye, as vividly as if it were really happening all over again Psychologists consider these flashbacks to be the single most stressful and difficult to treat symptom of PTSD.But what if, instead of trying to treat flashbacks as an unavoidable symptom of trauma, we could prevent them in the first place Cognitive scientists have shown that memories change and take shape for up to six hours after a traumatic event That has led some researchers to wonder Is there anything we can do in the first six hours after trauma to inhibit our brains from forming the kinds of visual memories that lead to flashbacks Yes, there is You can play Tetris.In 2009 and 2010 a team of psychiatrists at Oxford University completed two studies showing that playing Tetris within six hours of viewing traumatic imagery helped reduce flashbacks of the traumatic events It worked so well, in fact, that the Oxford researchers proposed that a single ten minute session of Tetris could effectively serve as a cognitive vaccine against PTSD Play the game as soon as possible after a traumatic event, and you may significantly reduce your likelihood of experiencing severe post traumatic stress.8How did the Oxford researchers figure this out Its not easy to study trauma in a laboratory, as you can imagine Its simply not ethical for researchers to do horrible things to study participants just to measure their traumatic response So the Oxford team used an experimental method that has been tested and validated in hundreds of other trauma studies they gathered together test subjects in a laboratory and showed them a series of extremely graphic, gory images of death and injury Trust me, these are the kind of images you truly hope you will never see Then they measured the subjects emotional response to the images to ensure that they were truly disturbed.In the hours that followed, half of the test subjects played Tetris for ten minutes while the other group did nothing special Heres what the researchers found most of the group that did nothing special reported a high number of disturbing visual flashbacks from the images over the next week The group that played Tetris, however, had just half as many flashbacks And when both groups completed a psychological survey one week later, the Tetris players had significantly fewer symptoms of PTSD than the group that did not play.So how did ten minutes of game play prevent flashbacks and PTSD symptoms The Oxford researchers explain that Tetris occupies the visual processing circuitry of the brain with something other than what its usually preoccupied with after a traumainvoluntarily remembering and replaying the trauma over and over again Its similar to how Snow World works to prevent pain, but its a targeted approach To interfere with involuntary visual memories of the trauma, you have to swing the attention spotlight to something that specifically demands a huge amount of visual attention.Crucially, the Oxford researchers found that not every video game can successfully hijack the visual processing centers It must be a game that requires a massive amount of constant, visual processingideally, a pattern matching game like Tetris or Candy Crush Saga, in which your goal is to move and connect game pieces according to a visual pattern . These kinds of games are so visually engaging, players notoriously report seeing game play flashbackstypically, colored blocks falling, or matching candies swapping placeswhenever they close their eyes, even hours after theyve stopped playing But if you play a less visual game, like Scrabble or a trivia quiz, this technique doesnt work Your brain will have too many visual processing resources still available to replay traumatic images.9One important detail from the Oxford study playing Tetris did not prevent individuals from voluntarily remembering details of what they saw A week later, when they were asked questions like What color was the hair of the man who drowned or About how old was the woman on the stretcher the Tetris players accurately recalled as many details as the group that did not play Their memories were intactthey just werent as haunted by them.This is extremely important, so Ill say it again the Tetris technique does not erase memories it simply stops the cognitive process of involuntary memory It gives you control over the memory You wont think about it when you dont want to.The Oxford researchers have not followed up their initial study with research on how well this technique works in real world contexts However, since they publicly shared this work five years ago at scientific conferences and in the media, many individuals have had the chance to learn and try it outside formal scientific studies As part of my ongoing work to understand how people use games to become stronger and heal faster, Ive heard from many people who have conducted successful Tetris style interventions in their own lives a runner who, after the 2013 Boston marathon bombings, found herself worried about whether she would ever be able to participate in road races again a high school student in Norway who lost a friend in the 2011 mass shooting and kept replaying media images of the scene in his mind a woman who did not want to suffer flashbacks of her elderly fathers final moments, which were not peaceful What I have heard from individuals like these is that a short period of game play in the hours, days, and even weeks after the trauma gave them control over what they were thinking and seeing in their minds eyeand that this level of control not only helped limit flashbacks but also gave them a sense of comfort and strength.Lets put this Tetris research into a bigger perspective The power to prevent flashbacks can potentially help anyone, even someone not directly involved with a traumatic event We often see traumatic images of violence or accidents in the media Children can be especially disturbed by these images But a quick session of visually absorbing game play can help them avoid nightmares or intrusive memories.The Tetris technique also has potential to change how you respond to ordinary negative events When you have a particularly upsetting day, or if you cant stop thinking about something that went wrong, you can activate this gameful ability.You can put a stop to involuntary thoughts quickly and simply This power to control what youre remembering in the moment, right now, ensures that you can choose to truly leave difficult moments in the past when you need to.Theres one surprisingand potentially life changingway to apply the Tetris technique in everyday life.To find out what it is, try this quick quest QUEST 7 Control the Minds EyeWhat to do Think of something you often cravesomething that, once you start thinking about it, it usually feels impossible to resist Imagine it in detail Picture yourself enjoying it, as vividly as you can Do you have a specific craving in mind Good.The next time this craving kicks inincluding right now, if youre already feeling it I want you to play a pattern matching game like Tetris for three minutes Do this, and you will be much better able to successfully resist your craving.Why it works Multiple studies have shown that playing Tetris for three minutes while feeling an intense craving cuts the intensity of the craving by 25 percent.10This may not sound like a lot, but a 25 percent reduction in craving intensity is enough to change behavior Its just enough of a boost to give your willpower a fighting chance Keep in mind that if youre hungry when you play Tetris, youll still be hungry afterwardbut youll be less likely to give in to a specific, unhealthy craving, and likely to make a smarter choice about what to eat This anticraving strategy works on exactly the same scientific principle as the strategy of using a pattern matching game to prevent flashbacks and PTSD Research has shown that cravings have a very strong visual component The you mentally imagine yourself enjoying what you crave, the likely you are to give in To resist a craving, you simply need to give your brains visual processing centers something else to visualizeand youll find the craving significantly reduced.11What to play You can find countless pattern matching games for free online and on your mobile phone or tablet The easiest ones to pick up from scratch if youve never played them are Tetris, Bejeweled, and Candy Crush Saga This last is the first video game my sixty seven year old mom played in her entire lifeand she taught herself how to play it in less than a minute If you dont want to play a digital game, a wonderful pattern matching card game called SET offers the same powerful flashback effects You can find it on or at Setgame.com Finally, some SuperBetter players report that solving jigsaw puzzles is another way to control visual attention and stave off cravings effectively.A SuperBetter Story The Bride and Groom to BeWhen Joe and Elisa decided to get married, they promised each other that they would both successfully quit smoking by their wedding day.In the months before the big day, the Michigan based couple both wore nicotine patches, which helped them fight their cravings at work But when they came home in the evening, Joe told me, it was harder to avoid reverting back to old habits.There was so much going on at work, the patch was enoughwe didnt need anything else But at home, with less going on, we were really tempted We thought about lighting up constantly.Thanks to the nicotine replacement therapy, their physical cravings were in check But they hadnt yet gotten control over their mental cravings They kept picturing themselves smoking and imagining how good it would feel Those mental images were the real problem.The gameful solution Joe and Elisa decided to start a new tradition puzzle nights Every evening after dinner they sat down at the kitchen table to work on a giant jigsaw puzzle together.It totally worked for us, Joe told me Zero cigarettes on puzzle nights It worked so well, in fact, that they worked on puzzles every night all the way up to their wedding Two years later the happily married couple are still smoke free.Puzzle nights had one additional surprise benefit for the bride and groom to be working cooperatively on the puzzles together for so many hours, night after night, boosted their communication and problem solving skills We got really good at working together and solving the puzzles as a team Not a bad way to prepare for marriage Joe and Elisa were, as it turns out, ahead of the curve with their creative solution In 2014 a team of researchers from the American Cancer Society, Brown University, and Stony Brook University found that nicotine deprived smokers were able to reduce their cravings by playing two player cooperative games with their relationship partners Functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI scans showed that cooperative game play and puzzle solving lit up the same reward centers of the brain that nicotine does The scientists believe this is evidence that social games and puzzles could provide smokers with an alternative neurological pathway to feeling a reward when they crave it most.12In other words, game play provides a powerful one two punch for changing behavior First, it gives you control over your thoughts and mental cravings by fully absorbing the visual processing center of the brain Second, it gives you a pleasurable neurochemical rewardthe same kind you would get from a cigarette or a cookie or whatever else you might crave Who needs a cigarette or cookie when you already feel deeply satisfied by the game Sweethearts Joe and Elisa might not be surprised to hear about one final scientific discovery from the same team of fMRI scanning researchers falling in love also dampens cravings for food, alcohol, and drugs, by activating the same reward pathways.13 Intense, passionate love, as the researchers put it, is like kryptonite to cravingsthey just cant stand up to it.The moral of the story if you want to quit something, anything, just solve a puzzleor fall in love Or if youre really lucky, like Joe and Elisa, do both at the same time.By now, youre catching on purposefully controlling your attention has all sorts of real life benefits By why are games such an effective means of attention control, compared with other activities Lets explore this question by taking a look at another strength you can develop through game play the ability to block anxiety, even in extremely stressful situations.Surgery is scaryespecially for kids Over the past twenty five years, doctors have tested every idea imaginable to reduce kids anxiety in the operating room Theyve tested powerful medications Theyve allowed parents to hold their kids hands while they go under and wake up from anesthesia Theyve even tested clowns in the operating room.What works best Not surprisingly, its not clowns But its not parents or medication either Kids who are allowed to play handheld video gamessuch as Super Mario on the Nintendo DSexperience virtually no anxiety before surgery And after surgery, they wake up from anesthesia with less than half the anxiety of children given drugsand with zero medication side effects.14Its another headline worthy scientific result Ordinary video games prevent anxiety effectively than the most powerful antianxiety medications But what makes it work The research team at the department of anesthesiology at New Jersey Medical School argues thatas with the Snow World and Tetris techniques cognitive absorption is the key By focusing intensely on something other than the impending surgery, young patients avoid becoming upset or panicked.This hypothesis makes perfect sense, given what we already know about the spotlight theory of attention Anxietyjust like pain, traumatic memory, and cravingsrequires conscious attention in order to develop and unfold Its fueled by active thoughts about what could possibly go wrong Fear is a response to something actually going wrong right now Anxiety, on the other hand, is the anticipation that something might go wrong in the future The vividly we imagine something bad happening, the anxious we get. Kirkus For those in search of a new self help regimen, SuperBetter might just be the answer Strong medical research and firsthand accounts provide evidence that playing games can make you a healthier, happier, confident person Daniel H Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind At the heart of SuperBetter is a simple and potentially transformative idea We can use the same psychological strengths we display when we play games to confront real life challenges, whether it s illness, injury, or just changing our habits for the better Grounded in research and informed by McGonigals own sometimes harrowing experiences, this book will make you stop and think, then get you to act Daniel J Siegel, M.D., Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine and author of Mindsight SuperBetter delivers mind boggling, science supported, health promoting knowledge and practical steps to bring well being into your life in a fun and engaging way, even if you are facing epic challenges like anxiety, depression, traumatic brain injury, or medical illness Visionary innovator and researcher Jane McGonigal provides the proof and the practices that reveal how living a gameful life can help you get personally stronger, closer to others, clearer in your mind, braver in your actions, and a greater hero in your own unfolding life story SuperBetter is a playful, hands on manual immersing you directly in challenges and adventures of creative gaming to develop flexibility and resilience as you transform your life Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun In this dazzling manifesto, Jane McGonigal knits together state of the art research, moving anecdotes, and extremely satisfying mini challenges to show us how gamesvideo and otherwisehold the key to a productive, joyous life A game designer by training and an empath by nature, McGonigal uses every power up at her disposal to convince her audience that the very tools we deploy in imaginary worlds can be used to overcome struggles in everyday life The result is a candy crushing, genre slaying read, for which fans will surely be sending her gratitude notes for years to come Felicia Day, creator of Geek and Sundry and author of Youre Never Weird on the Internet Almost SuperBetter is an amazing book that fuses psychology and play in an revelatory way With a wonderfully encouraging writing style, Jane morphs the tropes of gaming into an empowering tool set for change SuperBetter is impeccably researched, extremely accessible, and sure to inspire gamers and non gamers to adopt gameful techniques into their day to day lives The sword of self improvement never seemed easier to wield against the monsters lurking in one s mind Rob Delaney, comedian and author of best selling memoir Rob Delaney Mother Wife Sister Human Warrior Falcon Yardstick Turban Cabbage. You can t think your way out of a problem, but you can work your way out of a problem SuperBetter shows us that it s also possible, and maybe even healthier, to play your way out of a problem Especially if you re a silly person, like me or Stephen Hawking Asi Burak, President of Games for Change Jane McGonigal is easily one of the most innovative thinkers in gaming today In SuperBetter, she reveals to the world a great secret that avid game players kept for years games are not a waste of your time they can make you stronger, happier and mindful Reading this book is a compelling quest for anyonewhether you play games regularly, or you just have an open mind about them Amy Cuddy, associate professor, Harvard Business School author of Presence This book is a wise and compassionate distillation of a wealth of good research about the psychology and neuroscience of resilience and social support, married to a game framework that itself comes out of rigorous new science into the psychology and neuroscience of gaming SuperBetter has been studied in action by the University of Pennsylvania and the National Institutes of Health, among others, and the facts are incontrovertible following the SuperBetter rules makes people happier, satisfied, less controlled by suffering, and stronger in their relationships with others It really works SusanCain, co founder of Quiet Revolution LLC and New York Times bestselling author of Quiet The Power of Introverts in a World That Cant Stop Talking After reading Jane McGonigals SuperBetter Ill never again say that something is only a game SuperBetter gives readers the tools to take the same challenge mindset we bring to playing the games we love and apply it to facing our greatest life challenges.The result is a clear path, not just to post traumatic recovery, but to post traumatic growth.In every sense a game changing book Jack Kornfield, Buddhist teacher and bestselling author of A Path With Heart Jane McGonigal shows a playful doorway to well being and how much we can gain from training attention This is using the art of games to grow, heal and learn.Charles Duhigg, New York Timesbestselling author of The Power of Habit Hundreds of thousands of people have had their lives changed by Jane McGonigals SuperBetter program, and I see why Its a marriage of positive psychology with pioneering insights from cutting edge game design This is a plan for profound growth in the face of whatever challenges life throws at you and whatever ones you can throw at yourself.Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of Better Than Beforeand The Happiness Project Dont we all want to be better than before If fact, wed like to be super better Jane McGonigals fascinating, ground breaking approach shows how living gamefully can help us lead happier, healthier, engaged lives.James R.Doty, M.D., Professor of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine Many of us struggle to overcome challenges that seem overwhelming Jane McGonigal has taken her immense knowledge of the science of gaming to create an innovative guide that allowed her to overcome her greatest challenge and now, thankfully, is available to each of us to overcome our own.Nilofer Merchant, CEO, Silicon Valley strategist, and author of The New How Until you understand yourselves as the hero of your own story, you ll never make a dent in the world This insightful book shows you how to create the life of your dreams, using a gameful approach.Stacy London, host, What Not to Wear author of The Truth About Style Jane McGonigal s book is an inspiring one about overcoming personal obstacles, and a revolutionary testament that game playing is for ANYONE who wants to change their life for the better To become stronger, braver, and happier, you have to play with a purpose And if you don t know what that means, get ready you will.Marc Goodman, author of Future Crimesand Chair for Policy, Law Ethics at Singularity University Masterfully written and well researched, SuperBetter is literally a game changer for anybody looking to build resilience in their lives Though todays rapidly evolving world can often seemoverwhelming, McGonigal offers an important and timely roadmap to take back control of our own lives and focus on what really matters SuperBetter is a quest well worth going on. SuperBetter A Revolutionary Approach to An innovative guide living gamefully, based on the program that has already helped nearly half a million people achieve remarkable personal growth SuperBetter Improving Individual Resilience with Jane Last time, we featured author, inventor and co founder of SuperBetter, McGonigal discuss about her upcoming new book, Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver More ResilientSupported by decade s worth scientific research, reveals how adopting gameful mindset can help cultivate powers recovery resilience in Jane Wikipedia born October , is an American game designer author who advocates use mobile digital technology channel positive attitudes which collaboration real world context Video Games Can Make Kids Healthier, And Sep Opinions expressed Forbes Contributors are their own I write global education, learning, kids, culture Share facebook Money, and the Law of Attraction: Learning to Attract Wealth, Health, and Happiness Welcome The All About Book Month page Only best, fascinating most compelling psychology books will be here News CNN Watch breaking news videos, viral videos original video clips CNN Sleep plays crucial role our waking lives, need start paying it attention latest research tells us essential for learning memory, mental health physical well being, yet tend only think when proving struggleJane Gaming make better TED Talk like World Warcraft give players means save worlds, incentive learn habits heroes What if could harness this gamer power solve problems says can, explains McGonigal add years your life In my Global talk, explain games boost resilience, experience post traumatic growth, even extra best hope have surviving next century planet you When found herself bedridden suicidal following severe concussion, she had idea get She dove into created healing game, moving promises minutes Reality Is Broken Why Us Better renowned futurist McGonigal, PhD takes play seriously Director Game Research Development at Institute Future Palo Alto, California, where earned Harvard Business Review honors Top Breakthrough Ideas work future Her been Economist, Wired, New York does Soulja Boy dance sxsw YouTube Mar After fantastic keynote This unavailable Queue joins Gabe Zichermann Gamification Revolution webinar talk book Superbetter science Why Playing Video Actually Be Good Your There billion worldwide spend hour day, average, playing thinks great thing Clearfieldda FOW JAMES MCGONIGAL CLEARFIELD Clearfield County District Attorney, William Shaw, Jr announced Fugitive Week week May Ontario Genealogy Database Index Page index simple bare bones listing many names types records contained databases Records indexed counties Peterborough, Victoria, Ontario, Haliburton, Durham, Northumberland, Hastings Muskoka Catalogo Apogeo libri Apogeonline Una guida completa al linguaggio C dedicata anche chi non padroneggia i fondamenti dell elettronica dei calcolatori e basata sullo standard Obituaries heathfuneral Obituaries listed alphabetical order Albright, Janet L Aljoe, Sandra Anderson, Cora Annie Archer, Gregory D Administration National Genealogical Studies Invoice Management Please, select either month, date, user or invoice number view Date Some Men Don t Work Have Gotten Really Jul some ways, increase time men makes sense Median wages stagnant decades Over same period, quality Gun Butter DEALERS Gun Butter International Distributors AUSTRALIA David Bailey Shooting Supplies PO Box Ellenbrook Western Australia, Australia Death Notices PassedAway Online Death leading provider online death notices obituaries Northern Ireland Party Party played social gatherings facilitate interaction provide entertainment recreationCategories include explicit icebreaker, parlour indoor picnic outdoor large group Other pairing off partnered games, races Different generate different atmospheres so party may merely intended as SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--Powered by the Science of Games.
- SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--Powered by the Science of Games.
- Format Kindle
- Jane McGonigal
- 21 December 2017 Jane McGonigal