Ironing and Minecraft
I’ve had a few anxiety attacks over the last couple of days. Sometimes I can pin down the source of these and rationalise them and other times I can’t. As a coping mechanism I have a few things I use depending on the type of attack.
If I can’t determine the source straight away then I do ironing, typically while watching some comedy on TV. The repetitive nature of the task, its light physical nature and the increasing sense of accomplishment on which I can’t be judged is calming. Ironing is also a necessary evil so it gets another job out of the way. Favourite comedy shows to watch:
- Red Dwarf
- Big Bang Thoery
- Brooklyn 99
Then there are times when I know the root cause of my anxiety but may be too caught up in the moment of it to act on a solution. At these times playing a little Minecraft can be helpful.
One of the things I love about Minecraft is the variety of approaches you can take to your gameplay at anyone time. First you have the basic options between creative and survival modes – I almost always play in survival. Then, while playing you can choose from a variety of different tasks. It could be building a base (whether it’s a mud hut or a castle) it can be moving towards a major game achievement like killing the Ender Dragon or it could be simply mining (It’s called minecraft for a reason).
For dealing with anxiety I just mine. It’s another repetitive task which allows my brain to work through the anxiety and if I know what caused it come up with the best solution or response to deal with the root problem. It also prevents knee jerk reactions to problems that may or may not actually exist – like reading the header of an email and assuming what the contents are before you read it and just flying into a rage or getting a panic attack.
Anyway, the use of repetitive tasks whether fruitful (ironing) or not (Minecraft) I find are good ways of dealing with anxiety attacks. Ive mentioned this before in my post called Anxiety and Action – how small chores provide a sense of accomplishment while allowing your brain to sort the problem out on it’s own. Other tasks include:
- Doing the dishes
- Pruning in the garden
- Tidying cupboards and drawers
- Writing on this blog
Note that none of these have a high physical activity level and just allow my brain to gently work out the problem while I achieve a minor task.