Gaming to control stress

video game photo:  loli3.jpg

In this blog I talk a lot about different ways to help calm yourself down, relax and manage your stress. I even try out these techniques myself because it seems unfair to tell other people what to do to manage stress and relax but then not try them out yourself. To me that’s a bit like a fitness instructor telling you what do to get fit but then they just sit on the couch and eat chips while they watch others take their advice. So yes, I at least try out these techniques I talk about on myself too; but when I was thinking about what to write next I realised there is one thing I do a lot when I want to relax, in fact I have been doing this for years, but I never even thought about mentioning it until now. And that technique ladies and germs, friends and neighbours, is gaming. I love games, PC games, mobile games, board games, whatever, I love them and I love to play them. Admittedly I do more PC games than any others and I’ve played a lot of these in my time. Halo, Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, Assassins creed, Bioshock, and Batman Arkham asylum, to name a few. So many games to play, yet so little time to play them all, sigh!

If I’m not playing games myself I’m usually watching Youtubers like PewdiepieMarkiplierCryaoticJacksepticeyeRPGMinx and others play them. What can I say? I love gaming, and I especially like to play a game after a long, hard and stressful day, it really helps me unwind.

It got me thinking, do other people do this just to deal with stress? I know there are a lot of gamers out there who like to play games and there must be a few who play to unwind themselves. So then, is there perhaps anything to this? Is there any evidence that suggests gaming is a good way to manage stress and relax? I decided to look it up and wouldn’t you know it, there is.

There are already a bunch of articles out there that talk about how playing video games can help people who are stressed out and even depressed.

Take this article for example, it’s from theweek.com and is titled, “7 health benefits of playing video games” by Danny Gallagher. It talks about how video games are good for children with chronic illnesses, acting as a therapeutic technique for them.  It also talks about how games can help develop motor skills for pre-schoolers. It goes on to talk about how video games provide pain relief (emotional and physical), reduce stress and depression (the whole point of this post), improve vision (take that mom), improve decision making skills and help keep you happy in your old age. What’s more, each of these points is backed up by genuine data and studies, so you know they are telling the truth.

Here’s another article from truestressmanagement.com (now that sounds like my type of website) titled, “keep calm and game on: can video games relieve stress?” which talks briefly about how games can help with stress, how its good for people with type A personality and what types of games work best for stress management.
Here’s another article from makeuseof.com titled, “Science Proves that Playing Video Games Reduces Your Stress,” written by Ryan Dube.

This article covers the people who play video games, how video games affect your mental health (in a good way don’t worry), and how video games can help you de-stress. Like the first article I mentioned, they have clinical trials and studies to back them up.

Finally there’s this really short article from tamiu.edu which talks about how violent video games can help people deal with stress and depression and it’s called, “violent video games help relieve stress, depression, says tamiu professor”.

This is the article you want to show your parents and all those people who preach on how video games are making kids more violent. It basically talks about a study conducted by a Dr Christopher J. Ferguson who was an associate professor in the Texas A&M International University at the time this article was written. It talks about a study Dr Ferguson conducted where he tested the effect playing violent video games have on people (they mention this in the third article I mentioned). He found that playing these games helps manage depression and “hostile feelings,” and that there is no link between violent video games and violent behaviour. In fact, Dr Ferguson said that video games might be used in the therapy of young adults and teens to work out their frustrations. So the next time you come across some one who says video games cause violence, shove this study in their face and say, “Hey, you don’t know what you’re talking about, so Shut Up!”

My point is there is a lot of evidence that playing video games is good for you, when you play it moderately. You don’t want to be the guy who plays for days on end and forgets to feed his pet puppy now do you? Even if it’s just mobile games, you can manage your stress better when you play games vs not playing. So play more games; even if you can’t become a gaming champion, you can at least be less stressed out.

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