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How Gaming Can Benefit Your Mental Health

How Gaming Can Benefit Your Mental Health

Some people believe that playing video games and online gaming, in general, can be detrimental to your emotional and mental health. However, there are many reasons why playing games can also benefit your cognitive abilities; from improving dexterity to developing problem-solving skills, gaming skills can be put to good use in the outside world.

Cognitive Skills Development

When you play any types of games, such as video games, board games, poker or online bingo games, you need to concentrate and work out your gaming strategy. This level of concentration develops your mental agility and problem-solving skills, as you are forced to think about your next move and work to improve your chances of winning.

You’ll also improve your dexterity and reaction times from playing video games and other games that require a fast response, such as bingo. For example, when playing bingo you need to listen for the bingo caller and mark the numbers off on your card quickly, ready for the next call. You need to keep mentally alert so you know when you have won the game. Similarly, when playing video games, you need fast responses to deal with new situations.

Gaming also improves the memory because when we are playing games, we have to hold lots of pieces of information in our minds at once. For example, when playing a video game, we will often have to remember locations in the game, items to pick up, where we need to go and various other useful points about the game.
When playing online casino or bingo games, it can be helpful to remember numbers revealed, cards already dealt, which slot machine symbol combinations result in which payout and so on. There are many ways in which the memory is stimulated while playing games and this can have a beneficial effect on our ability to recall important information in other areas of life.

Health Benefits of Socialising

In addition to the cognitive benefits, gaming can also improve other areas of mental health. Online gaming can be a highly social activity and social interaction has been shown to improve self-esteem and emotional contentment.

While playing online, players can interact with other gamers in chat boxes, collaborate in gaming missions and generally socialise. In online casino and bingo games, players can chat with others in the game, while playing collaborative video games allows you to bond with others and complete levels together.

It might seem less beneficial to socialise online than in real life, but chatting with friends over games or using an online messenger to communicate can still be very helpful in combating social isolation. People playing video games and bingo games can feel close to other gamers, as they share a major interest and often have similar drives. People also chat about things other than the games, so deeper friendships can be forged that can spill into other areas and even lead to real life meetings.

Attention Span and Strategy

Games can also have an interesting benefit in terms of improving a players attention span. By playing games, you develop the ability to notice lots of small details at once and learn to combat impulsiveness. When concentrating on a video game, the player must quickly assimilate lots of conflicting information and learn to focus on the most important things, blocking out the irrelevant information.

The players must also know when to act and when to wait, in order to maximise the success of their interactions with the game. For example, when playing blackjack online, a player needs to consider when to take another card and when to stick with their current hand. In a video game, the player needs to think about the next course of action and consider the long-term benefits over short-term gain, keeping in mind the overall objective of the game as a whole. This is a beneficial approach for entrepreneurs looking to build a lasting company.

Gaming can benefit your mental health in many ways. By improving the physical function of the brain with the many cognitive benefits, to developing better social skills, gaming can have a positive impact on real-life situations. In addition to this, the strategies employed by successful gamers can also be used in the business world to focus on long-term growth.

How do you feel gaming enhances your mental health?

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Become a Winner in Life

Being a winner in life really just means learning how to grow as a person while creating healthy, happy relationships. The best way to do this is to create a fulfilling lifestyle filled with love and positivity. Make sure to cultivate healthy thoughts, relationships, and practices in your daily life.

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Practice thinking confident thoughts. Confidence, like many things, is a skill that can be learned. Even if you don’t start off feeling confident, the more you practice, the better you’ll get and the happier you’ll feel. Think positively about your life. When faced with an obstacle, tell yourself that you can overcome it.[1]
Even if you’re not feeling confident, try acting confident with body language. Stand up straight while you’re walking or sitting. Avoid standing with your arms crossed. Instead, put your hands on your hips.
Just smiling, even if you force it, can help you feel instantly happier and more confident, as your brain releases endorphins.[2]
Stop negative thinking. It’s normal to have self-doubts, but you can overcome them. Every time you start having negative thoughts about yourself, stop yourself and re-frame the thought into a positive or neutral one. For example, if you find yourself thinking “I am so worthless,” think instead, “I am really valuable to myself and others.”[3]
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Encourage yourself to keep learning. Never stop educating yourself throughout your life. It will keep your brain sharp, lower your risk for diseases like Alzheimer’s, and give you interesting things to discuss with other people. Start with subjects that are interesting to you, such as video game design or historical costuming.[4]
Educate yourself about what is happening in the world: advances in science, medicine, politics, art, and current events. This keeps you in touch with what is going on.
Try to learn a new skill, such as knitting, speaking a foreign language, or understanding astrophysics.
Reading books and articles, watching the news and documentaries, or doing online tutorials are all great ways to keep learning.
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Learn from your mistakes. No matter how successful you are, no matter how healthy you are, no matter what you do or don’t do, you’re going to make mistakes and experience failure. Sometimes these incidents will be your fault, sometimes they won’t. It’s how you respond to them that will determine your ability to be successful at life.[5]
Your attitude toward life shapes how you experience things. Let go of your expectations and accept life as it is. This will empower you to handle whatever comes your way.[6]
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. When you do make a mistake, ask yourself how did things go wrong, what did you learn from it, and what will you do differently next time?
To learn from your mistakes, you must first take accountability for them. Acknowledge where you went wrong so that you can fix it.
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Step outside of your comfort zone. Although it can be a little nerve-racking at first, these experiences will help you gain confidence and the resources to deal with the uncertainties of life. You might try something as intense as sky-diving or rock-climbing or something more mundane like meeting new people or speaking in front of a crowd.[7]
Take small steps to get better. If you have social anxiety, for example, your small step could be talking to 1 unknown person a week or making 1 phone call per week. You can eventually work up to going to an event by yourself or dealing with people on a regular basis.
Try to do something that pushes you each day. Even small shifts can end up making a big difference in your life.[8]
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Use your passion and interests to find a fulfilling vocation. Your vocation is your calling in life that gives you meaning. Sometimes, this is your profession, but it can also be a hobby, a passion, or a side project. Study your interests, passions, and hobbies. Use those to guide you towards a vocation that is meaningful to you.[9]
Think about your values—what really lights you up and gets you excited? What do you want to be remembered for? Then, try to figure out what you can do that aligns with that.[10]
If your job isn’t your passion in life, try to think of all the positive benefits of it. Make a list of all the good things about your job, such as having coworkers you like, making a difference in people’s lives, or making enough money to buy a house.
Don’t feel like you necessarily have to make big changes all at once. You can still incorporate your passion into your daily life. For instance, if you love acting, you might not be able to quit your job and move to Hollywood, but you might find that you enjoy acting in a local community theater.[11]

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KARATE AND KUNG FU

For many people, especially those who are not familiar with martial arts, the question often arises on what the difference between karate and kung fu is. Upon watching somebody doing martial arts, the untrained eye will find it hard to tell whether that person is doing karate or kung fu. Even those who are beginning martial arts may sometimes be confused about the different styles until further exposure to them will reveal just how different they really are.

Historically, the people living in the islands of Okinawa just south of Japan got exposed to Chinese kung fu martial arts due to the close proximity to China. Over time, the Okinawan’s and Japanese developed their own styles of martial arts now known as karate from the original influence of Chinese kung fu. Although both karate and kung fu utilize many similar martial arts techniques, most kung fu styles will usually have more variety of techniques compared to karate systems. It’s almost like the Japanese streamlined the number of techniques from Chinese systems to develop karate. The Japanese also modified the way techniques are executed in karate as they became more linear compared to kung fu. This is especially evident in the forms or katas (traditional sequence of set moves) where karate techniques are performed with crisp movements that have distinct stop and go motions.

In kung fu forms, movements involve the use of more circular techniques, particularly with the hands. These circular motions give kung fu forms a more visually graceful look as techniques seem to flow from one to another. There is less stop and go with most kung fu styles. This is why some martial artists, especially in North America, often refer to Chinese kung fu as ‘soft’ styles while karate and tae kwon do are ‘hard’ styles. This is not to say that hard styles such as karate or tae kwon do are more powerful martial arts than kung fu and other soft styles. The term ‘soft’ is a bit misleading because the power from circular kung fu moves is often hidden. Circular moves can generate just as much power as linear ones found in hard styles. Most kung fu forms are also usually more complex and longer in duration than most karate forms. To most martial artists, a kung fu form will look much more exotic while a karate form will look more straight forward in terms of martial arts techniques. Interestingly enough, there are karate styles such as goju which do have quite a lot of circular techniques similar to kung fu. Kempo styles are considered a hybrid of Chinese kung fu and Okinawan karate techniques with both circular as well as linear techniques. There are also many more different styles of kung fu compared to karate.

Martial arts weaponry is found in both kung fu and karate styles but different sets of weapons are utilized in each martial arts system. Much like the empty hand forms, the kata with karate weapons are also more linear compared to those with kung fu weapons which have more circular movements. As expected, there is a lot more variety of different Chinese kung fu weapons than found in the Japanese karate styles.

Traditionally, practitioners of karate wear a white uniform called a gi which features the overlapping kimono-like top. Less traditional schools will allow coloured uniforms. A coloured belt will be the finishing touch to the gi with of course the black belt for those at instructor level ranking. Most of the time and especially inside a dojo, karate stylists will not wear any shoes while training. Most kung fu stylists will wear a very different looking uniform. Kung fu uniforms usually consist of tops with Chinese ‘frog-style’ buttons rather than overlapping fronts like the karate gi top. The uniforms can be black or a variety of colours with often lighter fabrics such as satin and shoes are commonly worn. The modern acrobatic Chinese martial arts of wushu can feature satin uniforms with many different bright colours. Many kung fu schools simply utilize t-shirts and baggy pants as uniforms. Satin coloured sashes are often worn to signify rank of students but this is actually more of a Western style as most kung fu schools in Asia do not show rankings in uniforms.

Overall, there’s more variety of techniques, styles, weapons and uniforms found in the Chinese kung fu systems compared to karate. However, that is not to say that one system or style of martial art is superior to another. They are just different and to the observer, it could come down to personal preference. Some prefer kung fu and some prefer karate. Some ambitious martial artists who desire a full well rounded education practice both kung fu and karate.

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Commentary: Driving a Grab full-time right after graduation. Should you do it

Is taking a job that’s irrelevant to your years of acquired qualifications worth it, even if it pays handsomely? Human resources expert Adrian Tan tackles the issue of why some turn to driving Grab full-time straight out of school.

A Grab taxi drives on a street in Hanoi, Vietnam on Oct 29, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Kham)

SINGAPORE: There is a reason why cab drivers are often referred to as taxi uncles.

Most are of an older generation and a huge proportion remain men. There is no data to back this but, anecdotally, in my last 10 taxi rides, all of them fit this category.

You don’t hear of any taxi youngsters. That’s because the Land Transport Authority stipulates a minimum age of 30 before you can get a Taxi Driver’s Vocational License.

But when it comes to who’s driving your Grab, it’s still more likely to be someone younger than your average taxi driver.

EASY TO BECOME A GRAB DRIVER

Prior to the introduction of the Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational License (PDVL), the entry barrier to becoming a driver with ride-hailing companies was pretty low. You just needed a driver license with at least two years of experience.

Don’t have a car? No issue. Just rent one and your rental can be deducted daily from your Grab Driver app’s wallet, which will be topped up as you earn more income driving.

In 2017, Grab claimed that between 20 to 30 per cent of its drivers in Singapore are younger than 30. There were 56,300 private-hire car drivers as of June last year, but this number may have halved after the PDVL came into effect, and with the Grab-Uber merger resulting in fewer incentives for drivers.

Outside of the ride-hailing industry, youths dominate other sectors in the growing gig economy made possible by the likes of HonestBee, Deliveroo and Zomwork, just to name a few.

 

(Photo: Facebook/Deliveroo Riders Singapore)

 

With all the skilled expertise that young graduates are acquiring these days, it makes one wonder why some gravitate towards gigs that don’t utilise skills relevant to years of tertiary education.

INSTANTLY ACHIEVING AN INCOME LEVEL OTHERS TAKE YEARS TO

After National Service I worked as a member of an airline cabin crew. Besides the travelling perks, the income was attractive, and with only an O-level certification at that point in time, I was earning more than my peers.

So I understand why some youths rather drive Grab after graduation than grind their teeth at an entry-level job. Going by Grab’s income calculator, driving from 9am to 6pm on Monday to Friday would yield about S$1,015 per week. That’s S$4,060 per month.

The median salary in 2017 for a fresh polytechnic graduate stands at S$2,235 a month. Financially, it is a no-brainer to pick the job that pays more.

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