It might seem odd to think of video games as being able to relieve stress when so many of them put you into stressful—if imaginary—situations. However, there are several ways that video games can improve your ability to handle stress and relieve the stress you may already be feeling. Video games have always been a way for people to wind down, but they can do so much more than that. Here, we’ll check out some of the stress-relieving properties of video games.
Video games can be cathartic because they allow people to express emotions that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. If you’re angry about something in the real world, playing a violent video game is less about the violence and more about the release of built-up tension that you can’t enact outside. Everyone deals with their stress differently, and video games can be a safe outlet to let out strong emotions like frustration and anger.
There are few games out right now that don’t involve some sort of cooperation or competition. The social aspects of these games can help us feel more connected to those we play with or against. Stress can often accumulate if we feel like we are alone with our problems. But through these social games, we create relationships within a group, giving us extra confidence to take on challenges that might have caused us stress before.
One of the critical stress-relieving properties of video games is that they let you escape the real world for a while. For some time, people have argued that this is a bad thing, but the truth is much more complicated. There is nothing wrong with needing an escape from the world; it’s the reason people watch movies and TV shows. The moments that we are using video games to escape into a new world can be just the thing your brain needs to reset itself to handle the stress you feel more efficiently.
Sense of Control
Especially in recent times, people have felt like their lives are more out of control than ever. Lack of control is a major source of stress, whether it’s regarding career, relationships, or life in general. Video games give you back that sense of control by literally putting the controller in your hand. For some people, playing video games is one of the only times in their day where they feel in control, so don’t worry if you’re one of them.
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