In this article let’s take a look best ways and steps you need to follow if you want to avoid and quit chess and the addiction of playing it.
Honesty speaking I really love playing chess with my friends but I know a lot of my friends are actually addicted to chess as they play the game for long period of time everyday
and I have learnt the game from my friends and I use it to play the game for a long period of time but now I don’t play it as much as I use it to because I followed some methods which I will be sharing with you in this article which can definitely help you with the game or at least reduce the addiction of playing it.
So without further ado let’s dive right in.
How to quit and reduce the chess addiction?
1. Identify the triggers & patterns
The first step you need to do if you want to quit any addiction whether it is chess or any other thing is to identify the triggers and patterns.
If you don’t know what these are then basically triggers is an event or any occurrence which will remind you to begin the habit and in this case of starting with chess game for example trigger can be anything like when you open your mobile phone or laptop at a specific period of time in a specific environment and place.
For example in my case the trigger was that when I take my bath early in the morning like 9 o’clock and have my breakfast and when I open my laptop or computer after completing my breakfast to do some work
then that was my trigger point and then I use it to play the chess to get some refreshment and a good start of the day but slowly it became an addiction and this can be different for others because of different routines
and lifestyles but you need to identify the trigger point and it can include things like the time of the day and the action you take before and after the trigger and what is the environment, how do you feel about it and are other people are also involved in the trigger or not.
These are some important things you need to keep in mind when identifying the trigger point and this will help you identify and realise at what point you will start playing chess and it will help you become easier for quit the game.
Basically you need to identify the patterns and trigger points.
2. start slow & Do some other work
After you identify the trigger point and patterns in your habit or addiction I would say it’s time for you to start slow and do some work that can replace it.
In my opinion the easiest way to replace any addiction is to replace it with a new habit that is more constructive and better and you should understand that you cannot quit any habit overnight,
It takes around 66 days on average to build any habit and a couple of months to make that habit into an addiction so you should also understand that you cannot easily convert any addiction into a normal action.
Keeping that in mind, After you identify the trigger point then for example if you have the habit of playing chess early in the morning after having the break fast like
when you open the laptop or on your mobile phone then you should replace that action of playing the chess into some other constructive work like doing some work or reading some articles.
Basically you need to find some distractions and keep yourself busy so that you won’t do the same action when you get the trigger.
You can do a lot of things depending upon your life like you can read a book or you can read an article, You can go to walk, You can learn some skill like photography or video editing,
or you can do some work of your office or anything like that but you need to do something that is opposite or not related to playing the chess if you want to quit the game of chess or the addiction of it.
And every time you do something opposite of playing the chess when you get the trigger point it is very important for you to appreciate yourself and also reward your action so that you can get the dopamine high in your brain and you keep on doing it for long period of time without fail.
This is probably the most important step you need to keep in mind in your journey of quitting the chess game.
If you play chess using the board then you can ask any of your family member to hide it somewhere that you cannot get access to it and you should also consider changing the environment of the trigger moment like if you have the trigger moment of playing the chess on your desk or
in your friend office then you should stop going to the office or change the environment by moving the elements and things here and there so that the environment does not look the same again and it will not trigger you in your subconscious mind.
You can also consider blocking online websites and applications if you play chess online so that you won’t get easily accessed to it and you can ask any one of your family member to create a lock of the website and don’t let you know the lock password of it so
You want to be able to access those websites but you should also keep in mind that at this stage you are quite addicted to playing chess so you might sometimes not be able to do the action you wanted to do and you could get playing chess because of the addiction so you should not
be too harsh on yourself but just love yourself and keep on doing the work because as I mentioned earlier breaking the habit does not happen overnight it takes time, You just need to be patient and continue doing the work.
3. Know your priorities & think long term
It is actually very important for you to know your priorities and understand them For example if you are a student then your priority can be studies or learning a skill or preparing for the exam or anything or
if you are a professional working in a company then your priorities could be working on the project or getting some skill or anything of that sort and you should think in long term way like if you play chess continuously for a couple of years like the way you do currently when you have the addiction
of it then think of what impact does it have in the long term like most of the times you would be wasting a lot of time playing the chess like some of the chess games you play last a long time and they also consume a lot of mental energy and make you mentally tired, mental fatigue
but on the other hand if you focus on your priorities and work on them like if you are a student and work on your skill or studies then you could instead get some job
or start a business and you can make some money and become financially independent fast which is a better use of time so it is very important for you to first understand your priorities and think about the long term impact.
After you understand the priorities and the long term vision you should then write your priorities down on a piece of paper and create a Xerox copy of your priorities list and paste it on different places where you regularly
visit in your home and office place like on your desk or your bedroom so that you can get your eyes on to that priorities list regularly and remind yourself that you need to work on your goals instead of playing the chess which is not a good use of time for the long term.
All of these actions will slowly train your subconscious mind and help you reduce the addiction of playing chess.
4. Practise mindfulness & meditation
You can also try meditation and mindfulness as it will help you stay aware of your thoughts and feelings and it will also help you control your feelings, emotions and thoughts more faster.
There are several scientific studies which show that there are significant benefits of meditation and mindfulness like it will help you not only reduce your stress but also in controlling your thoughts and feelings, meditation
will help you stay in present and in fact I have also seen several benefits of meditation when I started practising it a couple of years ago like it will make you more calmer and it will also increase yourself awareness and make you more empathetic person.
By practising meditation and mindfulness exercise everyday like focusing on your breath or chanting any mantra for at least 15 minutes every day in the starting time,
in a specific period of time and place can be a wonderful start for your mindfulness journey and I want to assure you that it will definitely help you control your trigger movements and cravings of addiction and will definitely help you quit the addiction as well because you are going to be in control of your emotions and thoughts more than they are on you.
5. Practise visualization and affirmations
Other than meditation you could also try techniques like visualisation and affirmations if you want to overcome the addiction of any habit whether it is of chess or any other sport or game.
Basically in visualisation you will be imagining your future self like how you will live your life after quitting the chess, how would you feel about it, how is your life going to change and things like that and all these things will basically help you train your subconscious mind to slowly avoid and abandon the habit of chess.
Apart from this you can also try affirmations where you will be speaking out loud some positive and influencing statements or sentences about yourself like you can do something or you are in control of your thoughts and emotions and your fully capable of quitting the addiction of chess.
By regularly practising affirmations it will help you again self confidence and obviously train your subconscious mind as well.
To be honest it’s all about subconscious mind and training in your mind because it’s not about the game of chess but about the mind that creates the problems and if you train your mind to work for you instead of working against you then you can do anything in life not just quitting the habit.
6. Get support from professionals
You can also consider asking for support from any professional person or talk about your problem and addiction with your family members, ask them or request them to not play the game in front of you, or just hide the chess board just somewhere so that you can’t access it and help you.
If your family members are not supportive and encouraging enough, then you can look for professional support and get some therapy which is a very advanced level but it can definitely work as you can go for any psychologist or psychiatrist or any therapy sessions.
7. Play against tough people
Another handy tip I would like to give you before ending the article is that you could also try playing the game of chess against very tough people like if you’re playing the chess which most people play online then you can play at highest setting and highest level possible so that you will lose most of the matches of the chess that you play.
You should know that chess addiction is just like any other addiction and this addictions happen because there is a hormone called dopamine that gets released in the brain
whenever you win a chess game and the more matches you win the more hormones of dopamine and endorphin released in your brain which will make you happy and this is a cycle that gets repeated and creates a addiction but when you do the opposite
of losing regularly against tough competitors then there is a high chance of you losing the interest of the game because whenever you lose chess match the opposite hormone of dopamine like serotonin will be released in the brain which will make you less interested to the game because serotonin is a sadness hormone.
I have not really tried this step but you can definitely try it and I have seen people on social media platforms and forums talking about this and it could definitely work for you.
With that said let’s conclude the article.
These are all the things you need to know about chess addiction and how to overcome it.
Do let me know what are your thoughts about chess addiction and how you overcome it in the comment section below
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