This post was triggered by a superb TED talk given by Jane McGonigal that has been watched over 5 million times that Tim Ferriss recommended and it is so good!
Here’s the synposis:
When game designer Jane McGonigal found herself bedridden and suicidal following a severe concussion, she had a fascinating idea for how to get better. She dove into the scientific research and created the healing game, SuperBetter. In this moving talk, McGonigal explains how a game can boost resilience — and promises to add 7.5 minutes to your life.
A bit about SuperBetter: SuperBetter helps you achieve your health goals — or recover from an illness or injury — by increasing your personal resilience. Resilience means staying curious, optimistic and motivated even in the face of the toughest challenges.
She found it being used by others “facing challenges like cancer and chronic pain, depression and Crohn’s disease. Even people were playing it for terminal diagnoses like ALS. And I could tell from their messages and their videos that the game was helping them in the same ways that it helped me. They talked about feeling stronger and braver. They talked about feeling better understood by their friends and family. And they even talked about feeling happier, even though they were in pain, even though they were tackling the toughest challenge of their lives.”
The reason I was so struck by this TED talk is so much of it applied to sobriety. She talked about post traumatic growth. Now I’m not saying that getting sober is comparable to the challenges of cancer or chronic pain or a traumatic event (although it can be for some depending on your circumstances of needing to stop). But for me definitely my slide into alcohol dependence was driven by traumatic life experiences both personally and professionally.
She talks eloquently about post traumatic growth and the 4 factors that support it:
- Physical resilience
- Mental resilience
- Emotional resilience
- Social resilience
And what I was hit by was that my sobriety involved implementing all of those things as part of my growth and recovery.
- Physical resilience – I took up running before I stopped and have maintained that I think it was a critical shift that started the ball rolling.
- Mental resilience – I did a course of CBT in the first year of my sobriety and in the second year took up mindfulness meditation. TBH reading sober blogs is a way to support mental resilience 🙂
- Emotional resilience – gratitude practice and positive newsletter services! Quoting Jane here: Here’s a secret from the scientific literature for you. If you can manage to experience three positive emotions for every one negative emotion over the course of an hour, a day, a week, you dramatically improve your health and your ability to successfully tackle any problem you’re facing. And this is called the three-to-one positive emotion ratio. It’s my favorite SuperBetter trick, so keep it up.
- Social resilience – the power of sober communities, whether online like here or Soberistas or Club Soda or Living Sober, or in real life such as AA.
And to think that by doing all of these things you can add an extra 7.68 minutes of life a day which cumulatively adds up to 10 years extra!
So to all those people who say that giving up drinking won’t add years to your life but it’ll just feel like it I say b*ll*cks. Those extra 10 years are going to be the happiest and most resilient of my life 😉
PS Further to last Fridays sober jukebox and all of your lovely feedback I’m going to start winding back the amount of blog posts I write starting with not posting twice on a Friday and we’ll go from there 🙂