U crazy brother? It’s one of the oldest taunts in internet history, a cynical smile that someone was upset about – often, because of a video game. But for Overwatch gamer and Reddit user SirBenny, it was true. He was mad. But now he says he feels better and the other players feel inspired, following in his footsteps. So what has changed? Turns out SirBenny got a bit of help from his significant other.
“My wife is a therapist,” SirBenny wrote on r / Overwatch. “After I continued to complain about Overwatch losses, she had me fill out this worksheet.”
The worksheet, also known as the Daily Mood Diary, uses a system developed by Professor David D. Burns, who studies the field of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) at Stanford. The journal helps patients by asking them to write down the negative thoughts and emotions caused by an upsetting event (in this case losing in Overwatch), analyzing the distorted thought patterns that led or reinforce these reactions, and presenting positive alternatives to counter the negatives. .
So in SirBenny’s case, after a loss, he might think things like “I should be higher than Silver”. As noted on his worksheet, this is a cognitive distortion known as the statement of duty. But, if he focuses on positive thinking, it is written – “My SR is an exact reflection” – the strength of negative thoughts and emotions decreases while the strength of positive thoughts increases.
My favorite? The negative thought described as “My teammates are hot garbage,” with a little teenage note on the side that says, “Our pork was decent.” You can almost hear the reluctant admiration when you read it aloud.
Pass it on
But that’s not the end of the story. After reading SirBenny’s sheet, other players asked if they could have a blank version to fill out on their own. The other players started to share encouragement and tips for getting better in the game or improving sanity outside of it.
“Hey thanks for posting this OP, reading these cognitive distortions (sic) really hit me, I do almost all of the ones in games, don’t know how to fix it but I feel better knowing that this is ‘is a human problem, rather than my brain being a muddled mess, ”_Stix_ wrote.
“Our brains are really cool and efficient, but often times they can be so efficient that they cut corners and stick to those black and white statements that can make us feel pretty bad. The good news is, you can look at something like ‘I’ I’m an absolute failure ‘, and come up with a more realistic thought instead, like …’ Wow, maybe I suck at overwatch today. .. but i did my test pretty well this week and there are other things i good too.
Now it must be said that if you are struggling with anger or negative thoughts and emotions, this worksheet is not a cure. It is a tool, best used in collaboration with a therapist trained in CBT techniques. Still, Heaven knows I certainly got too angry playing PvP games or even a particularly frustrating level / boss fight.
So thanks for sharing, SirBenny. And kudos to you, the Overwatch community, for working to counter the toxicity that can too often be present not only in our hobby, but in ourselves.