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Collective term for fun, relaxation and escapism

Collective term for fun, relaxation and escapism



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I'm pondering the nature and relationship of several things that I think are at least loosely related: fun, rest/relaxation and escapism.

They are all things that might be loosely described as "humanistic;" things that you associate with happiness. They might also be described as "fringe needs;" we have to take care of more important things before we go into leisure mode. (However, rest is an exception, as we can hardly stay sane without sleep.)

So is there a collective term for these things? Or can they be placed in some kind of category that separates them from more familiar needs, such as security, social connections and esteem?


I do not believe that there is an actual term that encompasses the three, but if you look at the functions they fulfil, you will find that they tend to give you a "break" from the stimuli that memory is repeatedly exposed to and allow the brain to process those stimuli from memory.

My thoughts on it are: re-processing information that was processed before, trying again to find the patterns and bring the information you are exposed to onto consciousness is hard work that the brain shouldn't have to do. Instead, the same stimuli can be brought from memory and processed as such during lack of exposure.

The only scientific thing that comes to my mind is a thing that comes from imagery of the visual cortex during significant activities (memorising a picture) versus non-significant activities (like being exposed to a blank picture instead of repeating the significant picture). It is called refreshing. More about it, for the scientifically-minded, here

In laymen terms, at times of non-exposure to the real stimuli your brain will automatically expose you to self-made renditions of those stimuli. This particularity of the brain involves complex cognitive functions, of which visual imagery is just an example.

This might be an assumption and an over-generalising of the findings in the paper quoted here, but it might also be true that all the terms you mentioned in your question (fun, relaxation and escapism),can be linked to periods of time of non-exposure to the stimuli that need refreshed, aka. brought to memory by a cognitive representation rather than by repeated exposure.

Now, the big difference between my proposed term and the terms you used is the fact that, scientifically, attentional refreshing has only been proven for stimuli that the brain was exposed to moments ago. For complex pieces of information and longer periods of time, it would be hard to measure the effect that non--exposure has, because of the nature of the experiments we are now conducting in cognitive and neuro psychology.


What is Escapism? (with pictures)

Escapism is a way of refocusing one’s attention on pleasant or enjoyable things, as opposed to the hard realities of the everyday world. It can be a healthy means for not getting completely depressed by reality, or in extreme forms, can result in obsessive behaviors that make people completely ignore reality to their detriment.

Healthy escapism is probably one of the first practices of the developing human species. Who can evaluate such things as cave paintings or the first works of artisans without suggesting that people sometimes needed to focus on things that were not mundane or entirely useful? Little usefulness might be derived from painting a cave painting, or from looking at one. There may have been some practical impetus behind artistic intent, such as teaching people how to slay a mammoth. In reality, however, the focus on something other than the mundane was likely a relief.

Modern escapism in a healthy sense could include reading a favorite book, watching a sports program, watching “mindless” television, or playing a few hours of Tetris. There is very little harm in the occasional escape from reality in such forms.

Some argue however, this mindset may ultimately become addictive. For example, current studies are now focusing on the emerging condition of Internet addiction. In Internet addiction, people may spend most hours of the day and night surfing the Internet. They may do so in preference to working in the world, or in preference to having “real life” relationships with other people. What begins as a mere search on a topic, may end in a life lived in front of a computer monitor when the issue becomes extreme.

Some people argue that those who get excessively involved as fans of certain television shows or series of books are pursuing an unhealthy level of escapism. For example, people look to Trekkies, or comic books fans that dress up or attempt to live as their favorite characters, as having lost themselves in their respective "universes." In their defense, many devoted fans live very normal lives, and have children, relationships and regular jobs. However, they may spend their weekends attending conferences to escape into an idealized world that seems a better substitute than exploring the hard truths of this world.

Activities perceived normal, like eating, sleeping or sexual activity may also be deemed as escapist when they are practiced in excess. For example, sleeping over half the day to the point where one cannot pursue a normal life is termed escapism. Such sleeping may be caused by illnesses that creates exhaustion, or may actually be symptomatic of mental illnesses like depression. Often the person uses sleep as an escape from a life filled with emotional or physical pain.

It is not too difficult to guess why we all need to occasionally practice escapism. A glance at a morning newspaper tends to reveal literally hundreds of deaths, as well as articles about kidnappings, child abuse, and major disasters. Additionally, work inside or out of the home can be stressful, and this activity is a way to avoid feeling constantly under stress.

However, when the activity runs rampant, it prevents us from living in the world as truly engaged. It can lead to addiction, breakdown of relationships and inability to actually survive in the real world. Moderate escapism, on the other hand, may actually make us more effective participants in the world, since we allow ourselves to take mental breaks that reduce our stress.

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent InfoBloom contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent InfoBloom contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.


How to Respond to Pressure Situations?

Before moving along, it’s important you gain some clarity about how you typically respond to pressure situations and the resulting impact that this has on your life. Ask yourself:

What things cause me to lose my cool?

What specific people or circumstances cause me to succumb to pressure?

How do these triggers affect me on an emotional and physical level?

How do I typically respond during these pressure situations?

Why do I respond in this way?

Does responding in this way hurt me? How?

Does responding in this way help me? How?

Answering these questions honestly and thoroughly will hopefully provide you with a deeper insight into your patterns of behavior. Use these insights to help you make better choices moving forward.


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Psychotherapy Classics

Featuring contributions from some of the most influential and enigmatic thinkers of the 20th century, Psychotherapy Classics: Landmark Articles in the History of Psychotherapy and Counseling is essent…

It's Not Normal To Be Normal

This 'It's Not Normal To Be Normal' T-Shirt is perfect for anybody who thinks that the assumptions surrounding abnormality need to be challenged.


Download Free Worksheet

1. Windle, G. (2011). What is resilience? A review and concept analysis. Reviews in Clinical Gerontology, 21(2), 152-169.

  • Unlimited access to interactive therapy tools.
  • Customizable and fillable worksheets.
  • Ad-free browsing.
  • Support the creation of new tools for the entire mental health community.

Disclaimer: The resources available on Therapist Aid do not replace therapy, and are intended to be used by qualified professionals. Professionals who use the tools available on this website should not practice outside of their own areas of competency. These tools are intended to supplement treatment, and are not a replacement for appropriate training.

Copyright Notice: Therapist Aid LLC is the owner of the copyright for this website and all original materials/works that are included. Therapist Aid has the exclusive right to reproduce their original works, prepare derivative works, distribute copies of the works, and in the case of videos/sound recordings perform or display the work publicly. Anyone who violates the exclusive rights of the copyright owner is an infringer of the copyrights in violation of the US Copyright Act. For more information about how our resources may or may not be used, see our help page.

Therapist Aid has obtained permission to post the copyright protected works of other professionals in the community and has recognized the contributions from each author.


Video games can ease loneliness during a pandemic

Online gaming communities can provide companionship and social stimulation.

As communities across the globe are urged to stay indoors and practice physical distancing measures, feelings of isolation and loneliness are likely to become more prevalent. To combat the potential social and psychological impacts of physical distancing, many people are turning to video games.

Video games were once widely perceived as inherently anti-social. However, the World Health Organization, which has warned about the risks of too much gaming, recently launched #PlayApartTogether, partnering with major gaming studios to encourage people to stay home.

Even without the presence of a global pandemic, the video game market is staggering in size, far exceeding the film and music industries. People play video games for many reasons, including relaxation, escapism and (of course) fun, but they also provide spaces for people to get together and stay connected. This is especially important now, when people may be feeling increasingly isolated, lonely and anxious.

As instructors and researchers of video games and video game design, we contacted several game industry insiders and scholars to provide some insight into gaming during times of physical isolation.

Gaming connections and benefits

Video games have a number of social and psychological benefits. People who play massively multiplayer online games, for example, report a stronger sense of social identity, higher levels of self-esteem and decreased feelings of loneliness. These games often encourage or require players to work together towards a goal, which can foster a sense of community and camaraderie.

Most online games have in-game chat, either by voice or through text, and so online spaces can be convenient avenues for communicating and staying in touch.

In addition to playing with people from around the world, video games provide spaces where friends and families can meet virtually. Games like Nintendo’s recently released Animal Crossing: New Horizons, allow players to meet, socialize and complete in-game tasks together on a virtual island. Many games allow players to create private servers, where only invited users are allowed to participate. This allows friends and family to pre-arrange a time to play and meet.

The trailer for Animal Crossing, a highly popular Nintendo Switch game.

Providing distractions

The popular PC video game platform, Steam, recently saw a record number of users logged into its service over the March 21-22 weekend. And while the most commonly played games on Steam remain highly competitive, fast-paced action games, there are many video game genres to suit virtually any play style.

To help players during this difficult time, some game developers are offering their games for free or at steep discounts. In mid-March, indie game developer Vlambeer announced that its game, Nuclear Throne could be purchased for 90 percent off the regular price. When asked about the timing of the discount, Vlambeer co-founder and strategic director Rami Ismail said:

Supporting communities

Leaf Corcoran, the founder of indie video game website itch.io, posted to Twitter that many of the site’s games could be downloaded and played for free.

When asked what he’s noticed since the start of the pandemic and physical distancing, Corcoran said that user activity is “way up” and that people are participating in “stay-at-home” themed video game development jams. He summarized the community responded by saying:

Risks and outcomes

While video games may be useful for battling isolation, there are some potential risks. As communications scholars Kishonna Gray and Emma Vossen have noted, online spaces can be incredibly toxic, particularly for players from marginalized communities.

More time spent online, therefore, runs the risk of increased exposure to toxicity. While online harassment is a serious issue for adults, it is potentially worse for younger players. In an email exchange, Rachel Kowert, research director of Take This (a mental health and video games resource organization), notes that parents of young children, in particular, should “take advantage of the various parental controls relating to chat, by turning off the chat completely or by only letting them connect and chat with people they know in their offline lives.”

Another potential concern for parents may be increased in-game purchases, such as loot boxes, downloadable content or microtransactions.

Kowert recommends enabling parental controls to ensure that children aren’t accidentally purchasing in-game content. For adults, increased stress can also lead to increased game-related spending, including impulse purchases. In order to keep purchases under control, players should consider tracking spending or disabling in-app or in-game purchases.

Game on

Despite these concerns, and with the appropriate precautions, video games remain a fun, practical way to maintain social relationships and to combat feelings of boredom and isolation.

While much of the gaming community remains focused largely on players, Ismail from Vlambeer had some advice for game developers in this challenging time:

This article was originally published on The Conversation by Aaron Langille and Charles Daviau at Laurentian University, andJason Hawreliak at Brock University. Read the original article here.


A new study authored by Robert Lanza suggests observers" are responsible for determining physical reality, and that conscious observers themselves generate and create the structures of time and space.

We observers, people like you and I, are responsible for how consciousness forms into physical matter, what does this say about the power of our individual and collective beliefs?

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Where does the “physical” world come from? Matter at its smallest observable form, atoms, pop in and out of existence all the time. The idea that physical matter is birthed from a non physical realm, such as the “quantum vacuum” or the “void”, or something else we are unaware of is not novel. Nikola Tesla himself believed that “all perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the akasha, or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life-giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never-ending cycles all things and phenomena.” (Man’s Greatest Achievement, 1907)

A paper published by Parahamsa Tewari in the journal Physics Essays explains,

“A century from now, it will be well known that: the vacuum of space which fills the universe is itself the real substratum of the universe vacuum in a circulating state becomes matter the electron is the fundamental particle of matter and is a vortex of vacuum with a vacuum-less void at the center and it is dynamically stable the speed of light relative to vacuum is the maximum speed that nature has provided and is an inherent property of the vacuum vacuum is a subtle fluid unknown in material media vacuum is mass-less, continuous, non viscous, and incompressible and is responsible for all the properties of matter and that vacuum has always existed and will exist forever….Then scientists, engineers and philosophers will bend their heads in shame knowing that modern science ignored the vacuum in our chase to discover reality for more than a century.”

This non-physical “field” may also be dark energy, we don’t really know or understand it quite well, but we know it exists. A declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document touches on this,

“We do not understand why it exists or how it is created we simply know it provides an ever-present force on spacetime, causing the universe to expand. Indeed, recent high-precision experimental observations indicate dark energy may be a cosmological vacuum energy.”

So, if our material world is birthed from this non material “stuff”, does consciousness play a factor? It’s interesting to contemplate, especially given the fact that consciousness is not a physical thing, nor is it the result of any known physical process or biology. You cannot pinpoint or find the source of consciousness within the brain. Even at the quantum level, factors associated with consciousness have been known to change the behavior of matter, like photons, suggesting that matter itself may be a conscious perceiving thing.

Does this mean that all “physical” things possess some type of consciousness? Photons don’t have a brain, do they? What about plants? There is a growing amount of evidence suggesting that plants act and behave in ways suggesting that they are a thinking things, capable of feelings, emotions, perceptions and thoughts.

If consciousness can have such an influence over matter, and is a non physical property that exists within all physical things, could it somehow be responsible for the creation of reality? This has been a common theme discussed within the realms of quantum physics for quite some time. In fact, the discussion of “ether”, this non physical, indescribable “stuff” has been the subject of contemplation for thousands of years. Plato wrote about the ether in his work Phaedo, and explained how life exists within it. He believed what air is to us, the ether is to them. Is the ether alive? Is the universe itself, which could be primarily made up of this non-physical stuff, a conscious living entity?

You cannot explain consciousness in terms of the existing fundamentals like space, time, mass, and charge. As a result, the logical thing to do is postulate whether consciousness itself is something fundamental to the existence of reality, to view consciousness itself as one of these fundamentals.

“Why do you insist the universe is not a conscious intelligence, when it gives birth to conscious intelligences?” Cicero, c. 44 BCE

A New Paper

Another paper has emerged claiming that “observers” are responsible for determining physical reality, and that conscious observers themselves generate and create the structures of time and space.

What’s interesting to contemplate here is that, if this is true, it would include all “observers” within the universe itself, not just human observers. It reminds me of the double slit experiment, where tiny bits of matter are shot through a slit forming what’s called a wave pattern of probabilities and possibilities, but when an observer is introduced the wave function collapses.

One of the authors of the paper, Robert Lanza, told Big Think that observers can dramatically affect the “behavior of observable quantities” both at a microscopic and massive spatiotemporal scales. In fact, a “profound shift in our ordinary everyday worldview” is necessary. The world is not something that is formed outside of us, simply existing on its own. “Observers ultimately define the structure of physical reality itself.”

How does this work? Lanza contends that a network of observers is necessary and is “inherent to the structure of reality.” As he explains, observers — you, me, and anyone else — live in a quantum gravitational universe and come up with “a globally agreed-upon cognitive model” of reality by exchanging information about the properties of spacetime. “For, once you measure something,” Lanza writes, “the wave of probability to measure the same value of the already probed physical quantity becomes ‘localized’ or simply ‘collapses.'” That’s how reality comes to be consistently real to us all. Once you keep measuring a quantity over and over, knowing the result of the first measurement, you will see the outcome to be the same

The implications of this are and have always been quite large. The idea that consciousness itself is fundamental to reality suggests that it must have played an integral part in the creation of reality, that consciousness itself had to exist prior to the birth of physical material reality. One could go on and on contemplating things like: if consciousness is fundamental to the creation of physical matter, then what created consciousness itself? Where does consciousness itself originate from? Does existence itself even have a beginning? Can the future change the past, can the past change the future?

Who knows, but the most important point to takeaway here is that consciousness itself is fundamental to the creation of our physical experience. If we want to change the world, ultimately we have to change the way we think, feel and perceive. This is a key factor that is directly intertwined with the type human experience we create for ourselves.

This is why, perhaps, sometimes it seems that the greatest resource for powerful people, politicians and corporations is human consciousness itself. If we ourselves determine what direction humanity heads simply by what we think and feel, just imagine what somebody could do if they could manipulate that aspect within us? The state of the world today, some might say, is chaotic, and that could be a direct result of the fact that the collective mind and heart is not in a state of coherence.

You might say “we are all over the place.” We’re separated by our beliefs and unable to come together in understanding and harmony. This collective state of being in turn will create a physical experience that reflects that, which is exactly what we are seeing today and have seen throughout human history.

Below is a great little documentary from a colleague of mine, it’s based off an essay he wrote for his philosophy master’s degree. It dives a bit deeper into this discussion.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Consciousness


Conceptualising family adventure tourist motives, experiences and benefits

Families are becoming increasingly important to the adventure tourism industry, yet previous research neglects to investigate these tourists, instead focusing on family participation in non-adventure holidays and recreational activities. This conceptual paper develops a theoretically grounded perspective of family adventure tourists and considers the following research questions: Which key motives encourage families to participate in adventure activities while on holiday? What are the experiences of families during adventure activity participation on holiday? What benefits do families gain from these experiences? The paper addresses a research gap through synthesising previous research findings pertaining to family tourists and recreationists, adventure tourists and recreational adventurers. It makes connections between these studies to develop fruitful insights into family adventure tourists. It adopts a whole family approach as the perspectives of children and their parents are equally important in progressing understanding of these tourists. Many older family tourism studies only investigate parental viewpoints, yet children are integral to shaping the family holiday experience and understanding them is essential for organisations striving to deliver fun, enjoyable and challenging family holidays which satisfy parents as well as children. The paper presents a conceptual model of family adventure tourists, which illustrates the multidimensional journey families take before, during and after their adventure holiday. The paper highlights the complexities of understanding families who partake in adventure holidays and the key considerations that adventure organisations need to take into account in designing such holidays. It also makes suggestions for further research on family adventure tourists.

Management implications

The key findings from this paper have several management implications for the adventure tourism industry:

There is strong and continued growth in the demand for family adventure holidays, and participation is associated with numerous benefits which can lead to improved family functioning.

Understanding the family adventure tourism market can assist organisations to design suitable holidays which take into account the complexities of families and the multifaceted needs of parents and their children.

In developing these holidays, organisations need to consider that: families enjoy packaged as well as independently organised adventure holidays they participate in a range of hard and soft adventure activities there are motivational differences between parents and children holidays need to combine activity experiences with opportunities for downtime and relaxation to ensure all family members are happy activity participation may trigger family conflict at times due to the challenging nature of adventure and, holidays should facilitate opportunities for family togetherness, bonding, communication, relationship-building, consolidation of family values and traditions, and other benefits.


Therapy worksheets related to Anxiety for Children

Disclaimer: The resources available on Therapist Aid do not replace therapy, and are intended to be used by qualified professionals. Professionals who use the tools available on this website should not practice outside of their own areas of competency. These tools are intended to supplement treatment, and are not a replacement for appropriate training.

Copyright Notice: Therapist Aid LLC is the owner of the copyright for this website and all original materials/works that are included. Therapist Aid has the exclusive right to reproduce their original works, prepare derivative works, distribute copies of the works, and in the case of videos/sound recordings perform or display the work publicly. Anyone who violates the exclusive rights of the copyright owner is an infringer of the copyrights in violation of the US Copyright Act. For more information about how our resources may or may not be used, see our help page.

Therapist Aid has obtained permission to post the copyright protected works of other professionals in the community and has recognized the contributions from each author.


Making connections

Perhaps the most important value of a guilty pleasure is the bond it can create between people.

“These shows are out there for a reason — they’re resonating,” Dr. Nabi said. Dr. Neff added that the connections we make with others who share our interests in such things “is not to be underestimated.”

Besides helping us connect with others, talking about what we enjoy can alleviate any residual guilt and make it easier to discover more things that bring us pleasure.

“Lots of the time, guilty pleasures get talked about in terms of genre, but you probably don’t like all boy bands, so what is it about this particular group and their music?” Dr. Schalk said. “Whatever it is, find your little niche and go for that. And don’t be ashamed of what that is, because clearly it’s doing something for you.”

Being able to talk openly about what we love is more than just a way to spend the time. After all, Ms. Brown said: “If you don’t feel like you can be honest about what TV pleases you, then what else are you keeping from yourself and others?”


Conceptualising family adventure tourist motives, experiences and benefits

Families are becoming increasingly important to the adventure tourism industry, yet previous research neglects to investigate these tourists, instead focusing on family participation in non-adventure holidays and recreational activities. This conceptual paper develops a theoretically grounded perspective of family adventure tourists and considers the following research questions: Which key motives encourage families to participate in adventure activities while on holiday? What are the experiences of families during adventure activity participation on holiday? What benefits do families gain from these experiences? The paper addresses a research gap through synthesising previous research findings pertaining to family tourists and recreationists, adventure tourists and recreational adventurers. It makes connections between these studies to develop fruitful insights into family adventure tourists. It adopts a whole family approach as the perspectives of children and their parents are equally important in progressing understanding of these tourists. Many older family tourism studies only investigate parental viewpoints, yet children are integral to shaping the family holiday experience and understanding them is essential for organisations striving to deliver fun, enjoyable and challenging family holidays which satisfy parents as well as children. The paper presents a conceptual model of family adventure tourists, which illustrates the multidimensional journey families take before, during and after their adventure holiday. The paper highlights the complexities of understanding families who partake in adventure holidays and the key considerations that adventure organisations need to take into account in designing such holidays. It also makes suggestions for further research on family adventure tourists.

Management implications

The key findings from this paper have several management implications for the adventure tourism industry:

There is strong and continued growth in the demand for family adventure holidays, and participation is associated with numerous benefits which can lead to improved family functioning.

Understanding the family adventure tourism market can assist organisations to design suitable holidays which take into account the complexities of families and the multifaceted needs of parents and their children.

In developing these holidays, organisations need to consider that: families enjoy packaged as well as independently organised adventure holidays they participate in a range of hard and soft adventure activities there are motivational differences between parents and children holidays need to combine activity experiences with opportunities for downtime and relaxation to ensure all family members are happy activity participation may trigger family conflict at times due to the challenging nature of adventure and, holidays should facilitate opportunities for family togetherness, bonding, communication, relationship-building, consolidation of family values and traditions, and other benefits.


Video games can ease loneliness during a pandemic

Online gaming communities can provide companionship and social stimulation.

As communities across the globe are urged to stay indoors and practice physical distancing measures, feelings of isolation and loneliness are likely to become more prevalent. To combat the potential social and psychological impacts of physical distancing, many people are turning to video games.

Video games were once widely perceived as inherently anti-social. However, the World Health Organization, which has warned about the risks of too much gaming, recently launched #PlayApartTogether, partnering with major gaming studios to encourage people to stay home.

Even without the presence of a global pandemic, the video game market is staggering in size, far exceeding the film and music industries. People play video games for many reasons, including relaxation, escapism and (of course) fun, but they also provide spaces for people to get together and stay connected. This is especially important now, when people may be feeling increasingly isolated, lonely and anxious.

As instructors and researchers of video games and video game design, we contacted several game industry insiders and scholars to provide some insight into gaming during times of physical isolation.

Gaming connections and benefits

Video games have a number of social and psychological benefits. People who play massively multiplayer online games, for example, report a stronger sense of social identity, higher levels of self-esteem and decreased feelings of loneliness. These games often encourage or require players to work together towards a goal, which can foster a sense of community and camaraderie.

Most online games have in-game chat, either by voice or through text, and so online spaces can be convenient avenues for communicating and staying in touch.

In addition to playing with people from around the world, video games provide spaces where friends and families can meet virtually. Games like Nintendo’s recently released Animal Crossing: New Horizons, allow players to meet, socialize and complete in-game tasks together on a virtual island. Many games allow players to create private servers, where only invited users are allowed to participate. This allows friends and family to pre-arrange a time to play and meet.

The trailer for Animal Crossing, a highly popular Nintendo Switch game.

Providing distractions

The popular PC video game platform, Steam, recently saw a record number of users logged into its service over the March 21-22 weekend. And while the most commonly played games on Steam remain highly competitive, fast-paced action games, there are many video game genres to suit virtually any play style.

To help players during this difficult time, some game developers are offering their games for free or at steep discounts. In mid-March, indie game developer Vlambeer announced that its game, Nuclear Throne could be purchased for 90 percent off the regular price. When asked about the timing of the discount, Vlambeer co-founder and strategic director Rami Ismail said:

Supporting communities

Leaf Corcoran, the founder of indie video game website itch.io, posted to Twitter that many of the site’s games could be downloaded and played for free.

When asked what he’s noticed since the start of the pandemic and physical distancing, Corcoran said that user activity is “way up” and that people are participating in “stay-at-home” themed video game development jams. He summarized the community responded by saying:

Risks and outcomes

While video games may be useful for battling isolation, there are some potential risks. As communications scholars Kishonna Gray and Emma Vossen have noted, online spaces can be incredibly toxic, particularly for players from marginalized communities.

More time spent online, therefore, runs the risk of increased exposure to toxicity. While online harassment is a serious issue for adults, it is potentially worse for younger players. In an email exchange, Rachel Kowert, research director of Take This (a mental health and video games resource organization), notes that parents of young children, in particular, should “take advantage of the various parental controls relating to chat, by turning off the chat completely or by only letting them connect and chat with people they know in their offline lives.”

Another potential concern for parents may be increased in-game purchases, such as loot boxes, downloadable content or microtransactions.

Kowert recommends enabling parental controls to ensure that children aren’t accidentally purchasing in-game content. For adults, increased stress can also lead to increased game-related spending, including impulse purchases. In order to keep purchases under control, players should consider tracking spending or disabling in-app or in-game purchases.

Game on

Despite these concerns, and with the appropriate precautions, video games remain a fun, practical way to maintain social relationships and to combat feelings of boredom and isolation.

While much of the gaming community remains focused largely on players, Ismail from Vlambeer had some advice for game developers in this challenging time:

This article was originally published on The Conversation by Aaron Langille and Charles Daviau at Laurentian University, andJason Hawreliak at Brock University. Read the original article here.


Download Free Worksheet

1. Windle, G. (2011). What is resilience? A review and concept analysis. Reviews in Clinical Gerontology, 21(2), 152-169.

  • Unlimited access to interactive therapy tools.
  • Customizable and fillable worksheets.
  • Ad-free browsing.
  • Support the creation of new tools for the entire mental health community.

Disclaimer: The resources available on Therapist Aid do not replace therapy, and are intended to be used by qualified professionals. Professionals who use the tools available on this website should not practice outside of their own areas of competency. These tools are intended to supplement treatment, and are not a replacement for appropriate training.

Copyright Notice: Therapist Aid LLC is the owner of the copyright for this website and all original materials/works that are included. Therapist Aid has the exclusive right to reproduce their original works, prepare derivative works, distribute copies of the works, and in the case of videos/sound recordings perform or display the work publicly. Anyone who violates the exclusive rights of the copyright owner is an infringer of the copyrights in violation of the US Copyright Act. For more information about how our resources may or may not be used, see our help page.

Therapist Aid has obtained permission to post the copyright protected works of other professionals in the community and has recognized the contributions from each author.


Therapy worksheets related to Anxiety for Children

Disclaimer: The resources available on Therapist Aid do not replace therapy, and are intended to be used by qualified professionals. Professionals who use the tools available on this website should not practice outside of their own areas of competency. These tools are intended to supplement treatment, and are not a replacement for appropriate training.

Copyright Notice: Therapist Aid LLC is the owner of the copyright for this website and all original materials/works that are included. Therapist Aid has the exclusive right to reproduce their original works, prepare derivative works, distribute copies of the works, and in the case of videos/sound recordings perform or display the work publicly. Anyone who violates the exclusive rights of the copyright owner is an infringer of the copyrights in violation of the US Copyright Act. For more information about how our resources may or may not be used, see our help page.

Therapist Aid has obtained permission to post the copyright protected works of other professionals in the community and has recognized the contributions from each author.


Unparalleled Psychology Advertising Opportunities

Psychology Advertising: Connect With Hundreds Of Thousands Psychology Enthusiasts

Psychotherapy Classics

Featuring contributions from some of the most influential and enigmatic thinkers of the 20th century, Psychotherapy Classics: Landmark Articles in the History of Psychotherapy and Counseling is essent…

It's Not Normal To Be Normal

This 'It's Not Normal To Be Normal' T-Shirt is perfect for anybody who thinks that the assumptions surrounding abnormality need to be challenged.


How to Respond to Pressure Situations?

Before moving along, it’s important you gain some clarity about how you typically respond to pressure situations and the resulting impact that this has on your life. Ask yourself:

What things cause me to lose my cool?

What specific people or circumstances cause me to succumb to pressure?

How do these triggers affect me on an emotional and physical level?

How do I typically respond during these pressure situations?

Why do I respond in this way?

Does responding in this way hurt me? How?

Does responding in this way help me? How?

Answering these questions honestly and thoroughly will hopefully provide you with a deeper insight into your patterns of behavior. Use these insights to help you make better choices moving forward.


Making connections

Perhaps the most important value of a guilty pleasure is the bond it can create between people.

“These shows are out there for a reason — they’re resonating,” Dr. Nabi said. Dr. Neff added that the connections we make with others who share our interests in such things “is not to be underestimated.”

Besides helping us connect with others, talking about what we enjoy can alleviate any residual guilt and make it easier to discover more things that bring us pleasure.

“Lots of the time, guilty pleasures get talked about in terms of genre, but you probably don’t like all boy bands, so what is it about this particular group and their music?” Dr. Schalk said. “Whatever it is, find your little niche and go for that. And don’t be ashamed of what that is, because clearly it’s doing something for you.”

Being able to talk openly about what we love is more than just a way to spend the time. After all, Ms. Brown said: “If you don’t feel like you can be honest about what TV pleases you, then what else are you keeping from yourself and others?”


A new study authored by Robert Lanza suggests observers" are responsible for determining physical reality, and that conscious observers themselves generate and create the structures of time and space.

We observers, people like you and I, are responsible for how consciousness forms into physical matter, what does this say about the power of our individual and collective beliefs?

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Where does the “physical” world come from? Matter at its smallest observable form, atoms, pop in and out of existence all the time. The idea that physical matter is birthed from a non physical realm, such as the “quantum vacuum” or the “void”, or something else we are unaware of is not novel. Nikola Tesla himself believed that “all perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the akasha, or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life-giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never-ending cycles all things and phenomena.” (Man’s Greatest Achievement, 1907)

A paper published by Parahamsa Tewari in the journal Physics Essays explains,

“A century from now, it will be well known that: the vacuum of space which fills the universe is itself the real substratum of the universe vacuum in a circulating state becomes matter the electron is the fundamental particle of matter and is a vortex of vacuum with a vacuum-less void at the center and it is dynamically stable the speed of light relative to vacuum is the maximum speed that nature has provided and is an inherent property of the vacuum vacuum is a subtle fluid unknown in material media vacuum is mass-less, continuous, non viscous, and incompressible and is responsible for all the properties of matter and that vacuum has always existed and will exist forever….Then scientists, engineers and philosophers will bend their heads in shame knowing that modern science ignored the vacuum in our chase to discover reality for more than a century.”

This non-physical “field” may also be dark energy, we don’t really know or understand it quite well, but we know it exists. A declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document touches on this,

“We do not understand why it exists or how it is created we simply know it provides an ever-present force on spacetime, causing the universe to expand. Indeed, recent high-precision experimental observations indicate dark energy may be a cosmological vacuum energy.”

So, if our material world is birthed from this non material “stuff”, does consciousness play a factor? It’s interesting to contemplate, especially given the fact that consciousness is not a physical thing, nor is it the result of any known physical process or biology. You cannot pinpoint or find the source of consciousness within the brain. Even at the quantum level, factors associated with consciousness have been known to change the behavior of matter, like photons, suggesting that matter itself may be a conscious perceiving thing.

Does this mean that all “physical” things possess some type of consciousness? Photons don’t have a brain, do they? What about plants? There is a growing amount of evidence suggesting that plants act and behave in ways suggesting that they are a thinking things, capable of feelings, emotions, perceptions and thoughts.

If consciousness can have such an influence over matter, and is a non physical property that exists within all physical things, could it somehow be responsible for the creation of reality? This has been a common theme discussed within the realms of quantum physics for quite some time. In fact, the discussion of “ether”, this non physical, indescribable “stuff” has been the subject of contemplation for thousands of years. Plato wrote about the ether in his work Phaedo, and explained how life exists within it. He believed what air is to us, the ether is to them. Is the ether alive? Is the universe itself, which could be primarily made up of this non-physical stuff, a conscious living entity?

You cannot explain consciousness in terms of the existing fundamentals like space, time, mass, and charge. As a result, the logical thing to do is postulate whether consciousness itself is something fundamental to the existence of reality, to view consciousness itself as one of these fundamentals.

“Why do you insist the universe is not a conscious intelligence, when it gives birth to conscious intelligences?” Cicero, c. 44 BCE

A New Paper

Another paper has emerged claiming that “observers” are responsible for determining physical reality, and that conscious observers themselves generate and create the structures of time and space.

What’s interesting to contemplate here is that, if this is true, it would include all “observers” within the universe itself, not just human observers. It reminds me of the double slit experiment, where tiny bits of matter are shot through a slit forming what’s called a wave pattern of probabilities and possibilities, but when an observer is introduced the wave function collapses.

One of the authors of the paper, Robert Lanza, told Big Think that observers can dramatically affect the “behavior of observable quantities” both at a microscopic and massive spatiotemporal scales. In fact, a “profound shift in our ordinary everyday worldview” is necessary. The world is not something that is formed outside of us, simply existing on its own. “Observers ultimately define the structure of physical reality itself.”

How does this work? Lanza contends that a network of observers is necessary and is “inherent to the structure of reality.” As he explains, observers — you, me, and anyone else — live in a quantum gravitational universe and come up with “a globally agreed-upon cognitive model” of reality by exchanging information about the properties of spacetime. “For, once you measure something,” Lanza writes, “the wave of probability to measure the same value of the already probed physical quantity becomes ‘localized’ or simply ‘collapses.'” That’s how reality comes to be consistently real to us all. Once you keep measuring a quantity over and over, knowing the result of the first measurement, you will see the outcome to be the same

The implications of this are and have always been quite large. The idea that consciousness itself is fundamental to reality suggests that it must have played an integral part in the creation of reality, that consciousness itself had to exist prior to the birth of physical material reality. One could go on and on contemplating things like: if consciousness is fundamental to the creation of physical matter, then what created consciousness itself? Where does consciousness itself originate from? Does existence itself even have a beginning? Can the future change the past, can the past change the future?

Who knows, but the most important point to takeaway here is that consciousness itself is fundamental to the creation of our physical experience. If we want to change the world, ultimately we have to change the way we think, feel and perceive. This is a key factor that is directly intertwined with the type human experience we create for ourselves.

This is why, perhaps, sometimes it seems that the greatest resource for powerful people, politicians and corporations is human consciousness itself. If we ourselves determine what direction humanity heads simply by what we think and feel, just imagine what somebody could do if they could manipulate that aspect within us? The state of the world today, some might say, is chaotic, and that could be a direct result of the fact that the collective mind and heart is not in a state of coherence.

You might say “we are all over the place.” We’re separated by our beliefs and unable to come together in understanding and harmony. This collective state of being in turn will create a physical experience that reflects that, which is exactly what we are seeing today and have seen throughout human history.

Below is a great little documentary from a colleague of mine, it’s based off an essay he wrote for his philosophy master’s degree. It dives a bit deeper into this discussion.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

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Consciousness


What is Escapism? (with pictures)

Escapism is a way of refocusing one’s attention on pleasant or enjoyable things, as opposed to the hard realities of the everyday world. It can be a healthy means for not getting completely depressed by reality, or in extreme forms, can result in obsessive behaviors that make people completely ignore reality to their detriment.

Healthy escapism is probably one of the first practices of the developing human species. Who can evaluate such things as cave paintings or the first works of artisans without suggesting that people sometimes needed to focus on things that were not mundane or entirely useful? Little usefulness might be derived from painting a cave painting, or from looking at one. There may have been some practical impetus behind artistic intent, such as teaching people how to slay a mammoth. In reality, however, the focus on something other than the mundane was likely a relief.

Modern escapism in a healthy sense could include reading a favorite book, watching a sports program, watching “mindless” television, or playing a few hours of Tetris. There is very little harm in the occasional escape from reality in such forms.

Some argue however, this mindset may ultimately become addictive. For example, current studies are now focusing on the emerging condition of Internet addiction. In Internet addiction, people may spend most hours of the day and night surfing the Internet. They may do so in preference to working in the world, or in preference to having “real life” relationships with other people. What begins as a mere search on a topic, may end in a life lived in front of a computer monitor when the issue becomes extreme.

Some people argue that those who get excessively involved as fans of certain television shows or series of books are pursuing an unhealthy level of escapism. For example, people look to Trekkies, or comic books fans that dress up or attempt to live as their favorite characters, as having lost themselves in their respective "universes." In their defense, many devoted fans live very normal lives, and have children, relationships and regular jobs. However, they may spend their weekends attending conferences to escape into an idealized world that seems a better substitute than exploring the hard truths of this world.

Activities perceived normal, like eating, sleeping or sexual activity may also be deemed as escapist when they are practiced in excess. For example, sleeping over half the day to the point where one cannot pursue a normal life is termed escapism. Such sleeping may be caused by illnesses that creates exhaustion, or may actually be symptomatic of mental illnesses like depression. Often the person uses sleep as an escape from a life filled with emotional or physical pain.

It is not too difficult to guess why we all need to occasionally practice escapism. A glance at a morning newspaper tends to reveal literally hundreds of deaths, as well as articles about kidnappings, child abuse, and major disasters. Additionally, work inside or out of the home can be stressful, and this activity is a way to avoid feeling constantly under stress.

However, when the activity runs rampant, it prevents us from living in the world as truly engaged. It can lead to addiction, breakdown of relationships and inability to actually survive in the real world. Moderate escapism, on the other hand, may actually make us more effective participants in the world, since we allow ourselves to take mental breaks that reduce our stress.

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent InfoBloom contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent InfoBloom contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.