It’s great that video games are no longer a niche hobby, but some people still think negatively about them. For example, there is a contingent of people that feel that video games are detrimental to your mental health. While it is true that too much of anything has the potential to be bad, most gamers understand that video games can actually help you to boost your mental health. Read on to learn how video games can be beneficial to your mental health.
Relaxing and Relieving Stress
One of the most obvious ways that video games can make you feel better mentally comes from using them as a relaxation tool. There are tons of people who come home from work and want to spend a few hours playing one of their favorite games. You might want to play something relaxing so that you can unwind for the day, or you might push a little further to see more of the story in an RPG that you’re playing. You can alleviate stress and just feel at ease by playing video games a little bit each day.
You don’t have to play a lot to see benefits like this either. Many people who play video games for just an hour or two in the evening get a lot out of the experience. Your daily life has the potential to be very stressful, and using games as a tool for healing makes sense. Some people will turn to a good book, others might wish to watch a bit of TV, but you choose to game.
The types of games that you use to relax won’t really matter either. It’s a bit of a subjective situation since some people find action games to be relaxing while others find them to be too intense. Animal Crossing might be the perfect game for you to unwind with, but your partner might prefer to play Doom Eternal. Just enjoy your downtime so that you can feel less anxious.
Connecting with Others
Isolation has the potential to put you in a dark place mentally. Lockdowns and societal changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many people to struggle with mental health. Thankfully, video games have been there to help keep people connected. You can use video games as a tool to connect you to your friends and family members even when you can’t be together in person.
You can call up your best friend to see if they’re interested in playing Streets of Rage 4 for a few hours. Spending time together playing video games online is a great way to socialize when you need to be apart. Even couples have been able to use video games in this way to keep themselves happy. When you have games that you like to play with your loved ones, it will be easier to feel like you aren’t alone, even when there is a physical distance between you and the people you care about.
Feeling Fulfilled and Entertained
Feeling fulfilled after playing a game is something that has value, too. Playing through a satisfying story and just really connecting with what the game had to offer is fantastic. Over the last several years, people have had amazing story-driven games to play through; Final Fantasy VII Remake, Persona 5 Royal, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and Ghost of Tsushima. It’s easier than ever to find something that is up your alley to entertain you since so many diverse types of stories are being told in video games.
Entertainment makes you feel happy, and doing things that you enjoy will give you a mental health boost. People need to spend time doing things that they love instead of just working all the time. Utilizing your free time wisely is what matters. So long as video games aren’t getting in the way of your responsibilities, they can be seen as something very positive for your mental health.
Video Games Aren’t a Cure for Mental Health Problems
Video games can be helpful in your life, but they can’t solve your mental health struggles. Depression, anxiety, and other types of mental health issues can be difficult to cope with. If you feel like you’re depressed or anxious due to what’s going on in your life, then you might wish to seek help. It’s important to take care of your mental health so that you can feel your best, and neglecting your mental health can be just as bad as allowing your physical health to decline.
Many people choose to use therapy to help them get things on the right track. Check out this good read about mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to see if it sounds like something you’d be interested in. Video games can help you boost your mental health, but they can’t address the core issues causing you to feel depressed or anxious. You can work with professionals to change things, though, and you’ll be able to feel so much better over time.