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Jane McGonigal is a game designer. She has spent her life studying what makes games good, interesting and even healthy. Through this research and some very traumatic life experience of her own, she has discovered some very simple principles that can help you live happier and longer.

 

 

The best part? She made it all into a game.

The Game Of Life

 

McGonigal talks about the four ways we can improve our health and our lives: physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially. She calls them resistances, meaning if we are strong in each of these categories we will be resilient and be able to handle whatever life throws our way. In the Fortify Program, we refer to these things most commonly as connections.

An addiction focuses all of our energy on one unhealthy outlet, ignoring all others. We begin to connect with only one thing, which causes other important connections in our lives to dissolve. The most basic way to explaining recovery from addiction is not about abstinence but about rebuilding connections to the big beautiful world around us. This is the nature of the game Jane McGonigal describes, and really it is the point of the game of life. To live and be happy and connect.

Powering Up

Fortifiers often begin to do this naturally but McGonigal’s analogy is perfect for implementing Battle Strategies into your recovery. She introduces a point system in her app, SuperBetter, that is a simple way to try to build positive and healthy connections every day.

Think of it like your life stats. Go for a jog? +1 physical connection. Call your grandma you haven’t talked to in a while? +1 social connection.

 

If you incorporate one activity for each of these categories into your daily routine, you will be well on your way to solid recovery—and you’ll actually have fun along the way. This is important because it builds variety in your life. Like we said earlier, addiction is when you become unhealthily focused on one unhealthy thing. You need to build all the positive aspects of your life to create an atmosphere of genuine recovery. Building longer and longer streaks of daily victories over your addiction will replace your addiction with a positive, joyful life.