I've been playing poker for just over a year now, having created my account at Pokerstars on 31st of March 2012, and it has been a year of many ups and downs.

Throughout there have been moments of great joy such as when I cashed in TCOOP events, MicroMillions event or various other MTT tournaments where I have cashed or gone on to win.

There have also been some moments where I have lost control of my anger either because of stupid play on my part or where I have been ahead when the money went in only to be sucked out on, invariably on the river, which makes it even more painful and difficult to accept..

I regret that I have physically damaged myself or personal possessions at times when I have lost my cool. Once breaking a laptop beyond any chance of repair due to insanely stupid bad play on my part. I am hugely embaressed by that and I have resolved not to ever do that again. I have though punched table-tops when not getting the result I want - very painful it has to be said. I need to put a stop to that too.

To that end I have started to read more about the psychology of poker and its effects on mine and others physical and mental health. I have to admit that only today on a few occasions that I found myself almost breathless and could feel my heart beating when playing Poker. This isnt good news for me. It means that I am not treating poker as the enjoyable game it is meant to be.

I am physically and mentally out of shape. I am an office worker, spending long hours at a computer in my employment, rarely able to get out for any phsyical excercise. It is a mundane job too, I take little enjoyment out of it, but it affords me the luxury of my own house and possessions and I wouldnt change that for the world.

Once I leave my job and get back into the house I am generally straight into making dinner so that I can sit down at the laptop, fire up pokerstars, HEM, Table Ninja and also Skype so that I can talk poker while playing it too.

As I said, I have been reading up on the psychology aspect, and important in that is the serotonin levels in the body, and how it impacts on decision making. I would suggest reading up on it if you havent done already.

Decreased serotonin levels can lead to things like fatigue, sleeplessness, which in turn leads to bad decision making. Bad decision making at the tables leads to losing money more often than not because we get our money in bad, this again prompts a reaction in the body which reduces the serotonin levels even further and the cycle begins or continues ad nauseum.

So, this is all leading to a decision I am taking, that I have to make changes in life which will also help my poker game (Hopefully as a side benefit).

I am going to get physically healthy, going to eat right, going to excercise, going to seek out more social contact which doesnt involve alcohol. Things which will also improve my mental wellbeing so that poker doesnt seem like the be all and end all of my evening.

So hopefully this made some sense, and I didnt ramble on too long, but I will hopefully post regularly with updates on how I am progressing with my life goals along with my poker goals.

Good luck at the tables.