Starting and sticking to your own self improvement goals can be hard. Often a lot of work is required and results are slow. There’s always something that comes up or gets in the way. In this article we explore 5 actionable ways in which you can leverage virtual reality to help stick to your goals and become the best version of yourself.
5) VR Fitness
Virtual reality fitness is an obvious one, and one that probably gets the most intention. Being a little bit more specific, Virtual Reality is a very powerful tool for movement. If you’re anything like me, then you probably spend way too much time seated. We drive to work seated, do our 9-5 seated, then come home and play video games, seated. Sometimes I even get food delivered to my door, SEATED. So if you get your favourite hobby going from being on the couch to slicing through boxes like a Jedi or ducking and dodging under bullets with your best John Wick impersonation, then you will be off to a good start.
If you really want to make a big difference with your caloric output then rhythm, boxing or even the fully fledged fitness apps are going to get the most done here. We have a top 10 VR fitness Games list to get you started.
One of the reasons VR fitness is so powerful is because of your time perception. Have you ever been punishing yourself on a treadmill for what feels like to be eternity but then you look down at the timer and it reads 5 minutes. That doesn’t happen in VR. VR absolutely breaks your time perception – so pick up your favorite rhythm game with some custom songs or just something you enjoy playing and get to work.
Actionable tip: 20-30 minutes of mandatory VR exercise everyday!
4) VR Meditation
VR Meditation is a bit of weird one because meditation is often thought about finding inner peace on the top of secluded mountain, and it might seem kind of counter intuitive strapping an electronic device directly to your eyes, but its honestly not. It’s more just about being present in the moment and aware of one’s self.
This one hurts because my brain is so busy all the time. I struggle to stick to one task or even follow a conversation without zoning out, so I know how much I could benefit here. But meditation to me just too boring. There’s a bunch of VR meditation apps out there but alot of them require subscriptions and I do my very best to avoid any subscriptions so typically I’ll just use youtube 360 videos.
Actionable tip: Every 2-3 days days load either a guided session or just a nice 360 video with background music. You have the option to couple it with sitting in a deep squat, because I like to bundle a bit of mobility work in there too. Follow along focusing on breathing and it’s a nice way to unwind after an intense VR workout. This might not be for everyone, but I find my mind wonders less when my eyes are open and have something to focus on.
3) Learning a language in VR
Learning a language is difficult. Most of us single language speakers can barely speak english so taking on something like learning Chinese seems impossible. After trying group lessons, private tuition, daily apps like duolingo I was ready to give up. While these learning apps do a good job by setting goals, but at the end of the day it’s just a multi choice questions.
Scrap all that and transport yourself to Noun Town, And this is one of the best examples of gamification yet. This is a fully immersive virtual word were all the colour has gone – you have to interact with objects, correctly pronounce their name and doing so will slowly bring color back.
As you bring color back you unlock more of the island and then there is also dialog options with NPCS and little games you can play.
Actionable tip: How I’m using this is to load up the game before my workout, learn 5 words, play a quick game then get out. And I’m doing this about 3-4 times a week.
2) Making Friends in VR
Social interaction can be a massive priority for some and not so much for others. For me personally, i’m quite introverted so I only need a handful of close friends very small amount of social interaction to be satisfied. For those that get energized by others, the thought of another lock down and working from home being the new normal can be terrifying.
This applies to most online games. I actually met some very close friends playing world of warcraft that I eventually met in real life. VR can make it that little bit more immersive, there are fully fledged social games like VR chat and Rec Room. Just be aware that people are weird. You might need to wash your eyes out with soap if you walk in on something you weren’t supposed to.
Actionable tip: Send a friend request to those that you enjoyed playing with.
1) Overcoming Fears In VR
Little disclaimer, not a doctor. But when I was studying my degree in neuroscience, one of the things we learnt about was exposure therapy. This involves gradually exposing yourself to a thing or situation that you’re scared of in order to reduce fear and anxiety over time. For me that would be dying in plane crash and I don’t even want to simulate that but public speaking on the other hand is something I can get behind.
There are a few cool free to use simulators like speech trainer or virtual speech that put you in a virtual environment with audience and you can practice your speech or presentation. You can even upload a PDF then have it on screen with a microphone and laser pointer
Actionable tip: If I have a really important presentation at work due I’ll run it through Speech trainer first. This would be a great tool for school and university presentations.
Now should you rely on these fully? Ofcourse not. It’s so important to go outside, get sunlight, play in the park and have meaningful relationships IRL. But if this can help you kick start, or adhere to self improvement goals then why not incorporate VR and a bit of gamification into it.