How Playing Video Games Can Benefit Your Mental Health
Video games have long been seen as a pastime that only brings negative health effects, but recent research shows they can actually improve your mental health in some cases. From anxiety and depression to physical health, gaming can play an integral role in improving the overall wellbeing of an individual.
Enhancing Cognitive Function
By playing various types of video games, your brain is constantly put to work. Even simple games like solitaire can lead to better cognitive function and enhanced memory and concentration. Researchers believe that playing video games can increase the plasticity of the brain, enhance creativity, and may even help slow down age-related cognitive decline.
Playing video games can help reduce stress, since it gives players a sense of control and accomplishment. Without the fear of failure, gamers can experiment and go at their own pace. A 2019 study in San Diego showed that individuals who played video games reported a decrease in stress levels. The study also found that the longer people play, the less stressful they became.
Relieve Anxiety and Depression
Video games can have a calming effect on people suffering from anxiety and depression. The ability to immerse yourself in the game and completely separate yourself from reality can provide comfort and an escape. There are even some video games specifically designed to help people manage and cope with their mental health issues better.
Healthier Social Connections
Playing video games can also be a great way to connect with other people. While it’s not recommended to become overly dependent on these virtual connections, forming connections with people from across the world can be beneficial and enjoyable, while also helping to build social skills. Sharing stories and experiences, as well as tips and tricks, with friends or other players can help to improve communication.
The benefits of playing video games remain a subject of debate, with many professionals in the medical field viewing it as a leisure activity that has negative effects on physical and mental health. However, with the right type of video games and moderation, many people can benefit from gaming in a variety of ways. Playing video games can help improve cognitive function, reduce stress and anxiety, and even bolster social connections.