First, I recommend you listen to the “How We Learn and Unlearn To Be Helpless” episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast. (Or if you’re short on time, read the article.)
But here’s the bit that blew me away: After about an hour of talking about how easy it is to teach helplessness, they mentioned that it’s also possible to unlearn helplessness as well.
As they (rightly) recommended getting professional help if needed, they also mentioned creating situations where you succeed in small goals and actually overcome obstacles.
By doing so, you are essentially re learning that you can do things, that you’re effective, and you have an impact on the world.
When I heard that, something clicked for me.
See, when I’m depressed, when I’m feeling low, when I’m upset, hell, even if I’m stressed, I’m probably going to be playing video games.
Not just any video games, though. My current go-tos of choice:
In both of these games, I have control. When I’m in a situation where I’m being taught helplessness, I unlearn helplessness in a virtual world.
Playing these games wasn’t wish-fulfillment or escapism.
They were medication.
It would be fascinating if these games – or something similar – can be utilized in a professional manner to help others. In the meantime, I’ve got to build a defense against those stupid creepers.