Gaming As a Tool for Stress Relief and Relaxation
Researchers have found that gaming provides a number of benefits, including a temporary escape from reality, boosting mood, and offering a sense of control and achievement. However, it is important to use games as part of a holistic stress management plan.
The type of game that helps you relax will depend on your personal values and personality. For example, violent video games might not be as relaxing as a casual puzzle game.
1. They provide a temporary escape from reality
Many people turn to gaming as a way to escape from real-life issues. Whether they’re worrying about how well they performed on an exam, their social life, or the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s often hard to focus on anything else when their emotions are running high. This is where video games come in.
Even non-competitive games, like puzzles or RPGs, can help players to unwind. This is because they require a certain level of concentration, but not so much that it feels overwhelming. This type of activity has also been shown to improve mental health by promoting relaxation, reducing symptoms of depression, and decreasing the frequency of migraines.
For some, this sense of escape is more than just a temporary distraction. It’s a way to channel their energy into something that gives them a feeling of achievement and power, and allows them to control the outcome of their actions. This is similar to the way that other finite escapes, such as reading or drinking, function.
2. They boost mood
A good gaming session can help gamers forget about their troubles and focus on overcoming challenges, and this can boost moods. It is important to note that the mood-boosting benefits of gaming may be dependent on the genre and gamer’s play style.
Some games can be quite challenging, while others are more calm and relaxing. For example, a gamer might find the twee world of Animal Crossing soothing while another person might feel more relaxed playing a first-person shooter or horror game.
In a recent study published in the journal Games for Health, scientists found that low-intensity video games can be as effective as antidepressants at reducing treatment-resistant depression symptoms. Ultimately, gamers should be mindful of how they feel while they’re playing and try to balance their gaming time with other healthy activities. Moreover, it’s crucial to understand the reasons behind your gaming habits and not use them as a way to hide from your worries.
3. They offer a sense of control and achievement
Gaming can offer a sense of control and achievement. If you’re playing a game with a social component, such as multiplayer games, you can also form a support network that can help you cope with stress.
In addition, a recent study found that playing online lotteries and video games reduced stress, anxiety, depression, and negative emotions. The research was done with a group of college students and young adults who participated in mandatory quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although gaming can be beneficial for stress relief, it’s important to use it in conjunction with other methods of relaxation and stress reduction, such as exercise, mindfulness meditation, and spending time with family and friends. Ultimately, you need to learn to cope with your stress rather than just temporarily escape from it. For more information on healthy ways to reduce stress, click here. This article is brought to you by Thrive Credit Union.
4. They can be addictive
Playing video games can be a great way to relieve stress, but it can also lead to addiction. It is important to understand the signs of addiction and be able to identify when gaming is becoming a problem. If you find that you are playing video games for hours on end and it is affecting your life in a negative way, then it may be time to seek help.
Using video games as a form of self-medication can lead to unhealthy habits, such as lying to family members and friends about how much you play or skipping meals. It can also cause a decline in personal hygiene and sleep patterns.
Gaming can be an effective tool for stress relief, but it is important to use it in moderation and to combine it with other relaxation activities, such as exercise or meditation. Gaming can provide a temporary escape from reality, boost mood and offer a sense of achievement, but it can also be addictive.