How To Use Gamification To Cope With A Chronic Illness

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Chronic Pain

Being in constant pain or suffering from some kind of chronic or terminal illness can have a lot of serious effects on your wellbeing. It is very difficult for patients to continue living their usual daily lives. Pain can of course provide a serious hindrance when trying to enjoy yourself or even get practical work done. The existence of a terminal illness can present a logistical challenge as well as reducing your life potential expectancy.

One of the biggest challenges in either case though is the psychological challenge – and you are likely to find that depression, low energy and stress are all common side effects. You will find your sense of identity is affected, and sometimes you may even find it hard just to wake up in the morning.

These psychological issues will be complex and there is no easy fix, but framing your situation as a challenge and approaching it in the right way can certainly make a big difference. Read on for some advice on how you can go about doing that using something known as gamification.

What is Gamification?

Gamification

Gamification is essentially the process of turning any challenge into a sort of game by giving it the same rules and structure as a game.

You can do this when trying to get into shape for instance. This might mean scoring yourself points every time you eat something healthy and subtracting points every time you eat a sugary snack. Likewise it could mean setting goals to reach and challenges to try and master in the gym. This gives you training a sense of progression and of fun, while at the same time providing the kind of feedback that can make any ritual addictive.

How To Apply the Concept to Illness

So how do you apply that same concept to recovering from an illness or dealing with pain?

Super Better

There are many movements online that seek to answer this question, and one great example of that is SuperBetter. SuperBetter creates a framework that challenges people with conditions to gather allies, engage the power ups and defeat the bad guys. In this context, gathering allies means getting help from your friends – telling them what youre going through and then inviting them to help you. Its a lot easier when framed this way to ask for help. Engaging power ups means looking for things that can boost your health or even just your mood – whether that means watching a funny movie, taking medication or getting a good nights sleep. Finally, defeating the bad guys means addressing things that can have adverse effects on your wellbeing – such as the wrong foods, stress and other detrimental factors.

SuperBetter is just one framework for gamification and there are many others you can apply to your situation that you may find more appropriate. Any of them will help you to feel like youre making progress, to distance yourself from the issues, and to generally improve your recovery as a result. This is just one more challenge to conquer!

Contributor: Sam Peters is a part of the team at Family Private Care, leading providers of home health aide. Sam is a technophile and visits gadget exhibitions whenever he can.

Image Source: 1, 2.

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