Gaming: It’s Better For Your Mental Health Than You Might Think

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Gaming: It’s Better For Your Mental Health Than You Might Think

There’s all this chatter about how gaming isn’t good for one’s mental health.

Many of the concerns are valid. Like how too much gaming can lead to an addiction to it. And that, in turn, leads to isolation and unhealthy behaviors. Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can worsen too.

But the keywords are “too much gaming.” Doing it excessively is the gateway to gaming becoming dangerous for anyone. But in moderation, it can be good for your mental health.

Unwind

Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your mind is unwind.

You want to find time to do this daily, but, at the very least, you should incorporate restorative mental health days into each month. These are days when you completely detach from everything and focus solely on nurturing your mental and emotional well-being.

You can fill restorative mental health days with hobbies that help you unwind, like gaming. Gaming can help you relax in various ways. For example, you can connect with friends in a virtual world. Or, you can sink into a solo game you’re enjoying. Gaming gives you the option to unwind in whatever way you want to. 

Also, when you can look forward to doing an activity you love, you’ll be more inclined to prioritize mental health days.

Relieve Stress

Some people experience stressful days here and there. Others are in a constant state of stress that affects everything they do. It affects their mental stability as well, keeping them in a cycle of negativity, worry, and defeat.

Unfortunately, many people choose unhealthy ways to relieve stress like drinking, overeating, or watching television mindlessly. None of these activities support good mental health, nor are they positive ways to relieve stress.

Gaming in moderation, on the other hand, is. You can come home, turn on your favorite game, and know that once you sink into it, stress washes away.

You can take your mind off what’s causing you stress, even if it’s just for an hour. And in that time, you can boost your mood and come back to your stressor with a better mindset and plan of attack.

Exercise Your Mind

Playing video games requires technical skill and savvy. It also demands critical thinking, problem-solving, attention to detail, and memory skills. All of this leads to brain stimulation that supports strong mental health.

You’re accomplishing things in video games, which boosts your confidence and skill level. This keeps you on a positive track that enhances mental stability.

Develop a Healthy Coping Mechanism

We go through so much in life. Whether it’s a breakup, the death of a loved one, being laid off, a declining friendship, or another life situation, coping with these things can be hard. Sadly, many people choose unhealthy coping mechanisms, like avoidance or overthinking.

When we don’t cope with difficult situations healthily, it can exacerbate mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). So, developing healthy coping mechanisms is critical. Gaming can be a good coping mechanism for anyone.

For example, if you don’t want to see people in person after a difficult time, you can stay connected to them through gaming. If you need to express anger, you can choose a game that allows you to do this. Or, instead of picking up an unhealthy snack or dangerous substance, you can start a game.

Grow Meaningful Relationships

Many people are struggling with isolation and loneliness, hindering their ability to form genuine relationships with people. Studies continue to point to social isolation’s connection to higher anxiety, depression, and suicide rates.

Data like this should make you take a second look at how important it is to interact with people and build genuine relationships. Your mental health depends on it.

An outlet like gaming can push you slowly into socializing. It’s a comfortable way to meet people and start relationships. Hopefully, you’ll become so comfortable with engaging with others and building relationships that those skills will transfer to the real world.

Delve Into Creative Expression

Creative expression is one of the best ways to uplift a person. You’re consumed with positive emotions that help reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. Creative expression also helps lower stress, putting your mind and emotional state in an even better place.

Gaming is an excellent way to express yourself creatively. There are thousands of games to choose from. So, finding a few that inspire and allow you to be yourself, isn’t difficult.

Tips for Getting Started with Gaming

Ready to incorporate gaming into your life for the betterment of your mental health? Start with a good gaming setup. Your gaming setup is important because you want it to inspire a certain mood. You want to be excited to play, but also mentally serene and comfortable.

Purchase a strong internet package. Make sure you have an ergonomic gaming chair, good speakers, and a quality headset. Make sure your gaming console and controllers are high-grade as well. Then, move on to your gaming setup aesthetics.

Make the room you and fun. For example, string LED lights around the room. Hang unique wall art. Set up a lounge area with cool pillows and blankets to take breaks in.

Also, it’s important to set some ground rules for gaming. Set a time limit for how much gaming you’ll do in a day. Only engage with online friends you feel safe with. And only play games that inspire positive things in you.

Don’t discount how amazing gaming can be for your mental health. Analyze the benefits and get into gaming safely and healthily with the tips above.

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