• Positive Thinking Video Games

    Positive thinking computer games should enhance and strengthen each aspect of human cognition. Since the mind and the body are connected, games must cover the broad categories that are part of daily life. Underlying positive thinking is a strong mind, a strong body and an ability to have insight. Games that build the cognition, the physical body and the inner-self can all lead to a positive state of mind.

    Building the Mind
    One of the foundations of positive thinking is cognitive ability, or the strength of intellect. Over the past few years there has been a great deal of research conducted on whether or not it is possible to improve intellectual functioning using computer games. Psychologist Dr. B. Lynch discussed research in an article in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation and found that overall using computers as part of cognitive training is beneficial to building the mind. There are many commercial brain training games on the market that can be added to a positive thinking regimen.
    Building the Body
    Physical health is an important part of positive thinking. When the body is healthy and strong, the risk of developing depression and anxiety is lowered. Psychologists at the YMCA in Atlanta studied the relationship between weight loss and mood and published their results in the journal of Obesity Facts in 2008. They found that weight loss through increased physical activity in women led to improvements on tests measuring depression, tension and total mood disturbances. There are many activity-based video and computer games available that allow for new workouts each day to allow for the relationship between activity and positive thinking to grow.

    Building the Soul
    Meditation and practices such as yoga have been known to help quiet to soul and mind for centuries. More recently, the use of computers in these practices has developed into a field called biofeedback. First studied in the 1950s and ’60s by psychologist Neil Miller, biofeedback suggests that by using a computer to monitor heart rate, blood pressure and other physiological responses, it is possible to control sensitivity to stress and create a more positive thinking environment. Though biofeedback can be done with a professional, there are also at-home systems that work with any computer.

    Daily Practices
    To use computers to achieve positive thinking, games must focus on the brain, the body and the soul. A weekly schedule that allows time to work on all three aspects of the mind can lead to changes in mood, physicality and create an overall sense of well-being.
    Today, with multiple gaming systems, apps and computer types it is easy to go to the website of your gaming system of choice and shop for games that fall into the aforementioned categories!

    • “Historical review of computer-assisted cognitive retraining”. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2002; 17(5):446-57
    • “Relations of mood with body mass index changes in severely obese women enrolled in a supported physical activity treatment.” Obesity Facts. 2008; 1(2):88-92
    • Neurofeedback: Transforming Your Life with Brain Biofeedback. Clare Albright. 2010.