Virtual reality has received a great deal of attention lately, and not just from gamers. There are multiple studies showing that virtual reality experiences could change the way we view ourselves and how we manage our lives. Some researchers believe VR could be the missing piece to help people overcome their darkest fears and biggest life challenges.
Researchers believe the benefits come from the ability of VR to help you feel more connected to your future self. You are able to immerse yourself into an experience and your brain is unable to tell if it’s real or virtual. If there is something you want to improve, you can do it virtually and your brain will think you are doing it in reality and continue to build on that virtual achievement.
Virtual Reality and Money Management
One example of VR helping you improve is in the field of money management. There is evidence that virtual experiences can help you with retirement planning by making the future more concrete.
Economists believe the challenge people face when it comes to saving for retirement is related to temporal discounting. This tendency to value rewards that occur in the future less than those occurring in the present makes it difficult to make long-term commitments like saving. We tend to do this because it’s difficult to vividly imagine our future wants and desires.
By creating a virtual reality experience, it makes it easier to imagine how you’ll feel in the future if you fail to take action now. Just as you would panic if your energy bill went unpaid and you were at risk for having power cut to your home right now, VR makes it possible to more easily imagine the downside of not saving for retirement. And not only are you imagining it, you are actually able to experience it virtually.
Researchers at Northwestern University created 70-year old representations of study participants. Each of the 50 participants was placed into a virtual experience where they saw either their current or future self in a mirror and answered a series of questions and then answered survey questions related to retirement savings. Researchers had hypothesized that participants would allocate more money toward retirement when they saw themselves as older and that’s exactly what they found. Significantly more was put toward retirement savings by those who saw older versions of themselves than younger.
Your Virtual Self Can Improve Your Real Self
Study results showed that a person’s perception of themselves is a major factor in how they behave. Not only does this have financial ramifications, it could also prove virtual reality could help in other ways. There is a growing body of research dedicated to showing how VR can help people improve their health with experiences similar to these. And if you have struggled to make significant positive changes in your life, virtual reality could soon provide the key to doing so.
Imagine the potential that your body will reach when your mind’s limits are unlocked and you can finally look past what holds you back and forward to your best self! This goes beyond looking good in a mirror. This is about being the absolute prime version of yourself in every way by looking inward in a virtual manner to bring out everything you’re unable to reach in the real world. Are you ready to be your best?