How to live 10 Years Longer by Playing Games

Live 10 years LongerPlus be happier and have fewer regrets

“I’m a gamer so I like to have goals. I like special missions and secret objectives, so here’s my special mission for this talk. I’m going to try to increase the lifespan of everyone in this room by seven and a half minutes.”
– Jane McGonigal

Jane Mcdonigal gave a talk at TED recently that I loved. Its backed by some real research and gives us a way to not only live longer but to enjoy life while we live it and to avoid the top 5 deathbed regrets which are:

Top 5 deathbed regrets:

  1. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.I wish I had stayed in tough with my friends.
  2. I wish I had let myself be happier.
  3. I wish I had had the courage to express my true self.
  4. I wish I had lived a life true to my dreams instead of what others had expected of me.

You have probably heard of post traumatic stress. What you are less likely to have heard of is post traumatic growth.
Some people who undergo a traumatic event don’t just experience the stress reaction, but also go through post traumatic growth.

Top 5 things that people that have been through post traumatic growth say about themselves.

  1. My priorities have changed, I’m 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.
  5. I’m better able to focus on my dreams and goals.

That’s pretty interesting because they tie in very closely with the top 5 regrets that people have.

The thing is that you don’t really want to have a nasty accident to get these benefits, so is it possible to get these improvements to your life without the corresponding car crash.

Turns out it is!

In her talk, Jane takes us through 4 specific residencies that are built up through post traumatic stress  and gives us some tips on how you can build them up on a daily basis by making simple changes and performing small challenges.

She has incorporated them into a game to make it super easy to get the benefits. You can find it at SuperBetter.

To summarize though, the residencies are:

Physical resilience – This is basically your health and physical well being. You strengthen this by moving and not sitting around. Every time you move, you improve this a little bit. Even something as small as lifting your hands above your head or standing up and looking around.

Mental Resilience – This is things like your Determination, will power and focus. You strengthen this by using it. Setting goals, even small ones and seeing them to completion. Again even something as small at clicking your fingers 50 times or counting back from 100
in increments of 7 (tricky but not too hard).

Emotional resilience – Evoke powerful emotions, experience 3 positive emotions for every negative one and you will experience improved mental prowess and problem solving. Look out of a window or Google pictures of a cute baby.

Social resilience – making connections, touch, gratitude. Thank someone on facebook etc. Shaking someones hand for 6 seconds raises oxytocin

See the evidence to back it up here:

Then watch the video of her talk below:

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