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Does Pokemon Go! Make You Happier?

Does Pokemon Go Make you Happier? - Gareth Wait Hypnotherapy - Bargoed & PontypoolOK, here is my confession – I am a Pokemon addict! The first time I played Pokemon was probably in 2004, when I had a GameBoy Advance, and collecting those little guys became a hobby of mine for a while – a welcome distraction.

Eventually, I finished the game and finally defeated the Elite Four (see, I remember!) and pretty much forgot about Pokemon…

Then, some twelve years later, I started reading all about Pokemon Go! A new game based on the old Pokemon characters. I downloaded it, and was amazed by the brilliant new ‘augmented reality’, which means that the Pokemon appear in the ‘real world’.

There are many naysayers bemoaning this new ‘fad’, but, after spending a week or so actually playing it, I think it may actually do more good than harm.

So, what’s this got to do with hypnotherapy? Well, as any of my clients will tell you, I am always banging on about how to naturally produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy and content, and the three main ways to produce seretonin are:

  • Positive Exercise
  • Positive Social Interaction
  • Positive Thought

In the Pokemon universe, quite apart from catching them, you will need to find ‘Pokestops’. These are usually situated on landmarks or particular buildings. The player needs to walk between these Pokestops, and activate them to get, among other things, Pokeballs – used to capture the creatures (and there is a finite supply). These ‘reset’ every five minutes, and they seem to be placed about five minutes’ walk from one another – and it has been common to see small groups of Pokemon players strolling from one Pokestop to the next, and then returning to the original stop. Also, you can collect Pokemon Eggs. And to get them to hatch? You need to walk – 2, 5 or 10 Km! And, no, you can’t drive or ride a bike – the software is cleverer than that! Positive exercise? I think so!

So, once you’ve walked to your Pokestop, you may find other like-minded individuals trying to top-up their Pokeballs, or even modifying the Pokestop to be more attractive to wild Pokemon. These players chat and talk about the game, and where they foud that ‘rare’ Pokemon, and even where there may be a hidden Pokestop… Positive social interaction, surely?

Also, Pokemon hunting requires planning – where the Pokestops are, which Pokemon you need to finally ‘catch ’em all’, how many Pokeballs I have left – and these thoughts are intellectual and positive.

So, in conclusion, I have found Pokemon Go! much healthier and happier than other games – you actually have to go outside, get some exercise and interact with people in order to play it… and that can’t be a bad thing, can it?

Anyway, gotta go, I’m running short of Pokeballs!

Find out more at the Pokemon Go! Wikipedia Page