We all know that video games are great fun, can be exciting and even educational, but did you know they have also been proven to help beat stress? Studies have shown that millennial gamers have been using games to cope with stress with 55% of players finding a regular gaming session helps them to unwind.
One way that gaming helps players to de-stress is through the social aspect of many games. When playing with other people, this group dynamic can give an important social connection. Feeling isolated and lonely is a major cause of stress and depression among millennials, so this social group of gamers can help people make new friends with common interests. This social element works in a similar way to other online games, such as playing online bingo, where the chat rooms and friendly banter help to create a strong community spirit.
Research has shown that not only are video games great stress-relievers, performing well in a game can help to boost your performance in other aspects of life, including at work. The good feelings that come from a successful gaming session translate into confidence outside the gaming world and a more positive attitude in general.
Gaming has become a main component of many people’s social life. Gaming helps players use social skills and communication skills, especially when collaborating on a task within a game. When performing well and completing a task successfully, this sense of accomplishment can also give a confidence boost and increase feelings of wellbeing. Research shows that video gaming can also be helpful for children’s social and intellectual development.
Relaxation and Escapism
In contrast with the social element of video gaming, there is also a pleasant escapist element to the activity. The escapism that video gaming provides can act as a great way to disconnect from the real world and ‘reset’ your emotional responses. In this way, video gaming can work just like meditation, exercise or spending time in nature as a way of dealing with anxiety, relieving stress and feeling more positive and relaxed.
The reason video games can be so escapist in nature is that players get immersed in them. With the great graphics and storylines of modern games, it is easy to become engrossed in the game. This level if intense immersion is most apparent with adventure and role play games, as you need to take on the character of the game protagonist and step into their shoes and out of your own. Other games that have a similar emotional effect to adventure games are action and shooter games, while puzzle games also work to relax the mind as they are so mentally engaging.
With mental health an important concern in the modern world, especially among young people, the relaxing and stress-relieving qualities of video games are more relevant than ever. So when you’re looking to relax and unwind or escape a problem for a while, turn on your console and get gaming. It is likely you’ll finish your session with a clearer head and a more positive outlook!