With more and more people spending their time in the metaverse, it’s important to have a talk about mental health, both for users and for the creators and developers of metaverse projects. Just like video games, social media, and other semi-addictive online experiences, we want to have guidelines to keep a healthy mental space.
Let’s together discover some of the best mental health recommendations from experts and users below, and warning signs of an addiction to the metaverse!
Best Ways to Stay Mentally Fit in the Metaverse:
- Take breaks. It’s important for your eyes and your brain to take breaks every 10-20 minutes. A 5 minute break can do wonders for your mental health.
- Don’t be greedy. With the increase of play to earn and other rewarding tasks, make sure to not be motivated by greed and enjoy metaverse activities for fun too, even if they don’t offer a tangible reward.
- Make friends. Don’t be a troll or a bully of the metaverse, and help newbies and others. Communicate with good intentions and possibly make lifelong friends, or maybe even fall in love!
- Exercise, stretch and have good posture. If you’re spending any significant amount of time in front of a computer, be sure to be conscious of your posture, balance, and movement. They have stand-up desks now, treadmill desks, and stretching, walking, or jogging during breaks is important. In addition, make sure if you’re in a chair or even standing, to practice good posture for your neck, back, and legs.
- Don’t let stress or emotions affect your mental health. Stress is generally accepted as being bad for people physically and mentally. Don’t let games, puzzles or other challenges in the metaverse upset you. Take a break as suggested above and possibly try some healthy meditative breathing techniques to reduce your stress.
- Make time for family, friends, and real life relationships. Spending too much time on anything can stress your relationships and communication with those closest to you. Make time for them.
Potential Signs You’re Addicted to the Metaverse:
- Being in the metaverse for much longer durations than intended.
- Lying or hiding metaverse use from your loved ones, teachers, supervisor, colleagues or other individuals.
- Being unable to moderate or abstain from the metaverse.
- Spending excessive time thinking about the metaverse when not active in the metaverse.
- Too much metaverse use is contributing to unmanageability or neglect in important life areas such as work, school, hygiene, sleep, self-care or relationships.
- Loss of interest in social and leisure activities that you once found pleasurable at the expense of metaverse use.
- Experiencing stress, anxiety, low mood, irritability, or other unwanted and unhealthy mental health symptoms as a result of extended metaverse use, but continued use despite those issues.
- Needing to engage in metaverse use more frequently and for longer durations to receive the same sense of gratification, or if you find yourself engaging in metaverse use to induce pleasure or escape reality.
Ways that Metaverse Projects Can Promote Mental Health Awareness:
- Promote a healthy mental health state and areas where people can cool down, such as their own “apartment” or safe space from others who may be bullying or other negative behavior.
- Have guest speakers on mental health awareness and provide users with healthy mental health guidelines such as those mentioned above.
- Promote fun and community, making friends and enjoying the experience overall.
- Offer support and solutions for those who bully or cause a negative experience in the metaverse.
It’s important not to only depend on the metaverse projects and developers to maintain your proper mental health, but here are some various ways that metaverse may help those cope with any mental health issues when using their services.
We all want the metaverse to be a place for people to come and mentally relax, have fun, get out aggressions in appropriate games and venues, and find new friends and communicate with loved ones who may be far away. It doesn’t have to be an unhealthy or stressful experience, and shouldn’t be.
In the end, it’s a game or another layer of inter-human communication and experiences. Have fun, be nice, and know your personal boundaries when it comes to a healthy mental state.