Have you ever felt strange or unsteady after using a virtual reality headset? It’s not just you – many people experience dizziness, nausea, and even feelings of detachment from reality post-VR.
This blog post will delve into why these sensations occur and offer helpful pointers for coping with the “weird” aftermath of VR gaming. Ready to demystify your VR hangover? Read on!
Understanding the Effects of VR on the Body and Mind
Playing VR can have various physical and mental effects on the body, including motion sickness and a sense of detachment from reality known as derealization.
Physical symptoms are a standard part of the VR experience. Users often report headaches, eye strain, and dizziness after immersion in virtual reality. These sensations result from the brain’s struggle to reconcile physical movements with visually perceived motion within the VR environment.
Nausea is another complaint tied to this sensory dissonance, especially among first-time users or those playing intensive games. Even more unsettling can be feelings of unreality, such as still being in the game even after removing the headset – an altered perception that may linger for several hours but should gradually reduce with regular use of VR technology.
Derealization is a common phenomenon that can occur after using virtual reality (VR). It is characterized by detachment from reality as if the user’s surroundings are not quite real.
This strange sensation can be disorienting and may persist even after removing the VR headset. People experiencing derealization may feel like they are still in the virtual world or that their real-life environment seems distorted.
The brain’s perception can take some time to readjust to physical reality, and it is normal for this adjustment period to last anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks. Gradual exposure to VR and taking breaks during sessions can help individuals adapt more efficiently and minimize the effects of derealization.
Causes of Derealization After Using VR
Overstimulation of the senses, a mismatch between virtual and physical reality, and temporary disorientation can all contribute to feelings of derealization after using VR.
Overstimulation of the senses
The intense sensory experience of virtual reality (VR) can lead to overstimulation, causing a variety of strange sensations and discomfort. When our senses are bombarded with exaggerated visual and auditory stimuli, it can overwhelm the brain’s perception of reality.
This overload can result in symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, sweating, and overall unease. Additionally, conflicting inputs from the VR world can cause physical discomfort and disorientation.
The feeling of detachment from reality is a common experience for first-time VR users but should diminish over time as they become more accustomed to the virtual environment. Gradually easing into VR experiences and taking breaks can help mitigate these effects and make the transition smoother.
Mismatch between virtual and physical reality
Virtual reality creates a mismatch between what our senses perceive in the virtual world and what our bodies experience in the physical world. This disconnect can lead to feelings of confusion, disorientation, and even motion sickness.
When we put on a VR headset, our brains are tricked into believing that we are in a different environment, but our bodies don’t actually move or react accordingly. As a result, this sensory inconsistency can cause strange sensations and discomfort as our brain tries to make sense of the conflicting information it receives.
It takes time for our minds and bodies to adjust to this disparity, which is why many people report feeling weird or detached from reality after using VR.
Temporary disorientation is a common experience for individuals who have just started using virtual reality (VR). When first entering a VR environment, the brain is suddenly presented with a new and unfamiliar world that can be quite overwhelming.
This sudden shift in perception can lead to confusion and disorientation as the brain adjusts to this new reality. People may find distinguishing between what’s real and what’s not difficult, adding to the sense of detachment from their physical surroundings.
It’s important to note that these feelings are temporary and tend to diminish over time as the brain becomes more accustomed to the virtual environment.
Coping Strategies for Post-VR Weirdness
Take breaks and ease into VR gradually, engage in grounding activities, and practice self-care and relaxation techniques.
Take breaks and ease into VR gradually
To minimize the adverse effects and discomfort associated with playing VR, it is essential to take breaks and ease into the experience gradually. This means not overdoing it by spending long periods in virtual reality without giving your body and mind a chance to rest.
Regular breaks allow your brain to readjust and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or disoriented after using a VR headset. Additionally, starting with shorter sessions and gradually increasing the duration can help your body adapt to the virtual environment more smoothly.
By pacing yourself and giving yourself time to adjust, you can reduce the likelihood of experiencing weird sensations or detachment from reality after playing VR.
Engage in grounding activities
Engaging in grounding activities is essential to help alleviate the weird feelings after playing VR. These activities can bring you back to reality and restore stability.
One effective grounding technique is deep breathing, which helps regulate your body and calm your mind. Another option is practicing mindfulness or meditation, which can enhance awareness of the present moment and reduce any lingering disorientation.
Physical exercises like yoga or walking outside can help you reconnect with your surroundings and promote a sense of balance. By incorporating these grounding activities into your routine after using VR, you can ease any strange sensations and feel more centered.
Practice self-care and relaxation techniques
Self-care and relaxation techniques can help alleviate the weird feelings and sensations experienced after playing VR. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being is crucial to recover from post-VR symptoms.
You can start by giving yourself breaks between VR sessions, allowing your body and mind to rest and readjust. Engage in grounding activities such as going for a walk, doing deep breathing exercises, or practicing mindfulness meditation.
These practices can help you reconnect with reality and reduce any feelings of detachment or derealization caused by VR. Prioritizing self-care by getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, and staying hydrated can also support your overall well-being during the adjustment period after using virtual reality technology.
In conclusion, feeling weird after playing VR is a common experience due to its effects on our bodies and minds. The physical symptoms and sensations of derealization can be attributed to overstimulation of the senses and a mismatch between virtual and physical reality.
However, by gradually adjusting to VR, taking breaks, and practicing self-care techniques, we can cope more effectively with these post-VR weirdness feelings.
1. Why do I feel weird after playing VR?
Feeling weird after playing VR can stem from various factors, such as reality distortion, visual disorientation, or even simulator-induced nausea or VR motion sickness.
2. What are the common symptoms of virtual reality side effects?
Common symptoms include feeling detached from reality after VR, experiencing derealization in VR and strange sensations like dizziness and headaches, commonly referred to as ‘VR Hangover’.
3. Is having altered perception or unreal sensations in Virtual Reality normal?
Yes! Altered perception and unreal sensations post-VR usage could be because of motion-induced vertigo caused by adjusting to virtual environments – this is often called Cyber Sickness.
4. How can I deal with post-VR sadness or feeling disconnected?
Overcoming these feelings involves adapting slowly to Virtual Reality experiences, taking regular breaks during playtime, and effectively managing time spent on the system help avoid PostVR sadness
5. Are there ways to minimize the discomfort induced by Virtual Reality?
You can reduce discomfort by ensuring your equipment is correctly calibrated before use. Also, staying hydrated and taking regular short breaks will help overcome discomfort related to Simulator-induced headaches or other similar issues.